Traveling with toddlers can be torture. Let's get real traveling for long distances with a car full can be torture whether it is adults or children. I know at times I get restless and just don't want to sit anymore. New sights and sounds can be overwhelming to a young child and vacation excitement can quickly turn into temper tantrums if you're not prepared.
10 Tips to Keeping Your Sanity While Traveling with Toddlers
I've learned to do my research and plan stops ahead of time. Whether you do a quick search online or simply look at a map you can easily find rest stops or local visitor information to stop at. I love visitors' info stops, they are full of knowledge and usually even offer free coffee, a snack, and restrooms! Here are 10 parent-practiced tips to help make traveling with toddlers fun:
- Choose a family-friendly destination. Skip the crowded tourist destinations and opt instead for a locale that is accustomed to having kids around. Think of family-friendly activities like parks, zoos, lakes, nature trails, and other places with activities your family enjoys.
- Safety first! Always make sure your child's car seat is properly secured. Also, use a removable window shade to help block the sun. Remove their shoes, have a snack handy, and get them comfortable the more tools you can give them to be happy the better.
- Pack entertainment. Whether it be a tray so they can draw and color right on their laps or a device to play movies. We download movies before hitting the road so we are draining our devices by using data.
- Plan rest stops. If you're driving, break up the monotony by stopping every couple of hours it may seem annoying now, and the driving will drag out forever but trust me I started looking forward to the stops. Kids need to stretch out after being cooped up in a car for a while. Consider bringing along a ball to kick or throw around during these breaks. Historical sites, visitor info, and even rest stops are geat places to take a break. If school is out you can even stop to play in the park while having a picnic lunch.
- Be flexible. Set realistic expectations and let your child soak up the experience at his or her own pace. You might want to limit your activities to one a day. Otherwise, you could wind up with an over-stimulated toddler.
- Bring water and plenty of snacks. Fruit, granola bars, mini juice cartons, and small boxes of cereal make for great, healthy snacks. The snack cooler (as my kids call it) will become your best friend!
- Bring a beloved item. A blankie or cuddly toy will help your toddler feel safe and secure. Be sure to have a replacement on hand, too. It will save you some heartache should the original get lost.
- Start and end your day early. You know your kids' routines best mine are at their best in the morning, so plan accordingly, I like to hit the road early to take advantage of them being able to sit longer before getting restless.
- Stick to your routine. Trust me I always said I didn't want to be one of those Mom's but my kids CRAVE routine! Stick to eating, napping, and playing at the same time each day may be all your child needs to feel comfortable in a new environment.
- Take lots of pictures. They're only young once, so enjoy every moment!
Enjoy yourself as well and have fun that's the most important thing to remember after all you are on vacation! Keep calm and carry on right. I hope this gives you a few tips to keep your sanity while traveling with toddlers.
What's your best trip to keeping your sanity?