Summer is almost here, which for many of us means that we will be spending time traveling. More and more families are spending their summers traveling, in fact, one study shows that 45 percent of American families will travel this summer.
Traveling with kids can be difficult, especially road trips. To make life a little easier this summer, we have travel tips and tricks to help you keep your cool during vacation mania.
Make a Vacation Budget
Traveling with kids can present some budget problems that you may not have considered. For example, if your kids find souvenirs that they love or if you want to splurge on dinner, it might make the rest of the trip a little bit tight. According toSharon Nolfi, one way to avoid the vacation budget pitfalls is to research and plan ahead. Many tourist areas have restaurants where kids eat free or where you can save money by coming before a certain time, so research and find those deals before you hit the road.
Another way to save money is to bring your own snacks and even meals to find a hotel with a kitchen. Bonus: This can also help keep your kids’ diets on track. By just bringing a loaf of bread, peanut butter, jelly, cereal, milk, fruits and veggies, you will eliminate having to spend money on breakfasts and lunches. Another great idea is to find hotels that offer free breakfast.
Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst
It seems like the most obvious piece of advice, but preparing for the worst and hoping for the best is a must on trips. When you plan a vacation, start by making a “worst case scenario” plan before deciding on a plan that might be the most fun. Without kids, it might be possible to make it to four or five places in a given day, but with kids it is important to decide what to do or where to go if your children have a meltdown. It is also important to bring along a first-aid kit and to find out where your nearest hospitals or urgent care clinics are near where you will be staying.
Being in Florida, chances are we have all had our issues getting into hot cars. Trying to get kids buckled into their carseats can lead to the hot metal burning their arms and legs. And this is before you even leave town. One of the best ways I have found to prepare is by making sure that kids have things to keep them cool while they get into the car. Keeping the AC running while loading the family up can help, as well as using tools that will keep the hot metal away from the kids. I have found thatLulaBlocs and Lula Clips can be a huge help with keeping the kids from getting burnt while they buckle up. Lulabloc keeps the seat belt buckle from flopping away and keeps you from having to touch hot metal. The Lula Clips also keep seat belt buckles easy to find so that you don’t have to put your baby in a carseat where hot metal pieces can touch them, and you don’t have to dig around searching for the straps either.
Listen to your Child’s Body
When we travel, we tend to abandon our sleeping, eating and drinking routines entirely. However, just because our minds are on vacation doesn’t mean that our entire bodies are. When we try to constantly fit too much into one day of vacations, we often ignore our bodies– the same is true of kids. Making sure that the kids are still getting their regular naps is an important way to keep their bodies healthy and happy on vacation. It is also important to make sure that they go to bed around the same time that they normally would so that they can go through the whole sleep cycle and be prepared for another day.
Staying hydrated and eating right on vacation should also not be ignored. Travel doesn’t have to mean that you eat nothing but fast food and gas station snacks. Pack healthier snacks for the road like yogurt, fresh fruit, and almonds. At mealtimes, make sure that the kids aren’t filling up on french fries and opt for healthier options, like fruit instead of fries, which is available at almost all fast food chains. If you have a little one, preparing a bottle might be tough, so one easy solution that I love is theRefresh-a-Baby. It can snap onto almost any bottle and the nipple is BPA free, so you can attach it to a regular water bottle or juice bottle for a quick easy bottle on the road.
Traveling with kids can be as fun and relaxing as traveling solo with the right amount of planning. When you stick to routines, prepare for the worst, and budget properly, you will find that you can handle anything on your next family trip.
Looking for travel gadgets that will make your life a breeze this summer? These are some of my summer must-haves:
Lula Kids LulaBlocs and Lula Clips
Living in Florida, moms know that loading the kids into the car can end in burns, tears, and frustration. But the Lulabloc keeps the seat belt buckle from flopping away and keeps you from having to touch hot metal.
The Lula Clips also keep seat belt buckles easy to find so that you don’t have to put your baby in a carseat where hot metal pieces can touch them, and you don’t have to dig around searching for the straps either.
These can both be found at www.lulakidsbrand.com.
Refresh-A-Baby is a true must-have for any on the go family with an infant or toddler. This ingenious universal beverage adapter turns any beverage bottle into a baby bottle. Whether it is for a trip to the park or a trip across the country, Refresh-A-Baby instantly converts water bottles and the leading ready-made baby formula bottles into a baby bottle – it also fits standard baby bottles (including glass).
The patented BPA-free baby bottle nipple is Made in the USA, reusable and recyclable – and is available in a variety of fun colors for $6.99. It is available online atwww.refreshababy.com.
Spring and summer travel with the kids has never been easier with BubbleBum’s inflatable car booster seat. Whether you’re touring by cab, minivan, or car rental, avoid those moments of sheer panic when you realize little Sophie doesn’t have a safe way to travel. BubbleBum weighs less than a pound, deflates in minutes, and can easily fit in your handbag, all for $29.99.
Make the journey even more comfortable with Sneck, a micro-bead pillow pod that allows your child to sleep with neck support and attaches to the headrest. $14.99. Or, get the Junkie, a backseat organizer with a tech mount, cup holders, an expanding compartment, activity trays, and removable tote bag, for $39.99. Find them on www.bubblebum.co.
This car seat is designed with your child’s security and safety as top priorities. Premium materials and thoughtful safety features like a steel alloy frame, aluminum reinforced side walls, energy absorbing EPS foam, and a five-point harness put your mind at ease as your little one stays safe and sound. The reinforced adjustable head support provides additional side impact protection. $380 www.us.diono.com
Summer is just around the corner and it’s time to enjoy a getaway with family at your favorite vacation spot. Weighing the options of a stay-cation versus getting on an airplane with your infant? Travel stress-free this summer with the FlyeBaby! The FlyeBaby hammock-style infant airplane seat offers easy, safe and hands-free travel. This one-of-a-kind infant airplane seat is designed for face-to-face interaction between you and your baby during the cruise portion of the flight. Visithttps://flyebaby.com/ for prices and to purchase this nifty tool.
Travel Apps To Make Trips Easy
How many times have you wanted to get out, especially on vacation, but aren’t sure where the best place to go with the kids is? Mom Maps helps you find kid-friendly places when you are on the go. It includes kid-friendly museums, restaurants, playgrounds, parks, and indoor play areas. It is only $2.99 in the App store and Google Play!
When you have little ones that need to go, finding a bathroom can be a challenge all its own. Fortunately, the Sit or Squat app finds every bathroom near you and tells you which ones are public, which will require you to buy something, and which are off limits. Your kids will never have an accident again! Best of all it is free in the App store and Google Play.