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It’s no doubt that we’ve done a lot of traveling this past year. We’ve taken road trips and airplane trips, along with little day trips here and there! Most of the time, my husband and I have the kids with us and it’s not always easy to travel with kids! We’re sharing 10 tips for traveling with small kids today in hopes that you can be confident wherever you may go!
My husband, Brett, has always been spontaneous! I mean, he flies an airplane and can plan a trip in .5 seconds…so I had to learn to be spontaneous, too! With having children comes responsibility but also flexibility! We didn’t want to stop traveling once our family grew, so we learned to adapt and make changes so that everyone can travel! The girls are well-traveled and happy to go whenever we say LET’S GO! I think it comes from just allowing them to go with us and not stressing about it!
So today we’re going to share our tips for traveling with kids! These are the things we’ve found that just work for us, and while they do work for us with a 3 and 5 year old; we will have to adapt once the baby arrives and become more flexible!
TIPS FOR TRAVELING WITH YOUNG KIDS
- Safety is #1 – We had the chance to try out the new Maxi-Cosi Magellan and have been loving it. The best part about these seats are that it grows with them from stage to stage. You only have to buy one car seat that grows with your child from birth to age 10 (5lbs. to 120lbs.).
Maxi-Cosi has provided parents with a future-proofed 5-in-1 convertible car seat designed for comfort and timeless look. The Magellan transitions between five modes of use: Baby Rear-Facing, Toddler Rear-Facing, Toddler Forward-Facing, Child Forward-Facing and Belt Positioning Booster, all with ease for the parent.
We have chosen these carseats for our kids because of the safety and comfort! The car seats are available in 5 color options: Night Black, Midnight Slate, Blue Opal, Emerald Tide and Violet Caspia and retail for just under $350. They are available at: Amazon, Target.com, Buy Buy Baby, Nordstrom, Dillard’s and Albee Baby.
- Know your Facts – Each state has a different law about car seats, ages and weights. Look up those laws in which the states you’ll be traveling and always follow those rules! I am a huge advocate for keeping the child safe as long as you can, and am so thankful for car seats and brands like Maxi-Cosi.
- Plan – This goes without saying, but you have to get a plan in place when traveling with kids. Decide what time you will leave, approximately what city/time you will stop for potty breaks, etc. Plan around your child’s nap time if they still take naps. The best time to travel for us is at nap time because that takes up a few hours of the trip! Have a rough plan, but….be flexible.
- Be Flexible – You can have a plan set in place but we all know that with kids, things don’t always go according to plan. Have a few back ups and try to give yourself some grace in knowing that it will all work out and by the time you arrive at your destination, you will be glad you went through the travel part.
- Don’t Stress – Your children can sense the stress that comes from you. If you are stressing about time, noise, driving, etc. they will feel that. Try to give yourself a break and set everyone up for success. By doing this, the ease of your trip will surprise you. If you go into it with the mindset of not stressing, you will likely not stress.
- Pack Snacks – Having snacks on hand helps the time go by more quickly for children! When letting my kids eat in their car seats, I always make sure that I am within reach in case of choking and never give them anything that is a hazard. We keep snacks limited to easy finger-held snacks such as Goldfish or animal crackers. If your child isn’t old enough for those snacks, plan for times to stop and feed them whether through a bottle or breastfeeding. Plan those stops around the child’s schedule.
- Activities – Have plenty of in car/backseat activities. Whether it’s a movie, ipad, games, toys, etc. Your child will need something to do when in their car seat for long periods of time!
- Potty Time – We have a travel potty that enables us to pull over at a safe area to let them use the potty. If we didn’t have it, we would be stopping in every little town! I highly recommend getting one or planning to tell your chlid that you can’t stop to potty every 10 minutes.
- Set Goals + Incentives – Goals that are easily attained like, “Let’s make it to the next stop and then we’ll play a game when we get there.” Set goals for yourself too! Try not to lose your cool when they’re yelling and fighting with their siblings in the back seat. 😉
- Enjoy – ENJOY these trips! I promise, having your children travel with you is one of the best blessings in life! They get to see new areas, experience new things and it gets you out of your every day routine. Teaching your kids how to travel is so important in growth and learning! The experiences that they have can’t be learned from watching it on TV or seeing it through a photo! There is something to be said about a well-traveled and experienced child!!
I am so thankful for my husband’s spontaneity that has kept our family traveling through every stage of life. I’m thankful for the confidence that has come with each trip completed and for my kiddos who truly enjoy it as much as we do! I’m also VERY thankful for the safety of car seats that help me have a peace of mind as a parent! Protecting our children is one of our biggest jobs as parents, and having the comfort and ease of car seats is so important!
How cute is this little video? We usually don’t have it all together while traveling with kids; but it always makes it fun and full of adventure!
I hope you gained some confidence for traveling through this post! Where are you planning to go? Do you have any tips for traveling with small children? I would love to hear something that might make it easier for us to travel in the future!
Photography and Video by Lissa Anglin Photography