Summer Travel Tips
Hi Friends! (My son’s preschool teacher says this to everyone, and now I can’t stop :),
Wow! We made it through our first holiday drop, and had an absolute blast “meeting” and talking with some of you online about Little Holiday. Not only did we enjoy packaging and shipping our brand new Babe and Tot boxes to you, but we also shrieked with joy when we saw you posting pics of your littles wearing their Stars & Stripes Tees and Onesies. Thank you for your support and encouragement along the way. We are pinching ourselves as we savor how much fun we’re having in this new venture.
Our next box is HALLOWEEN. Do you love this holiday as much as we do? We have such fun things in the works for you! AND we are also excited to announce that as we grow, we’ll be including older kid items and clothing sizes in our fall releases!
After living through so much change and uncertainty the last couple of years, restrictions are loosening up in some places and many are feeling more comfortable traveling. Since you may be vacationing with family this summer, we’d like to take a minute to chat about travel with little ones. To help the process not be so daunting, we’d like to offer some tips and fun products we love to take with us on our trips. Join us for a virtual little holiday!
Our favorite airplane travel hacks:
On and off duty: If you’re traveling with a partner, take turns clocking in and out with the kids. On longer flights, it may work to have one person who is on duty sitting by littles while the other takes a mental break with eyes closed, a book or a show. Don’t forget to SWITCH!
Include littles in the process: Have your kids pack their own backpacks for the airplane. They may be really excited about what they got to choose.
New toys: Okay, this is my littles’ favorite thing. . . On one trip, I decided to make a Target run beforehand and grab a few fun surprises for their backpacks. The kids and I made a deal to wait until we were on the plane before we opened the backpack and checked out the new surprises. The anticipation and excitement cured a lot of travel monotony! For younger kids, you can keep a couple of new things in your bag to periodically give to your child during the trip—when you need it most. Trust us, you’ll know when the time is right.
Here are some of our favorite things to pack for travel entertainment:
- Water-Wow coloring books
- Markers or crayons with sketchbook or coloring/activity book
- Play-dough or puddy
- Small toys for imaginative games (matchbox car, action figures, Polly Pocket, Calico Critters)
- Travel Bingo or small travel games
- Headphones for screen time or music
- Pop-it or other sensory finger toys
- Books with flaps, buttons, or pop-ups
- Search books like Where’s Waldo or Find Momo
- Favorite chapter book or summer workbooks for older kids
- Teethers, rattles, pretend cell phones or keys, board books or crinkle books, baby flash cards, stacking toys (for the tiniest littles!)
Snacks: And lots of them! I like to pack healthy options, but I also include snacks that my littles will be excited about and look forward to. Also, I choose snacks that take some time for a little one to consume. . . tiny Cheerios that they eat one by one? Perfection.
Logistics: You can totally pee while a baby is strapped in your carrier. :)
Bring your gear: If your little one is an excellent car napper, consider taking a car seat or travel car seat onto the plane.
Travel light: Once you’re a parent, it’s so true that whether you go somewhere for one night or ten nights, it still feels like you need ALL OF THE SAME STUFF you use at home. Even though it feels great in theory to try to recreate those home setups, this isn’t always realistic. A lot of destinations have baby travel rental companies so you don’t have to haul all your gear. I’ve rented almost everything you could think of: strollers, highchairs, bouncers, toys, and baby monitors. There are also lots of apps for white noise that can be useful, rather than packing sound machines or fans. If a washer or dryer is available to you during your trip, pack enough clothes for just a few days then wash and re-wear.
Find the pods: A lot of airports have parent pods or feeding areas for parents. This saved me with my daughter who had trouble nursing with too many distractions. Once I was a parent, I also noticed how many family bathrooms there are in airports. These can be helpful when you’ve got the whole crew and need to sneak in a diaper change.
Clean: Wipe down the seat and entire area surrounding your kids really well, so germ anxiety is lower. Bring an extra swaddle blanket to lay on the ground under a tot’s seat so they have a cleaner area on which to bop around.
Roll with it: My husband really worries about the effect our crying baby will have on people around us when we are on a plane. Remember that our first concern is our children, and not the neighboring passengers. We may not be able to stop a child’s crying, but we can be present, and can soothe that little one. Let’s focus on our kids’ needs, rather than stressing about others’ opinions. It also helps to imagine supportive passengers cheering for you. Many of them are!
Screen time: You didn’t really think we were going to write a travel blog post without mentioning screen time, did you?! Here are things that have worked for us:
Save screen time for a designated time. Example: Instead of allowing your kids to watch screens in the car en route to the airport or in the airport, delay viewing until they’re seated on the plane. I’ve found this helps them enjoy their screen time more once it’s offered.
Cool it on your guilt with screen time while on a trip. Trips mess up our schedules; our normal routines or family rules tend to take a backseat. Rest assured that you will be able to get back to your comfort zone with screen time once you return home. And remember that once you arrive at your destination, you just may be having too much fun to turn on a device.
You’ve got this. I hope the destination makes all the travel so worth it.
We are headed to Washington this summer to see family. We’d love to hear what you’re up to. Head to our IG to tell us about your upcoming travel plans!
Here are some favorite travel memories I have of heading to the Pacific Northwest with little Gwyn in the summertime: