Survival Tips: Traveling with a Toddler

This weekend we took a trip to St. Louis with Granmomma, Aunt PeyPey, and Uncle Zane! This was Mini Thor’s first time at Six Flags! Although it was an incredibly exciting experience, if you’ve ever traveled with a toddler you probably know the stress that comes with trying to pack and prepare for a vacation. We’ve had to make several trips for out of town doctors appointments and we’ve taken several weekend trips, so I’ve got this down to science….mostly due to lessons learned (some not so fun, like not packing my migraine medicine because I didn’t think I’d need it..and then I reeeeally needed it!). I thought I’d share my traveling tips in case you have a trip to make this summer!

Number one rule: Be Prepared! I’m talking Boy Scout always be prepared kind of prepared! Plan ahead and pack extra of everything (seriously, EVERYTHING)!

Lets start with the packing…

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Pack (atleast) two outfits for each day, and pack each outfit in a zippy back.

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Mini Thor’s outfits will still fit in the quart size bags, for bigger kids or cold weather outfits use a gallon size zippy. If you have a little girl you could include matching accessories and a headband or bow in the bag with the outfit. This method of packing also makes it easy for them to pick out their outfit for the day.

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I pack two outfits for each day that coordinate. That way if he just needs a clean shirt I can just change his shirt instead of the whole outfit. (Mini Thor is very particular, his clothes have to match or I’d have a meltdown on my hands!)

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Don’t forget shoes and jammys too, and I recommend a couple extra pairs of undies (on top of the two outfits per day rule) just in case.

Don’t forget any medications your child will need. Pack the just-in-case kinds of things too, like children’s Motrin, you never know when a fever may suddenly appear! Put the needed meds in one bag and then just-in-case meds in a separate baggy (they will hopefully get to stay in the suit case and not be used).

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As you can see I’m the queen of zippy bags when it comes to packing. It just makes traveling so much simpler!
Pack bathroom stuff in zippys too. Put the toothbrushes and tooth paste in a bag, but shampoos and soap in a bag, etc. Bonus-if the shampoo gets to hot and explodes, no biggie it’s contained in a baggy!

Rule Number Two: Try to prevent the “are we there yet?”s
This can be tough, but making sure that you have plenty of snacks, drinks, toys, and activities for in the car should do the trick.

Pack a “Backseat Basket”: tote or basket of toys, coloring books (and crayons), books, and buddies (aka stuffed animals). Mini Thor’s backseat basket has a few books, two transformers, “turtley” the cleverly named stuffed turtle, a dry-erase board with dry-erase crayons (one of Crayola’s best on inventions ever!), and his Innotab.
If electronics (DVD player, iPod, or tablet, etc) will be in the basket be sure you also have headphones! This is for the sake of your sanity, haha!

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Headphones come in handy when your tot chooses to listen to the same song fifteen times in a row…this is a lesson I learned the time I forgot to pack the headphones. Headphones bonus tip- buy headphones with a volume limiter (Safe Soundz, for example). Headphones with a volume limiter keep your kiddo from turning the music up too loud and damaging their hearing. No matter how loud they try to turn the volume up on their electronic device the headphone limit it to a safe decibel range. Awesome right?!

Rule Number Three: Don’t sweat the small stuff. Make memories and have fun.

If your little superhero wants to wear their batman mask into the gas station, let’em (even if it embarrasses your teenage sister, haha).

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There is so such thing as perfect, so focus on the memories and don’t worry about whether or not you look perfect in every picture.  Obviously, we’ve had some less than wonderful pictures, see example below!

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When you are traveling with small children something is bound to throw you off schedule, just do the best you can and don’t stress.

Have fun!

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