We’re on the road! Nothing fancy, but a change from the usual which is just what the DIY doctor ordered! In honor of our little getaway, here are some tricks and tips for travel and some of our favorite travel items when going anywhere with kids. (Prior to kids, I had a very, VERY, different list. Ya know… things like running shoes, reading material and evening clothes. And by evening clothes I mean something fancier than pajamas.)
Let the record show, we don’t do a lot of traveling with the kids, but when we do, we make a point of following two simple principles:
1. Keep some consistency. In other words, we try our best to keep meal times the same, bath nights regular, and quiet time in tact. We travel with their blankets and sound machines so regardless of their sleeping arrangements, they have these familiar comforts. We also let each of the kids choose 2 of their favorite toys to bring along.
2. However… vacation is a time for everyone to relax a bit so as much as we try to keep the same daily schedule in play, we don’t sweat things like what they’re eating, how much television they’re watching, what they’re snacking on. Routine is important, but so is a sense of spontaneity and fun.
So what travel gear do we love (pssst… these are affiliate links)?
1. Sound Machine
It may be a leftover from our city siren days, but a good sound machine can be a great way to insulate the kids from whatever vacation antics might be going on outside their bedroom! If the only bedroom for the kids happens to be adjacent to noisy kitchen, then a sound machine is a sleep saving grace.
2. Reusable Snack Bags
These reusable snack bags are a great way to load up with parent approved snacks before a road trip. Cheaper, easier, neater… more environmentally responsible… that’s a lot of winning.
3. Memory Board by Melissa and Doug
This board can be used individually or as a partner game, and all of our kids love it. Eleanor understands the principles of memory, Oliver just likes to flip open each picture, and Martha enjoys the snapping sound each little square makes. And no loose pieces or fussy parts to contend with!
4. DVDs and Travel DVD player
We’re late to the iPad party so the portable DVD player has been a dependable (and, ahem, cheaper) way for the kids to have a little parent approved quiet time. We’ve gone from the Babies documentary to Finding Nemo to Pippi Longstocking, but sometimes a little screen time is what the kids need to fill the travel time. It’s also nice when travel takes you to a cellular/ wifi dead zone (like it did for us for 1/2 the week!).
5. Portable Snacks
Feeding the kids is a no brainer, but cleaning up a half gallon of crushed goldfish is another. Snacks like these applesauce pouches are perfect for a road trip pick me up without the need for an industrial dust buster.
6. Wet/ Dry Diaper Pouch
When you’re on vacation, there’s lots of packing/ unpacking… and having a compact little stash of diapers, wipes, change of clothes, sun block can make the transition to all these new destinations a bit more relaxing! And when the need for a diaper comes up on the road, it’s also nice not to be digging through luggage on the side of the road for the one leftover pull up.
7.On the Go Water Wow coloring books
No mess coloring. ‘Nuff said.
8. iPhone Apps
I won’t say that these are blatantly educational, but they’re one step above toddler pacman. Eleanor’s an ace, and Oliver enjoys watching her play so in a pinch, more screen time.
- Cake Doodle
- Cookie Doodle
- Monkey Lunchbox
- Kids Doodle
- My Coloring Book Free
- Shape Builder
- Little Writer Kids
There may be other little toys or tricks that I’m forgetting about but there are lobster rolls on the table and the kids are asleep with brownie batter on their cheeks. Bathing suits are drying and the smell of sunblock and bug spray is lingering in the air. Who doesn’t love vacation?!
(This post contains affiliate links.)
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