This article was written by guest author, Raffinee
Traveling with children can sometimes feel more like a “trip” than a vacation. Normal routines are thrown out the window, you don’t have all the comforts of home, and everything is new, which may or may not go over well with your little one(s). But getting the chance to experience a new place with your kids makes it all worth it. As seasoned experts (my wife and I have taken many trips with our three kiddos), we’ve learned a couple of tricks along the way, and are happy to share them with you today, so your next “trip” can turn into a dream vacation.
Baby/ Kid Proof The Room
As soon as you get into your hotel room do a quick look around for any hazards and fragile items. Sometimes hotels have breakable decor like vases that may need to be relocated, long telephone cords that may need to be wrapped, or pens laying around that could find themselves on the wall. Also check window locks just in case.
Before you go carting that pack-and-play across the country, call your hotel and see what they have available. I remember being so surprised with what some hotels have to offer for families traveling with children. Some hotels have cribs they can roll into your room or pack-and-plays on site you can borrow. Some places even have bunk beds as an option for sleeping arrangements. Additionally, if your kids are used to sleeping with side rails, ask for some extra pillows and tuck them under the fitted sheet to help prevent rolling out of the bed.
Grocery Store Run
One of the first places we go when on vacation anywhere is the local grocery store. Depending on what amenities our hotel has, we load up on easy snacks to have on hand. Dining out for every meal can get expensive so we find that buying things for breakfast and snacks help us save money and also prevents hunger meltdowns. Things like bananas, oranges, apples, nuts, bars, and crackers are great options if you don’t have access to a minifridge in your room.
In-unit/ On Property Washer & Dryer
If you’ve ever traveled with a child you know how messy things can get. Whether you are in the middle of potty training, your little one gets carsick, the baby has a blowout, or whatever the reason, having access to a washer and dryer is priceless. If there isn’t one in-room ask about laundry services at the hotel.
You can’t always choose the location of your room on property or predict what kind of neighbors you will have. Not to mention sleeping in a new space can sometimes be a lot for little ones. We used a small white noise machine in our nursery at home and made a habit of bringing it with us when we traveled because it helped our kids sleep. If you don’t use a white noise machine or it isn’t possible for you to bring yours, you can always use your smartphone.
Plan For Downtime
It’s sometimes tempting to pack in as many things as you can in one day, but if your kids are anything like mine that may not go over well. Anytime we travel, we try not to have every single day jam packed with activities. We make sure to incorporate a chill afternoon at the hotel pool or dinner at the hotel for an easy end to the day. When we plan busy days, we try and space them out throughout our stay. Planning for time when our kids can relax (or even nap!) has been a huge key to our success during family trips.
Before Check Out
The last thing you want is to get to the airport and realize your toddler must have dropped your remote hard drive behind the couch. Or worse, left their prized stuffed animal between the sheets. Save yourself the headache and do a thorough sweep of the room before you leave. Under beds, behind couches, between blankets, behind doors, under towels that have made their way to the floor and inside nightstand drawers have been some of our kids favorite hiding places.
Raffinee is the voice behind the not-your-average-mommy-blog ‘Raff Out Loud’. Raffinee currently lives in the Bay Area California with her wife Micaela and their three children Mateo, Luca and Lola.
Follow Raffinee’s exploits on Instagram at @raffinee or at https://raffoutloud.com/