7 Travel Tips for Families
Let’s jump right into our top tips for traveling with babies and toddlers, including how to know what to bring, switching time zones, hotel tips, and more!
First, take a deep breath! We know it can be overwhelming when preparing to pack for the family, especially with babies and toddlers. Who knew tiny little humans would be the ones who needed the biggest suitcase?! Let’s be real; there is NO traveling light with kids. But at least we’re prepared, right? Let’s jump right into our top tips for traveling with babies and toddlers, including how to know what to bring, switching time zones, hotel tips, and more!
Here Are Our 7 Tips for Travel:
Tip #1: Consistency in Routine
- The more established your routine is before traveling, the better sleep will get while you are gone.
- When our children are already set in a consistent feeding and sleeping routine, it makes those crazy days on vacation go as smoothly as possible because they are starting off well-rested.
Tip#2: Make a checklist
- I wrote out a checklist and made extra copies for future travel to cross things off and write on the list while I was packing and have the copies for our next trip.
- Moms on Call now makes it even easier by giving you a free checklist!
- There is a rental service called Baby Quip for oversized items that make it hard to pack.
- You can use them for baby gates, bumpers, car seats, bouncy seats, humidifiers, etc.
- For toddlers, don’t forget to be childproof, even on vacation!
- Accidents can happen anywhere. When many people gather together, the adults can easily assume someone else is watching the child(ren).
- Some other childproofing items that are easy to pack: outlet covers, door knob covers, and bumpers to use on sharp corners of furniture.
Tip #3: New Time Zone
- If you are changing time zones, as soon as you arrive at your destination, you will operate in the new time zone for the rest of the day.
- The day of traveling to your destination or back home can be primarily hard to stick to the schedule, so do your best.
- The travel days might be crazy, and we can get off schedule, but no matter what happens during the day, try to hit the Moms on Call “Crazy Day” Times for supper feed, bedtime feed, and bedtime.
- This will help keep evening and nighttime in place to help with sleep.
- The magic is in the light when changing time zones. The little internal clock is controlled by it.
- During the day, let natural light in for naptime if needed to get them adjusted to the new time zone.
- At nighttime, ensure their room is completely dark with a travel blackout curtain or the SlumberPod (use code MOC for 5% off your purchase). Amazon has lots of options for travel blackout curtains with suction cups. I use the Blackout Travel Curtains. They are made with suction cups and Velcro tabs to fit any size window.
Tip #4: White Noise
- Always travel with a white noise machine!
- Ensure you bring a white noise machine you use at home for naps and nights when traveling.
- I also recommend traveling with a portable sound machine for naps. My favorite portable white noise machine is the LectroFan Alpha Travel Sound Machine.
Tip #5: Naptime
- Rested kids are much more enjoyable on vacation, so find a happy medium between some flexibility and the schedule.
- An overtired baby or toddler causes a rough trip.
- They will have much more fun (and so will you) if we can still get at least 1-2 naps daily in their pack-n-play or travel crib.
Tip #6: Essentials
- In your diaper bag or carry-on bag, pack a thermometer and Tylenol, as we never know when our little ones will get sick.
- If the baby is over 6 months old, we recommend traveling with Benadryl.
- Always check with a pediatrician before giving your child any medication.
- Also, pack hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, water wipes, travel-size sunscreen, and hats.
- A mini first aid kit for toddlers includes Band-Aids, tweezers, a squeezable ice pack, Polysporin, and 4×4 and 2×2 gauze.
- And most importantly! We also want to have plenty of snacks packed!
- You can pre-fill zip lock bags with multiple and various snack options, from healthy options to treats.
Tip #7: Accommodations
- When booking a hotel, it’s nice if they have a spot with a kitchen to avoid eating out three times a day with kids!
- A hotel room with a bedroom closed off from the living area is also a huge plus.
- This way, you can talk with your spouse or watch a movie after the kids go to bed.
- Some hotels do provide a crib, so make sure to ask about it when booking the room.
Remember, our children are adaptable, capable, and strong! Have fun and make special family memories!
When you get home, immediately return to your home time zone and get back into your typical daily and nightly routine. What happens on vacation stays on vacation! After about 3 days, everyone will be adjusted. You’ve got this!