It doesn't matter if it's a 1 hour drive to grandma's house or a 14 hour flight. When the kids are young, there is 1 rule that doesn't change.
Prepare for the worst.
I know it doesn't exude optimism but that's the point. For example, when you have a kid in diapers, plan for a total code brown, with more clothes, diapers and wipes than you think you could possibly need. Seems logical right? But when my first kid was just a few months old, I really underestimated what a baby could go through in a day.
So, based on my 9 years of parenting, here are 5 tips to support that 1 rule, for traveling with kids under 10:
- Pack extra (clothes, snacks, blankets).
- Bring a variety of age appropriate, not so messy snacks and water.
- Find a new activity or small toy. Something they haven't seen yet. Crayons and a new book. Stickers. A game that uses magnets. Where's Waldo type books. Stuffed animal. Bonus if it's 2-3 small things and you introduce those things one at a time.
- Kids get fussy sometimes and don't have the vocabulary to say what they need. Take breaks, be understanding of them and yourselves. Work that break time into your travel schedule so you don't stress yourself out worrying about being late.
- Yeah, the journey can be half the fun. But sometimes it's ok to write the journey off and just focus on getting to where you want to go.
I'd love to hear your ideas for successful trips with small kids, please leave a comment to let me know. Happy travels!