April 01, 2016

6 Tips for Traveling With A Toddler

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Tips and tricks for traveling with a toddler to make traveling fun and easier!
My parents have a farm up north which I have written about many times here on the blog. The first time we took a weekend trip was when Adalyn was 4 weeks old. Wow, the amount of stuff that you have to pack for a newborn is crazy! The first time that we took a trip to a hotel with Adalyn was when she was 9 months old.

This year, we are traveling a lot more and have many semi-local (within 6 hours or so) trips planned. As I write this, we will be leaving today for a 6 day trip- 3 days at my parent's farm and 3 days in Niagara Falls! Everything is all packed and my lists are triple-checked and in several hours, we will be ready to go.

Traveling with a toddler can require a lot of different items and involves thinking about their schedule.  Otherwise, you will have a tired and cranky kid on your hands. These tips are what we do right now as Adalyn is 18 months old. I'm sure they will continue to evolve as she gets older.

1. Drive during naptime

When we go on  a trip that is longer than a 2 hour car drive, we try to travel during Adalyn's naptime so that she can nap in the car. This especially worked well when she was younger and would nap better in the car and would get fussy in the car seat for too long. On Monday when we head to Niagara Falls, we will be going during her naptime. I pray that she sleeps!!

2. Bring more snacks than you ever could need

Adalyn is a huge snacker and asks for snacks all day long. Therefore, I make sure that we always have snacks on hand. Favorites for traveling include: apples, oranges, crackers, cheese, mini bell peppers, bars, etc. When we went to Castaway Bay, my sister sat in the back with Adalyn and she literally ate the entire 2 hour and 15 minute ride home! Also, I am a big snacker so I make sure to pack a lot for the whole family.

3. Bring whatever helps them sleep

To me, one of the most nerve-wracking parts about traveling is whether or not your child is going to sleep well. Adalyn has always had a hard time sleeping in different places which has led to some very crazy nights during trips. One thing that does help is to bring the things that we have at home including her white noise, pacifier and sleepsack.

4. Don't push the limits too much

On a trip, you want to do as much as you can and see as much as you can in a short period of time. Packing too much into a day can be overwhelming for a toddler and can increase the chance of a meltdown. Stick to a couple of plans each day and honor their normal bedtimes as much as possible.

5. Plan fun activities for the car ride

For Niagara Falls, we will be driving for 4 hours. We also have a trip coming up to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan that will involve many hours in the car. Aside from a nap and just hanging out in the car seat, we have some backup plans in case Adalyn gets fussy. We got a break-proof case for my husband's iPad and got Adalyn a couple of her favorite shows to watch on there. Also, I got her a couple of new toys and books for the car which should help to entertain her if she is getting fussy. Another option is me hopping in the backseat and entertaining her with silly faces and tickles haha!

6. Triple check your packing list

When we are planning a trip, I start packing a week before we go. This way, I do not get too overwhelmed with packing and making sure that we have everything that we need. I was telling my 87 year old grandma about how much I had to pack for this 6 day trip and she had a great recommendation: to lay out everything on our guest bed. We do not use this bed often and having a space that I could put everything throughout the week as I thought of it was perfect!

I would hate to miss anything that we need so I am pretty crazy about checking my packing list a bunch of times to make sure we have everything. Worse case scenario, we stop at a store and purchase what we need.

Our absolute must-haves for any trip are extra clothes, pacifier, wipes and Huggies diapers. I purchased the Huggies Snug and Dry Ultra diapers from Walmart which has a baby section with lots of great prices. This kind of diapers are exclusive to Walmart and are available for $7.97. They are the perfect diapers for a trip!

Huggies Snug and Dry Ultra diapers with a side of Niagara Falls view!
They are unique in the way that the quilted liner locks wetness away better than other brands. It provides up to 12 hours of protection which is great for nighttime. In sizes 1 and 2, there is a wetness indicator so you know when your baby needs a change.

For $2 off your purchase of Huggies Snug and Dry Ultra  diapers, just click and print this coupon.

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  1. What a great list! I love that you pack a lot of snacks, too! I thought I was the only one! I love your diaper picture with Niagara Falls in the background! #client


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