Vacations are the ultimate way to recharge and reconnect with your family. With parents being busier than ever, it is no surprise that more families are travelling each year. Vacations allow parents to break away from house chores and work so that they can devote all their time and attention towards their family. While this sounds wonderful, it is understandable that travelling with younger children can be intimidating.
Travelling with littles ones doesn’t have to be scary though, it just takes a little preparation. Don’t let the terrible twos (and threes) stop you from booking your dream vacation. Check out our top tips that can help you prepare a memorable getaway with your toddler.
Nothing can make kids – and admittedly adults — crankier than when hunger strikes. Toddlers, in particular, have small tummy capacities and tend to snack frequently. This is why it is a good idea to pack plenty of food to carry with you when flying or driving. Thankfully grocery stores today are full of convenient individual packaged snacks. Try to bring a good variety of healthy options such as applesauce pouches and raisins as well as a few special sweet treats like lollipops to pull out for emergency melt down situations.
Parents are lucky to have more options than ever when it comes to entertaining their child. Tablets, portable TVs and cell phone games can be a convenient distraction for your child during long flights or roundtrips. While it isn’t recommended that toddlers use these items for extended periods of time, studies from Psychology Today, have found that touchscreens “generate heightened levels of cognitive activity.” Clearly moderation is key when using electronics — they can be a wonderful tool to occupy your little one here and there during your travels.
Timing is Everything
Most toddlers are on some sort of nap and bedtime schedule. While it is okay to be flexible with these times while on vacation, it can help to ensure you base some of your itinerary planning around your toddler’s schedule. Experts suggest booking early morning or night time flights. This is typically when children are more likely to sleep and can help getting to your destination be a bit smoother. Keeping timing in mind when booking dinners, excursions and other experiences can also make all the difference.
Feels like Home
Children are creatures of habit and crave consistency. Help make travel less stressful for them by bringing a few of their favorite items such as lovies, toys, and blankets. If they sleep in a crib at home, try to find a similar sleeping situation for them at your hotel or rental. While vacations are all about new experiences, bringing a few comforts from home along can help your toddler adjust easier. You can also consider staying somewhere that offers a kitchen, like Westgate historic Williamsburg or one of the resort’s Orlando properties, to make meal prep easier for the whole family.
Ultimately the key for every vacation is to relax and have a wonderful time. Travelling with your children is the ultimate way to experience new things together and create everlasting memories. Flexibility and little planning can make your vacation even more enjoyable.
What tips would you add to successfully travel with toddlers?
Katie Parsons travels with her 5 kids often, most recently completing a 32-day road trip across the country. She’s a communications specialist for Westgate Resorts.