I, by no means, have learned everything about traveling smoothly with little ones, but I thought I’d share what has worked for us over the years. We’ve been traveling internationally since Talia was 8 months old. Now Talia is 4.5 and Elise is 2 and we have clocked a lot of flight time and stayed in too many hotels to count.
1. First of all (and I’m still trying to learn this one): don’t expect everything to go smoothly or you will be disappointed. I find if I prepare myself for some difficulty or inconvenience, it’s much easier to handle.
2. Spend a lot of time talking about it with your kids and answering questions before hand. My oldest always has lots of questions. If she knows what the general plan is, she does much better with the trip and is able to be a more of a help.
3. If possible, schedule travel times around nap times. We like to try to arrive at our hotel in time for an afternoon nap. Obviously, this isn’t always possible and sometimes timezones make afternoon meaningless.
4. When we can, we like to break up a long trip into a few short days. It can be somewhat less tiring and allows time to do a few fun things along the way.
5. Always pack activities and healthy snacks for the trip.
7. I don’t know about the rest of the world, but in Asia, extra bedding is often hard to come by in hotels, so we pack our own bedding for the kids. We use a kidco peapod until our child is out of their crib, and then a small inflatable mattress.
8. Get creative. We’ve gotten pretty good through the years at rearranging our hotel room to give each child their own space.
9. Turn on the white noise. We have an app for that.
10. We make sure to pack the kids’ ”security item”: stuffed animals and blankets. It helps them feel comfortable to have their familiar items.
–Last resort: the tablet. Our ipad has saved us on a number of occasions when the kids are so overtired and are completely miserable, unhappy, or beyond the point of reason. A game or show can save everyone’s sanity.
How do you travel with little ones? I’d love to hear what works for you! Leave me a note in the comments.