As we are headed in San Diego this week and the fact I was organizing our home office over the weekend where I found an old article about traveling with kids; it made me think I need to revamp my travel advice into better organized buckets.
(Side note: it’s one of my favorite things to do, a quick mini- weekend organizing project makes me feel soooo good. I’ll do the pantry while Jon whips up breakfast on Sundays, the “closet” of housewares crap after a big target run, the front coat closet before a party, the junk drawer when I get the check book out bi-weekly to pay the cleaning lady. I’m so weird but I feel like my house is never not organized. I always feel like things have a place and we don’t pile up too much junk hidden away in drawers. Except the kids toys. I’m convinced there are things growing in the back of the toy cabinets.)
Before You Leave:
1) Order Amazon Prime ahead to your hotel (diapers, pouches of food, wipes, formula, etc). Travel with a day supply just in case. Rent any necessary gear (cribs, rockers, etc). Check with the hotel to see if they have gear on hand or where the nearest grocery store is.
2) Pack First Aid Kit. Tylenol, bug bite relief, Dramamine, bandaid, neosporin
3) Screen Babysitters. I cannot stress this enough. We got the switcheroo of sitters our last night in Bermuda and Liv was a freakin’ terror. I should have just cancelled but mama needed a break. I paid for that one! Get their profiles and do a quick google search on the agency. Or ask friends of friends if they know anyone in the area. We lucked out big time in Scottsdale with a family friend’s bestie!
4) Make Best Friends with the Concierge before you arrive; they’ll love to put a face to the name when you get there and if you’re kind on the phone/email beforehand, they’ll be more accommodating throughout your stay.
1) Board last – or have your spouse board first with as much gear as possible (to ensure you use the overhead bins) while you let the kids run around for a bit and get their sillies out before being crammed on a plane for however long.
2) Control for Crying – I am against buying passengers around you Starbucks cards or a drink on the plane (unless your kid is THAT much of a nightmare, then by all means, pass the booze around). Babies/kids cry and have meltdowns. If you show effort of trying to manage the situation rather than roll your eyes and yell at the kid, I’m sure your fellow flight mates will forgive, many of them having been there before. If your kids don’t sleep well on a plane, don’t fly during nap/bedtimes. Have A LOT of varied activities, their little brains get bored easily. I LOVE this post with a million ideas on activities/toys. Target has the best $1 section and Five Below is amazing for this kind of stuff.
3) Pump on the go – if road tripping, pump and feed baby bottle rather than pull over to nurse. Your husband will thank you (well, not for the visual of pumping while sitting shotgun) and you’ll arrive at your destination earlier.
When You Arrive:
1) Baby proof, setup, unpack – like it’s the supermarket sweep. As fast as humanly possible. This should help lift the mental load burden off you to know where things are stashed as everything will have its place and your hubs will know where the wipes are when it’s his turn to change diapers.
2) Sleep Soundly – try to stick to the same routine when on the road; including bringing your own sheets, so it smells like home, fave lovey or paci or stuffed animal. We use an old iPhone with the sound machine app. Our kids are terrible with time zone changes, so we don’t try to do any pre-planning on this one and just get there and deal with it. They eventually make the switch and nap times might be pushed up or moved back, but we are so religious about ensuring they’re not overtired and keeping the same bedtime routine. I’ve heard of people adjusting by 15 minute increments a night leading up to the big trip. F that. Like please tell me that actually works.
Want more tips? See my lengthy packing tip post here or love Amber’s long post here too; she’s really thorough and in depth which might be overwhelming so read it a few times, her tips are so handy and practical.