Vacationing With Toddlers And What I Learned
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In my experience, vacationing with toddlers is more work than a vacation. Even a day long outing or road trip is exhausting.
Well, we just took our first vacation in over 3 years. Our first vacation as a family of 4. I really don’t know whats kept us from traveling or why we have waited this long. We did go away as a family for a weekend, but it was more business than pleasure.
We had a fantastic time on our vacation. Yeah, there was some hectic times, but that’s to expect with a 5 and 3-year-old. As the parent, you’ve got to have a lot of patience and flexibility. Which for me is hard? So, I prepared for the boredom, the car trip, the accidents, and everything else I could think of.
Now, our vacation still didn’t go as planned because of my preparation, but it did help. And, I learned some things from this vacation that I will change or do for our next vacation. Some of these tips are things I did, and some are things I learned for next time.
Tips for Traveling With Young Children
Boredom Backpacks- Each kid had a backpack full of activities for the car. Coloring packs, ours had markers and that I will change to colors, on our next trip. Stickers, activity pads, print outs like car bingo, etc. We also, packed blankets and teddy bears that the kids slept with and they were in charge of what was in their bag when we came home.
Electronics- These were in the back packs, also. Each kid had their Kindle with apps and books downloaded, and I brought the iPad with movies downloaded. These were probably the biggest hit during the long drive. Don’t forget to charge them!
Snacks and Drinks- I brought a small ice chest with mostly drinks, but some snacks. I didn’t want to deal with ice, so I froze the water bottles. That worked out so great. I packed some cheese sticks and squeezy pouches of applesauce. Snacks that wouldn’t be too messy and that were healthy. I packed crackers and granola bars, also. This helped out with the frequent stops for food and drinks and also saved money.
First Aid & Medications- I have to take a number of medicines because of my diabetes and depression, so those were a given. Plus my daughter’s medication for ADHD. But aside from that, I took pain reliever for both kids and adults, allergy meds, Benadryl (my son is allergic to ants), aloe vera (for the sunburns I was sure we were going to get), a ton of sunscreen, and an actual first aid kit. I took anything, and everything I could think of that my family would use.
I have made day road trips with my kids and had illnesses arise, and stopping for medication or supplies for stomach bugs is expensive. So, I tried to be prepared for everything.
Lastly, Patience- I had to remind myself that my kids were just as exhausted as myself. That they were out of their element and we were breaking their pretty set daily routine. Plus, I needed patience with myself and my impatient spouse.
The main lesson in all of this is, things won’t always go as planned, especially with littles. And, that is perfectly okay. It might get a little frustrating and stressful, but a little flexibility and patience will go a long way. Enjoy the moments, make memories and just roll with the punches.