My kids are 22 months apart, and those first few years were constantly stressful. Although we both had full-time jobs when the kids were little, it was very important to us that we continue traveling, even with the kids in tow. Traveling with toddlers seems like a difficult task, but it’s definitely possible to have a fabulous family vacation if you follow a few tips, and plan in advance. We’ve flown with our children on family vacations a variety of times, and while it’s never perfect, we have definitely learned a few essential lessons that we now follow. Here are our tips for family traveling successfully with toddlers.
Here are my tips for making a family vacation with young ones a success! Remember that nothing is perfect, and even if you are perfectly prepared, there are still bound to be a few issues.
- Plan your departure and arrival times appropriately. Try not to leave too early in the morning, or too late at night. For my family, naptime was a great time to travel. Get your kids nice and tired out before your flight. In the past, I’ve had the kids do an open gym activity in the morning when we’ve left in the afternoon.
- If you are flying, try to find the optimal flight pattern for your kids. Flying cross country, I thought a stopover would be best for our daughter, who would be able to run around and get her energy out. However, looking back, I think I would have preferred a direct flight. Just think about how your kids and how they would be best.
- Be flexible. Remember that your child may need some time to warm up to the new location, so be prepared to switch around some of your plans.
- Have a rainy-day activity planned, if necessary. We went to Phoenix with our daughter, where it is never supposed to rain, and ended up with three days of constant downpours.
- Remember to pack everything you need in your carry-on bag, if you are flying. My completely potty trained daughter absolutely refused to use the airplane bathroom (it’s kind of scary, if you think about it), and thankfully, we had a few emergency pull-ups packed in our carry on bag. Bring changes of clothes too.
- Have fun! Even if it’s not the trip you dreamed of, having some uninterrupted time with the kids is absolutely priceless!
Do you have any tips to share? Post them in the comments!