Holiday travel is a stressful time for adults. Add a kid or two (or, in our case, more) into the mix and it can become a dreaded experience.
We did a little traveling of our own recently and while I like to think I have it down to a science, I’m constantly thinking of new things I wish I would have packed ahead of time – and definitely plan to pack next time. Let’s just say my to-do lists pre-vacation are a little extensive, but once we get to our destination (and while en route), everyone is happy. And that’s all that matters.
TIPS FOR STRESS-FREE TRAVEL WITH KIDS
- Pack more of the essentials/emergency items. Some parents prefer to travel light – I prefer to be prepared. If I know our destination’s surroundings well enough, I might leave a few things behind, but running around town trying to find medicine, a pharmacy, diapers, etc. at who knows what hour, is no fun. I’ve been there too many times and, for me, I prefer to be prepared than stressed out.
- Pack smart baby gear. If you need a baby carrier and a high chair while traveling, take the Onya Baby carrier with you. A travel crib or play yard can double as a safe place for baby to sleep and play while away from home and always make sure your stroller is lightweight and adapts to your infant car seat… If you’ll be traveling with a small baby. It’s best to condense your baby gear needs as much as possible while traveling.
- Car travel extras. Long car trips in the daylight can mean bright sun in your child’s eyes. Even though we have built-in sunshades in our car, we needed additional sunshades for our recent road trip. For the car trips, I also pack each child a car busy box filled with their favorite car games, books, snacks, non-leaking sippy cups and a few extra treats – to use if needed. It’s also not a bad idea to keep your child’s favorite blanket or toy handy just in case.
- Air travel extras. Air travel is a little trickier. I like to bring the car seat and stroller to the gate – even if we haven’t purchased a ticket for the seat. (Although, it is safest to purchase a ticket for your child and properly install the aircraft approved car seat as you would in your car – rear-facing or forward-facing depending on your child’s direction in your vehicle and safety requirements). For the older kids, we pack busy backpacks instead of boxes and fill them with similar items as we would use in the car.
- Prepare. Start making lists well before your trip and add to them, as the trip date gets closer. I like to make a list for each family member and write down what is needed to make the trip more comfortable for that person. For example, my three year old is a picky sleeper, so I like to bring things that are familiar to him: The Babybjorn Travel Crib Light 2, his lovie blankets, his toddler pillow, his three small stuffed animals and the Summer Infant Peek Plus Monitor – but that’s more for my sanity.
Tip: if you’re flying and don’t have a ton of space for blankets, toddler pillows, stuffed animals and security blankets, those vacbags work wonders! Just make sure you have access to a vacuum at your destination prior to your trip back home.
TARGET TYKES’ HOLIDAY TRAVEL ESSENTIALS
Because Target is my one-stop-shop for all my travel preparation needs, I’m also including their tips and essentials to help make Holiday travel a lot easier for tykes – and their parents. Target Baby’s list is spot on (and doesn’t break the bank) for all types of Holiday travel.
THE TARGET SHOPPING LIST FOR HOLIDAY TRAVEL
Travel in style
- Circo boys’ and girls’ rolling suitcases ($19.99 each)
Disinfect and protect
- Up and up kids lotion SPF 50 ($5.24)
- Up and up hand sanitizer gel ($0.99)
- Up and up dye-free infants ibuprofen
Chic change of clothes
- Cherokee newborn boys’ jumpsuit ($12)
- Cherokee newborn girls’ bodysuit ($6)
On-the-go snack attack
- Tommee Tippee explora food pot ($5.99)
- Plum Organics Mish Mash pouches, Fiddlesticks and Fruit Straws (I added these easy and healthy on-the-go snacks)
- Munchkin Click Lock Insulated Cups (I added this because a leak-proof sippy while traveling is a must)
Roadside diaper change
- California Baby diaper rash cream ($10.49)
- Up and up wipes
- Munchkin disposable changing pads ($6.49)
- Munchkin Arm and Hammer Diaper Bag Dispenser (I added this because there’s not always a trash can nearby after a sticky diaper change – both in the air and after stopping the car)
MORE MOMMY LOVES COFFEE TRAVEL TIPS AND IDEAS
Disclosure: Target Baby sent us product to travel with over the Holidays. All opinions are my own and I find this information extremely beneficial to all parents, which is why I’m sharing it.