Monday, June 19, 2017

How to Make Travel Easy with Little Kids

Here we go again!!! We hit the road, and the skies, again this week with our two little kids. People keep asking us if we are crazy. Perhaps. Traveling with small children is no easy task but we are not new at this. We have tricks up our sleeves. By tricks, I mean toys. By toys I mean LEGO. Our little guy is all about LEGO Batman right now but it doesn't have to be Batman. It just needs to get us through a flight, a meal, a plane or train ride, a family visit or just to survive a small hotel room with professional bed jumpers suffering from nap-free jetlag. We got this, Batman. Here's how to make travel easy with little kids.

*This is a sponsored post however all thoughts and opinions are our own.

Ready for your summer travel with children? After pages of passport stamps and flights north, south, and cross country, here are some of the survival tips we learned to make travel easy with little kids. 

Share your luggage (don't pack suitcases for little kids)

Ok, maybe if you are fancy and are shuttling around in hired cars or private jets I get it. It's super cute to pack a miniature suitcase for your kiddo, but in our experience, trying to keep track of kids is enough work. If you pack them a suitcase, you will be looking after that too. "Teaching kids responsibility" on a vacay is actually "work" for grown-ups. Pack the absolute minimum necessary for everyone and put it in as few suitcases as possible. Sort it out when you get to your destination.

He's got a backpack full of goodies and he has no idea!

Don't over-pack kids' backpacks or don't pack one at all!

Getting your own backpack is a rite of passage for kids. I'm not against it. I just don't think packing a backpack full of toys that they don't play with at home and food they are not going to eat in a backpack that is too heavy for the kid to carry is the way to go, especially if they are little kids who will turn the responsibility over to a grown-up who is already backpacked, baby-wearing, or loaded down in some way.

On our last trip, my son complained his backpack was too heavy so I swapped his gear out with his sister's diapers to keep the weight and bulk (in my bag) down. He was mad when he found out but it took him a long time to realize it because he spent the flight watching movies and playing with a new toy.

Now, we pack a few simple, new things, that the kids are into like a small LEGO set, some books, and whatever electronic device they enjoy in a backpack and ONLY if the child is ready to carry it.

LEGO Batman makes it a little more fun to carry!

Don't bring tons of toys on the plane or train.

I know a lot of people do this and I am not one of them. We bring a tablet for each child. For longer trips, smaller LEGO sets, a book, perhaps an activity type book, and that is it. Just make sure you have your shows, movies, and games downloaded because you may not have access to wi-fi when you need it.

Don't pack too many snacks and food.

Food is everywhere and sure you could save money and eat healthier if you are bringing something from home. I personally think it is more fun to try something new on the fly. We are mostly vegan but I have had no issue whatsoever finding snacks and treats while traveling. Returning from trips with too many smashed granola bars and crushed bags of chips clued me in to the fact that I can stop lugging emergency meals around and we will survive regardless.

The Secret Toy Stash

I'm giving up one of my biggest secrets here, but it's a good one. Once you take your chances and bring the backpack full of entertainment for a child to carry, that doesn't mean you have to go all in. Keep a couple LEGO sets, books or toys stashed in your suitcase and strategically pull them out when you absolutely need it. As a food and travel Mom blogger, I can assure you. It IS possible to go to a fancy restaurant with kids but bust out that LEGO surprise because there is a good chance that you (and everyone around you) can enjoy a meal all the way through dessert without disruption.

Take the LEGO Batman out of the box.

Since LEGO sets are one of our favorite things to play with, we bring them with us often when we travel. If we need to cut down on bulk, we simply remove the bags and instructions from the box and pack them into a travel or plastic bag. Plus, nobody likes to be in a box, especially not Batman.

If you are about to take your little kids on a summer vacation, hopefully these tips help! If you have some little kids travel tips, feel free to leave them in the comments!

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