Like many people, I have always looked at travel as an opportunity for adventure. As a full-time mother, I still love to travel, even if the adventures have changed a little. No longer can I pack a suitcase the night before and jump in the car the next morning – a good adventure takes a little bit more planning these days. Still, with the right mindset and a few good tips, even the most daunting of trips can easily be turned into the adventure of a lifetime.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re flying or driving, you’re bound to be tight on space. Instead of fighting to smash one more diaper into the carry-on, consider ordering diapers to your destination. Staying at a beach house or in an extended stay hotel? Visit a site like Diapers.com that offers free next day shipping and your diapers will practically meet you in your room.
Invest in a Portable DVD Player
TV shouldn’t raise your kids, but it can sure come in handy on a trip! Face it, flying and driving long distances can be boring. A DVD player with a handful of your kid’s favorite movies can help pass the time a little more quickly. Sometimes, a distraction can be just what the doctor ordered to soothe the nerves of an anxious or rambunctious child. Once you arrive at your destination, the safety of a familiar movie can also be used to help children adjust to unfamiliar surroundings. A portable player is key for traveling internationally as DVD compatibility changes country to country.
Packing the Essentials
“Essentials” doesn’t just mean that cute jacket you splurged on a few weeks back. With kids, it means packing things like zip lock bags, a first aid kid, and a sippy-cup. If you are traveling by car, consider packing an emergency bag with extra water, snacks, and a couple of spare items of clothing. Extra shirts can be especially handy – you never know when the next spill will happen!
The youth hostel on the wrong side of the tracks that seemed ideal in the old days probably won’t cut it anymore. BEFORE you book your hotel do some research to figure out if it is family friendly. Does the hotel have a pool or playroom available? Do they have a kid’s menu? Better still, is there a refrigerator in the room to keep milk and snacks? If you want the ultimate vacation, look into a family friendly resort. These are located high up in the mountains and sprinkled throughout tropical islands. When my family went to Oahu, we chose a top Honolulu hotelgeared toward traveling families. With a terrific water slide, hour-by-hour entertainment and close proximity to the beach, there was a little something for every member in our family of five.
Routine is Key
We’re creatures of habit. Remember that, and as much as possible, avoid upsetting your child’s routine by sticking to scheduled naps and regular eating times. Food and sleep are important to everyone, but the added excitement and stress of a vacation can be too much for some children. If you can avoid the temptation to go-go-go, you may find yourself with a little bit of much needed relaxation time.