Tips for Making Vacation a Breeze
Remember when traveling was fun, easy, and sometimes even spur-of-the-moment?
And then you had kids and vacations became a much-needed and sought-after luxury with stress about where to go, how to pack, and how to get there. Well, whether you have a newborn, active toddlers, or a preschooler and one on the way, vacations can still be exciting and worth the effort if you do your research, plan accordingly, and think smart…parent smart!
Since your baby was born, her needs have come first in every decision you've made. Vacation is no different. Plan a vacation around the current needs of your children and select destinations that are age-appropriate. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to slap on the mouse ears and head straight to Florida the first chance you get, either. There are plenty of resorts, hotels and rental homes that offer entertainment and amenities that appeal to a variety of little ones.
Before you choose a destination, get answers to important questions, such as:
- Does the hotel allow babies with swim diapers in the pool?
- Is it possible to choose a room that's not located near a noisy ice machine, elevators or night club?
- How far is the house from the beach?
- Can I take a stroller on the beach or to the pool?
- Does the hotel or house have a crib or play yard free of charge? Is it JPMA Certified or does it meet current safety standards?
- If it rains, are there activities for my children?
- What is the room set up like so mom and dad have something to do while baby naps?
Traveling By Plane
If flying, be sure to visit the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website here for guidelines. TSA has a variety of helpful tips to help guide you through the check-in process, including:
- Sending your baggage and stroller or car seat through the x-ray.
- Walking through the metal detectors with children.
- What to do with formula, medication, and breast milk due to limitations on flying with liquids.
Traveling By Car
If driving, your trip should be very tailored to the age of your children when determining the length of drive. Only you know how long your children will last in the car, but following these simple guidelines is a good start:
- Bring extra food and drinks, even if you stop for meal breaks.
- Pack strategically so everything you may need is within arms reach, including activities, books, and a special blanket or teddy for sleeping.
- If potty training, bring a portable potty for the car. Don’t forget the toilet paper, wipes, and extra set of clothes.
- Know when to stop and when to keep going. Active toddlers need plenty of breaks to stretch and energize.
Finally, relax! Traveling can be stressful, so it’s important to remember that everything will not go as planned (just like parenthood). Learn to laugh and enjoy life as it happens!