Summer is the time for travel! For many of us, our jobs have slowed down a bit, the kids are out of school, and the weather is perfect! Vacations are an important part of family bonding. They allow us to escape from the grind, enjoy life, and focus on our family. However, expensive tickets and high expectations can leave us disappointed, especially when our infant spends the entire plane ride screaming, and our toddler is constantly asking when we are going to get there! Or even better, we finally get to our destination and our daughter develops a high fever and is vomiting. Although travel can be unpredictable, planning ahead and having the right tools can help ensure your vacation goes as smoothly as possible so that you can enjoy the much needed time away with your family.
Mumi Packing Cubes. If you are traveling with family, these organizational packing cubes are an absolute must-have. Mumi design was created by Moms for Moms to help decrease the stress of packing and unpacking. They maximize luggage space by keeping everything organized and reducing mess. You can keep yourself and the kids organized by preplanning and separating outfits into different cubes. My favorite part is that you don’t have to waste anytime unpacking. Just place the cube into the draw, unzip, and head to the beach!
A Baby Carrier With Storage. You just finished stowing your luggage, getting the kids situated in their seats, and timed your infant’s nap perfectly. You are about to take off and your three-year-old begins whining and asking for his favorite snack. Having a baby carrier with extra storage can be a life saver. This allows your little one to rest comfortably while giving you easy access to your essentials- pacifiers, toys, snacks, etc. without the hassle of rummaging through your carry on bag. Maneuvering through the airport with small children can be extremely challenging and having a set of free hands is a must.
KidCo Travel Line. KidCo has an entire line dedicated to making travel easier for parents with infants. The products are all amazing but I especially love their travel bouncer! It is the first lightweight portable bouncer that sets up in an instant and weighs under 3 pounds. Whether you are stuck in the airport with delays, or in your hotel room trying to get the other children ready for dinner, it gives your infant a safe and comfortable place to rest. KidCo’s dream pod is also a perfect sleeping solution for your infant during travel. It is great for staycations, as it is small and easy to throw in the car.
A Medical Bag. Children notoriously get sick on vacation. The change in their schedule, long hours, crowded places, and confined areas make the perfect formula for illness. It is imperative that you always travel with Tylenol and Motrin. This is particularly important if you are traveling to remote locations. The quickest way to ruin a vacation is getting a wake up call at 3am from your child with a high fever and nowhere to get a fever reducer. Make sure to have the right dose calculated for your child ahead of time. If you are going to a beach destination, don’t forget the sunscreen and after-sun care too. It is always a good idea to have a small first aid kit for minor cuts, scrapes, and bruises too. Parents underestimate the risk of exposure to illness in airports. Here are my germ busting must-haves for your carry on bag:
- Kandoo flushable wet wipes
- Boogie Wipes
- Dr. Brown’s Pacifier Wipes
- Neat Solution potty and table toppers
- Babyganics hand sanitizer
A Plane Present. This trick has yet to fail me. Before you leave, pack your child their own carry on bag filled with independent, engaging toys like Playdough, Legos, magnetic squares, puzzles, and activity books. Of course, you can bring the iPad but the research has shown that children do better changing their activity every 20 to 30 minutes. Make sure to pack snacks that I like to refer to as “grazing snacks,” which are snacks that are low in sugar, high in quantity, and have a low choking risk. Great examples are Cheerios or Puffs. Here is the important piece to the puzzle- buy one new engaging toy and wrap it up in wrapping paper the night before you leave. Show the plane present to your child right before leaving for the airport and explain that if they behave in the airport they will get their plane present right before the plane takes off. It not only helps to modify their behavior in the airport, but also provides as least an hour of engagement during take off. The toy is new so they spend much more time investigating and playing with it.
Bottle Up and Bottle Down. This is important for parents traveling with infants. Try to schedule your flight around the time your child takes a nap. The airport preparations might be a little harder with a cranky infant, but the payoff is huge. Once they indicate that it is time for takeoff, whip out the bottle and start to feed your baby. The air pressure during takeoff in combination with the bottle and a tired baby equals nap time! Of course if your child doesn’t nap well, this might not be the right plan for you. I have been using this trick for years and it has made traveling so much more peaceful. A sleeping baby is always the perfect traveling companion. The reason I suggest a bottle during landing is to help with the pressure that causes pain in the ears. The sucking motion helps equalize the pressure in the ear canal which causes the discomfort that your child may be having during landing.
Even if the plane ride is a disaster or one of your children ends up getting sick, try to recover and enjoy the moment. Vacations are about building memories and bonding with your loved ones. Take a deep breath, relax, and enjoy the moment. It goes by so quickly. I hope this helps you with your journey!
*This post is sponsored but the opinions are all my own*