We headed out this weekend on a family trip to Florida. We loaded up both kids (1 and 3) and headed to Seaside, Florida. Sherry had so many great tips on road trips with kids that gave me so many great ideas and confidence that it could be great! Our time on the road went really good, as well as settling into our vacation home. Here are the things that were successful!
For the Road…here are the things that worked for us:
- We set a basket of new or forgotten about toys between both kids in the car so they could get them as they wanted.
- We alternated driving and entertaining them in the back seat. I enjoyed my shift where I got to play lots of “peek-a-boo” and watch Tangled!
- Well planned stops. We decided who was in charge of diaper change, gas, potty stop, and snacks before we go there. It made the stop efficient and a fun challenge.
- IPad, IPad, IPad. Did I mention the IPad??? It was truly a life saver! We loaded it with new games. Top performers included: Dora ABC, Monkey Preschool LunchBox, Disney Princess Sticker Book, and Elmo’s Monster Maker. We also rented some baby friendly movies on ITunes for our little one. I would suggest an IPad headrest mount. With the mount we could move the IPad around for everyone to enjoy it. Great for the baby who still faces the back of the car!
- We planned to leave when the kids would both take an afternoon nap and also get good nighttime sleep for a big chunk of the trip. Worked like a charm. The only draw back was that both kids were very excited when we finally arrived. It took us a LONG time to get them back to sleep for the night!
- My three year old has been potty trained for almost a year, but we still decided to put her in a pull-up for the drive. I just wanted her to be confident and not worry about accidents if we could not stop right when she needed to. It was a great success. No accidents at all!
For the Beach/House:
- We downloaded a white noise app on our phones so that both children get good sleep without being disturbed.
- Pack for the comforts of home. My kids are really sensitive to soaps and detergents, so I brought all of ours. The beach would not fun with a rash!
- I packed in plastic bins. I wanted to be able to label everything well and get it to the right spot in our rental house when we arrived. After the boxes are unloaded, they easily stack on each other and store away.
- Make it feel like home. Kids have a hard time adjusting to new environments. At least mine do! I packed familiar blankets, stuffed animals, lovies, and crib toys so they would relax into their new environment. By nap time on the second day, they were completely back in stride.
- Plan fun evening activities. We are traveling with family, so we will get to have some date nights. I know that is not always an option, but just because you can’t go out after the kids go to sleep, does not mean you can’t have a good time. Plan games, new movies, romantic dinners…pretend you are traveling like you did before kids!
Most importantly, have a good time seeing the world through your kids’ eyes! Both of my kids were amazed by the beach, sand, and seaside living. That is what I will take away as my favorite part! What are your travel plans? Any great tips for us?
Stay tuned for Heather’s post on Wednesday about some awesome DIY travel games and printables!
This is an awesome list of tips. I am with you completely about the iPad. It really is a lifesaver. I have mine full of fun apps for the kids and one of my favorite things on there to entertain them is the Dish Remote Access app. A co-worker at Dish told me about this app and with the Sling Adapter hooked up to my receiver the kids can watch all our subscription channels live anywhere we can get a 3G or Wi-Fi connection. The kids absolutely love watching their favorite shows on there and having it mounted like you said helps so much.
Great tips, Jenn!