Toddler Travel Tips

We're leaving on a family vacation this Saturday (but I'll be blogging throughout the trip, so I hope you'll still stop by my blog.) I'll be traveling with my parents, siblings, sibling-in-law, and my three-year-old niece and one-year-old nephew.

Traveling with toddlers can be a challenge, but also a great opportunity to take really cute pictures like this:

Over the course of the last few family vacations, I've picked up a few strategies to make both the pre-vacation time and the actual vacation easier. Or to put it another way, I've really upped my Aunting game.

1. Vacation Countdown -

For weeks, every time we would discuss the vacation in front of my niece, she would ask, "Are we going today?" Toddlers have very little grasp of the concept of time, so saying "No, we're going in 28 days" is not very helpful for them. So my co-Aunt (otherwise known as my sister) and I made a paper chain vacation countdown. We used tape to hold the paper chain together, so our niece was able to participate in making the paper chain. She loved this activity. Really loved it. She spent most of the time giggling while we were working.

2. Restaurant Bag -

Waiting at a crowded restaurant with hungry toddlers is only slightly less painful than a root canal. And tourist locations always seems to have the longest wait. So I've created a restaurant entertainment bag to keep the kids occupied while we're waiting.

This is my Aunt Bag. Sometimes I use it as a diaper bag when I'm taking the kids somewhere. But their parents will be bringing a diaper bag for this trip, so that frees my bag up to be the Restaurant Bag:

Here's what I packed:

An activity book and crayons.

A paper doll book (and a Ziploc to hold the paper dolls and clothes after they've been removed from the book):

A small puzzle that comes in a resealable bag and two Play Packs:

A Mini Magna Doddle & a Ziploc full of blocks:

3. Toy Bag for Cabin/Condo -

For the first leg of our vacation journey (note: I can't even use the word journey anymore without thinking of The Bachelor) we'll be staying in a cabin. We'll be staying in a condo for the second part. Traveling with toddlers requires so much extra stuff that the odds of leaving something behind are quite high. Add in a mid-vacation location change and the odds increase significantly. The solution: I'm laying all the items that go in each bag and taking a picture of it before packing it. (I used to write the items on an index card, but I've decided to join this century and take advantage of technology.) At the end of the vacation, you just pull the picture up on your phone and have your toddler help you find all the items. I did this last Fall when we went to a lake house for the weekend, and my niece loved helping me find the items. She thought it was a really fun game!

4. The Vacation Fairy -

I read about this idea on a blog (Sorry, I can't remember the name of the blog) and I've decided to give it a try on this vacation. You tell your toddler that there is a vacation fairy who will bring them a surprise while they're sleeping. But the vacation fairy only visits if they behave themselves that day.

Here are the bribes the vacation fairy will be bringing:

I'm all packed and ready for a great vacation!


Post a Comment

Popular Posts