Traveling with kids can be a real struggle. Did I tell you that I just went to St. Augustine with 3 kids under 10? I did! It was a really great experience. Sure, you’ll have a few fights and/or epic meltdowns, but you’ll also get to experience a vacation through the eyes of little people who are still amazed by the smallest things. Have you ever watched a kid stare at ants for an hour? I have. It’s awesome. Anyway, we want to get back to the topic at hand which is travel. I love traveling with littles because you get to watch their faces light up as they see the ocean or a fort. There are some things to learn though and it’s definitely a process.
1. Take your time
You don’t have to do everything in 1 day. If you’re in a town on vacation for a week, I suggest spacing out your activities to give kids time to wind down in the evening or take a break mid-afternoon. Littles especially need this for their naptime. I learned this when I was a kid myself. My mom and I were able to enjoy our trips to Disney World because we were willing to go back to the hotel for a few hours in the middle of the afternoon to recoup. Sure, we didn’t get to see the entire park or even do everything we wanted to do, but do you ever really get to do it all? No. You might as well all be happy versus carting around a few miserable and overtired children that make you unhappy too.
2. Take your cues from them
The things you think won’t be a hit often are, and you want to allow them time to really digest those things. We took my nephews to Legoland a couple of years ago, and it was a HUGE hit. The thing they loved the most was the splash pad at the end of the park. I’d have surely thought it would be the roller coasters, but it wasn’t. We didn’t spend too much time standing in line for those so we were able to really let them just kind of run free at the splash pad til their hearts content. It’s a memory they will always have because we gave them a lot of freedom too. They were wearing buddy tags so they got to roam what they felt like was freely even though I could see them the entire time.
3. Pack activities for downtime
I always try to pack and activity for downtime that is different than something we do at home. On our last trip, I took a children’s bedtime yoga book. My nephews had terrible balance, but they really enjoyed doing it before bed. They laughed at the fact that they were falling over and so did we.
4. Don’t forget the things they need for sleeping
Does your child have a teddy bear that is a must for bedtime? Don’t forget it. You won’t be sleeping if you do. One time, we got a crib from the hotel versus bringing in our pack n play. It was a disaster.
5. Rules from home don’t apply
Okay, you’re not going to let your kid push, shove, or be an asshole. I’ve found though that I’m always a bit more lenient on sugar intake for instance. I’m not talking about going crazy, but a bit of ice cream here and a piece of cake there happen a little bit more frequently when we’re away from home. They’re those little indulgences that happen your whole life. You totally have dessert on vacation, right? I do! Every single night!