I’m currently writing this post after an amazing day at Disney World with my family. My hubby is drinking a beer in the living room of our villa in Florida, my daughter is sleeping in another room dreaming of Princesses I’m sure, and I am trying to think of some of the best tips I have as takeaways for traveling with little ones. Taking trips with toddlers has to be similar to traveling with pregnant women. They are pretty emotional, always hungry, kind of needy, can only walk short distances and consistently need naps. Here are a few tips I have found to be super helpful when road tripping with tikes:
#1 :: Get Your Bribe Bag Ready.
Candy, play-doh, crayons, coloring books…whatever normally curbs a tantrum and keeps your child entertained should be included into your little bag of tricks. Suckers are also great to have in your bribe bag if you are traveling by air. Suckers and sippy cups can help toddlers relieve some of the pressure on their ears during take off and landing. Win-win! Check out some other fabulous tips on flying with a toddler.
#2 :: Snack Attack!
Toddlers are growing, rarely eat full meals and if they are anything like my Molly Moo Cow…. they are always munching. Traveling takes a lot of energy out of little ones so snacks are great to keep your kids energized and alert. This also saves you a ton of extra cash because the cost of snacks in an airport, at amusement parks or outside of a grocery store can have a high mark up.
#3 :: Avoid Traditional Hotels.
The best way to save money, and sanity, is to try and find a hotel that includes a small kitchen and separate bedroom if possible. We found an amazing villa deal at a Holiday Inn Vacation Club in Orlando, Florida through Travelzoo. There are a million discount sites out there now (Groupon, Expedia, Living Social, etc.) where you can find these types of deals on off-season hotels. This villa includes a kitchen, 1 1/2baths, separate bedroom, washer/dryer, a million activities on-site and pools (plural). Color me Charlie Sheen because I am winning! Cook your own healthy meals, avoid restaurant meltdowns and tantrums, and save money by booking hotels with small cooking/dining areas. Separate sleeping area means the fun can continue even when your little one is tucked in. We will also be returning home with clean clothes thanks to the washer/dryer unit in our room. I heart efficiency!
#4 :: Keep Your Routine.
Whether it’s keeping your 8 pm bedtime, eating a sit down meal in your condo-style hotel room or making breakfast as a family there has to be a few routine items you keep in tact while on vacation. I’m a firm believer that kids LOVE routine. Working moms can I get an amen? “Vacation” is new for toddlers, kind of like the idea of “weekends”. Keeping some sense of routine keeps kids grounded so pick a few traditions to keep the comfort level up. This will also save you time when trying to reintroduce their routine when you return home.
#5 :: Manners Don’t Take A Vacation.
My daughter knows if there is a corner in a room I will find it, and her nose will be in it if she loses her manners and respect with us. Vacation or not, if my daughter is a sass pot we will stop our fun and return to what matters most and that’s building an ethical, respectful, well-behaved little babe. Molly has seen the corners at our Orlando villa and the corners at Magic Kingdom so far. I like to remind her that vacations are optional, manners are not.
I hope these tips help enhance your future vacation experiences. If you can limit the chaos and tantrums the fun will always follow.
Are there any tips you have for traveling with your kids? Whether it’s a toddler or a teen travel trick, I want to hear it! Share your comments with here.
Wishing you and your family a magical day, and may all your dreams come true in 2013!