7 Travel Tips for Families

Moms on Call welcomes Emily Blewett, RN, BSN, Mom and Certified Moms on Call Baby and Toddler Consultant as she shares her top 7 tips for traveling with babies and toddlers.

First, take a deep breath! I 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 my top tips for traveling with babies and toddlers, including how to know what to bring, switching time zones, hotel tips and more!

Here Are My 7 Tips for Travel:

Tip #1: Consistency in Routine

  • The more established your routine is prior to traveling, the better sleep will go 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 smooth as possible because they are starting off vacation well-rested.

Tip#2: Make a checklist

  • I wrote out a checklist and made extra copies for future travel, so I could 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!
  • For those big items that make it hard to pack, there is a rental service called, Baby Quip.
    • You can use them for baby gate, bumpers, car seat, bouncy seat, humidifier, etc!
  • For toddlers, don’t forget to childproof even on vacation! 
    • Accidents can happen anywhere. When there are many people gathering together, the adults can easily assume someone else is watching the child(ren).
    • I always travel with the Door Monkey to place on the bedroom door where my child is sleeping to keep them safe in the room. I also use it on any door that leads to cleaning supplies, alcohol and other items that pose a risk to children.
    • Some other childproofing items that are easy to pack: outlet coversdoor knob covers, and bumpers to use on sharp corners on furniture. 

Tip #3: New Time Zone

  •  If you are changing time zones, as soon as you arrive at your destination, the rest of the day you will operate on the new time zone.
  • The day of traveling to your destination or back home can be especially be hard to stick to the schedule, just 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 for them 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 times zone.
    • At nighttime, make sure their room is completely dark with travel blackout curtain or the SlumberPod (Use code MOMSONCALL$20 for $20 off). Amazon has lots of options of travel blackout curtains with suction cups. I use the Blackout Travel Curtains, they are made with suction cups and Velcro tabs so they can be made to fit any size window.

Tip #4: White Noise

  • I always travel with a white noise machine!
  • Make sure to bring a white noise machine that you use at home for naps and nights when traveling.

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 for a rough trip.
    • They will have much more fun (and so will you) if we are still able to get at least 1-2 naps a day 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 one’s will get sick.
  • If baby is over 6 months old, I also recommend traveling with Benadryl.
    • Always check with pediatrician before giving your child any medication.
  • Also be sure to pack hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, water wipes, travel size sunscreen and hat.
  • For toddlers, a mini first aid kit that includes: Band-Aids, tweezers, squeezable ice pack, Polysporin, 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.
    • Before our trips, I will go to the Dollar Store and Target $1-3 dollar bin to get some activities for the car ride or flight.
      • I recently found on Amazon, BusyBags – Activity Travel Bags, in a variety of options!
      • Some of my favorite travel toys are by Melissa and Doug: On the Go Water Wow, Paint with Water Activity Book, and Water Wow Reusable Color-with-Water Wow Reusable Color-with-Water Deluxe Travel Activity Pad.
      • Other favorite toys: Magnetic Fun, Stickers, Coloring Books with crayons and markers, AquaDoodle Travel Doodle Mat, and Imagine Ink Pictures.
        • These activities also work great for restaurants!
        • Make sure toys are age appropriate for your child.

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.
    • In the summer, we look for a room with a balcony so we can enjoy some outside time when hanging out after our daughter went 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 back home, go immediately back 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!

We've got a FREE resource ready to send you that is age-appropriate for where your child is right now.

Jennifer and Laura

Parenting with truth and courage

Embrace the journey. You’re not in this alone.
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~Laura & Jennifer
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