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tips for trips :: traveling with little ones

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I remember the days of traveling without kids!  We would meet up with my family for a week by the beach and pool, and while the rest of my siblings were chasing around their little ones, I was sitting by the pool reading a book and working on my tan.  I would always help out and play with my nieces and nephews, but I ultimately had very little responsibility and some pretty carefree vacations!
We recently took a trip with my family, and now traveling is a little different for us!  I have to say that I wouldn’t want it any other way, especially when I see how much fun the beach, the pool, and hanging out with cousins is for my two little ones.  Traveling just takes a little more planning and a little more intention, but our vacations can still be so fun! Here’s a few things  I’ve found to help with travel.

  1. Pack by days, not by person.  When I heard about this tip from my sister, I loved the idea. It made so much sense to me to have 4 bags, but instead of having one for each person, have 1 for each group of days.  I packed everything each person would need for two days in one suitcase and packed a similar bag for 4 different days.  My favorite thing about this is that it made it so we only needed one bag open in the room at a time. Instead of having everyone’s suitcase open the whole week, we could just have 1 bag out, and the rest tucked away!  Another huge benefit to me was to return all the dirty clothes back to the suitcase at the end of the 2nd day, eliminating mixing clean and dirty clothes in each person’s suitcase! It may not work for all trips, but for traveling with little ones for a week, it’s perfect!
  2. Plan road trip stops wisely.  Our drive is usually broken up into 2 days with 11 hours being the longest time we travel in one day.  Adding extra stops in can really slow down the trip, so we try to plan them well. We always fill up with gas when we stop for the bathroom or food, allowing us to travel as long as we can without having to stop.  Another thing we do is stop at a restaurant with a play place, let the kids play while we eat, and then bring their food in the car.  I love this because it allows them to get some energy out without spending too much time at each stop.
  3. Be flexible.  It’s not always easy to travel with young ones, but if you realize that things aren’t going to follow a perfect plan, it will allow you to enjoy the trip even with the things that don’t go as planned.

Our family loves to travel, and we are enjoying this summer with fun little trips planned! Each day ends with our kids remembering full days of fun and complete exhaustion.  I hope as they get older that these memories of fun and time with family stay with them forever.

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  • Ginny
    June 26, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    What adorable photos in this post. Your kids are cute, Laura! I never heard the tip about packing for days instead of a suitcase per person. That is a brilliant tip! thanks!