Traveling is tons of fun, but when you have small children the idea of traveling may fill you with dread. Trying to figure out napping schedules, strollers, how to safely get through the airport with all your stuff as well as all your children – these are the things nightmares are made of!
Making memories with your family doesn’t have to be stressful. With a little bit of planning and some of these easy tips, you can focus on having fun with your family instead of stressing over the details.
How to pack
In addition to being sure you pack lightly, there are a few things you can do while packing to make the process of getting dressed each morning a breeze. First, pack each day’s outfit in individual Ziplock bags for your children. Undies, socks, pants, shirt, all together in the same bag means that even the youngest children can just grab a bag and get dressed. Label each bag with their names.
Additionally, if you’ll be gone for more than a few days, you should definitely plan on doing laundry while you’re away from home. Just doing one or two loads can cut the number of clothes you’ll be packing in half. Fewer clothes will mean fewer bags for you to drag around or lose, resulting in a much more enjoyable vacation!
Don’t let your kids get lost
If you’re going to be at busy, crowded places where there is a chance your children will become separated from you, purchase temporary tattoos with your contact information and put one on each child’s arm. This could save their lives and save you a lot of anxiety! A family t-shirt design and matching shirts for the family can help you keep everyone counted and together as well; it’s much easier to keep track of everyone when they are wearing the same shirt!
Don’t schedule every free moment. Things can go wrong on vacation, and you may find that on a day you planned to go to 15 different places, your children really just want to play at the hotel swimming pool. Try to schedule one morning activity and one evening activity for each day, but if possible, give yourself the freedom to adjust if your children need a break.
Especially for younger children, vacations can be simply exhausting. After a few days of the break-neck pace of activities, late bedtimes, early mornings, and no naps, even the most relaxed toddler can become a screaming mess. Plan an hour or two each afternoon to head back to your hotel for a quick snooze, or do a low-key activity like seeing a play or something where your little ones can grab a nap if needed.
Embrace the chaos
Things are probably not going to go to plan for your vacation when you’re bringing kids along – and that is okay! Roll with the punches, and make memories you can laugh about later. Remember that a good portion of what happens is out of your control, and focus on the things you can do to improve the situation rather than trying to force your idea of a perfect vacation onto your family.