Real talk: Sometimes, just sometimes, a lot of us would rather get dental surgery than travel with our kids. It’d be way more relaxing.
It’s tough when you start making tiny humans — they’re sponges, seeking adventure and new experiences, and you’re dying to show them what’s out there. But the luggage. And the carsickness. And the diaper explosions. And the meltdowns.
And on. And on. And on.
Traveling with kids, for a lot of people, has become a laughable pastime and generally more trouble than it’s worth.
But for a lot of parents, staying put postpartum just wasn’t an option, and they’ve done more than found a way to make it work — they’ve found a way to love it.
Wanderlust doesn’t have to stop when you have kids, you just have to shift your perspective. We spoke with some globetrotting mommy bloggers about how they manage it all with littles and still love the experience.
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Adjust Your Expectations
First things first, when you travel with tiny humans, remember one thing: they’re on this trip with you too. They’re going to have their own bathroom schedule, their own stressors and must-sees, and you have to find a way to meet them in the middle.
“There is nothing on earth more important than you and your internal state. Just remember: you are on vacation period. Let things be, meanwhile enjoy every moment with your precious family,” says travel blogger Anastasija Rizika of Parenthood4ever.
Keep It Simple
Try not to overplan your day with too many activities. Particularly for kids under five years old, plan to be out only about four hours at a time. Allow plenty of downtime in a place you can sprawl out for naps and cuddles, like the beach or your hotel.
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Bring (Or Rent) Everything
You’ll always need more than you think you will, and you’ll never pack enough. Plan on checking a bag (or three), and bring only what you need for your actual travel on the plane with you — a diaper bag and a bag for your kids.
Services like Babyquip allow you to rent the bulkier stuff when you get there, so you don’t have to worry about surviving a week without a pack and play (if you really, really don’t want to).
Make sure you also pack a sick kid kit, particularly if you’re going to a foreign country where language barriers can make things challenging. Pack items for cuts and scrapes, antiseptics, as well as fever reducing medications and thermometers.
Find a Medical Center in the Area
Nobody wants to plan for it, because planning for it acknowledges the terrible possibility that it could actually happen. But kids get sick, and there’s nothing more stressful than it happening away from home when you’re not familiar enough with the area to know where to take them.
Especially if you’re going to a foreign country, scope out nearby medical facilities, and if you need them, make sure the one you choose offers translation services. Save the contact information in your phone and then forget about it — you have memories to plan.
Using Cloth? Opt for Biodegradable Disposables on the Road
If you can manage diaper laundry while you’re on vacation, congratulations: you are the freaking SUPER MOM.
But for those who’d rather not manage the logistics of hauling and washing cloth diapers, there are great options out there like DYPER that are biodegradable, gentle on baby’s skin, and will save you the hassle.
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Cruise vlog is up (link in profile) and it’s a cute one!! Check out our daughter retelling her favorite moments of a spider starfish, holding monkeys with @realdealroatantours0131 and Dad’s crazy jeep driving with @jeepriderscozumel! Make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel if you haven’t already! Comment below with your favorite reason to cruise with @royalcaribbean as well! #travelmadfam
Bring a Favorite Things Bag
Any time you travel, make sure each kid has their own carry-on full of things that will keep them happy on the plane. Load it with favorite snacks, toys, and activities, and be careful not to pass everything out too quickly.
“Pack plenty of activities and snacks, but try not to hand them out right away since the takeoff will hopefully be exciting enough for toddlers to buy you some time,” says travel blogger Ashley Beougher of Traveling Graces.
Lean into Learning Together
Even with young kids, travel gets to be a learning opportunity, a chance for your family to step outside its comfort zone and expose yourself to a world of new experiences. Let older kids step up and be a part of the process. Work with them on foreign languages, examine maps and train schedules together.
Sample new foods with your toddler, and explore new textiles and colors with your baby. And most importantly, when things don’t go according to plan (because they almost never will), don’t look at it as a catastrophe — look at it as an opportunity to problem solve as a family.
Do you travel with little kids? How do you manage the chaos and make memories? Tell us on social media, and tag us in the post! @AvocadoGreenMagazine
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