Another trip is just around the corner (make sure you follow our Instagram!) Lots of planning is going into travel with our tiny human. I’ve been working A LOT of overtime and am ready to reap the rewards and use some earned vacation days. Did I mention this is the first real family vacation with myself, my husband and our little girl? IT IS!
So what are some essentials to road tripping for almost 7 hours? Here is some small tips I’ve picked up from our flights and small road trips so far:
- TIMING: Planning Grace’s naps and sleep time was key to keeping our terrible twos toddler as calm and collected as possible. It’s basically a balance game. You can either make sure she is SUPER sleepy and she’ll sleep on the plane (Though she will be crabby up until that, you are forewarned.) However, depending on the length of your flight or trip, you can entertain with a mix of snacks, movies (iPad and sound-reducing headphones are the best) and just a little bonding time cuddles can last you up to three hours. If you can, be as well-rested and fed as possible, because it will not be a comfortable flight.
- FAVORITE TOYS: Do not bring ALL of their favorites, but pick one or two that will be must haves to calm down any extra tantrums. You also don’t want to bring all their bulky and noisy toys because they could get lost, damaged and gone forever, even after you come home. You could maybe bring a classic that is easy to care for AND a small new toy (cheap light up ones from the dollar store could be an idea?)
- SNACKS: Snacks will save your mind! Vacations are all about indulging and enjoying life! Why shouldn’t it be the same for your little one? Grace LOVES fruit snacks, cheerios and little cookie wafers from our local Mexican grocer. Naturally I brought a small box, a roll of the cookies and some small travel containers of Cheerios. Just enough to keep her busy for a weekend worth and nothing came back with us. I kept a few in my diaper bag for the flight to Seattle and two to come back. We used these awesome snack catchers to minimize fallen Cheerios on the plane and kept her busy working for her snacks.
- HYDRATE: I was so sad when we left Grace’s favorite sippy cup at the hotel in Seattle (a reminder to ALWAYS check your room for stuff that may be left behind.) Mostly because Grace had a cleft palate, which as many cleft moms know, it can be hard to find an awesome sippy cup that let’s your little one get enough suction help. Ours was a Munchkin one from Amazon. It’s perfect for easy refills and the summer days were long! We were out for long periods and this let Grace be in control of when she hydrated. Don’t forget Mommy needs hydrating too!
- PICTURES: It’s not always about having the best camera or spending too much time trying to capture that perfect picture. Just take a quick snap with your point-and-shoot, polaroid or even just your cell phone. Capture that moment so you can keep looking back. Make a photo album for them for later so they can look back and trigger that moment. My daughter loves her little polaroid photo album (almost as much as she loves my Polaroid camera.) But that leads me with my last tip…
- BE IN THE MOMENT: You won’t get it back. Let go of your Newsfeed. Stop “checking in” at every place on Facebook. Don’t check your Instagram feed right away. It’s a vacation. Relax and enjoy yourself. Whether traveling alone or traveling with the ones you love, just embrace living your life and immerse yourself in your new, but temporary, surroundings. For this article, it’s about enjoying your toddler. Show them the world, not what your hand looks like clutching your phone.
Any tips from other seasoned travelers? We are heading to Tennessee soon for a much needed vacation. Be ready for lots of pictures of Grace being wild and mountainsides. It will be perfect.
Veronica & Grace (and Richie, because he’s sitting next to me.. Daddy counts, too.)
Featured outfit on Veronica: “Coffee is my daytime wine” cozy pullover from Moots Clothing (IT IS SO SOFT!!), “V” mug from Pier Imports.