My Tips for Traveling with Tiny Humans
Adventure /ad/ven(t)/SHər Noun ~ An unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity
What is this life if not a grand adventure? And yes, adventures can be scary. We have to take a leap of faith, get outside of our comfort zone, and take a walk into the unknown to experience one. But all of those things are also what make it worthwhile. They are what makes taking the risk pay off.
As we get ready for our next adventure, Garick and I are feeling almost every emotion possible: excitement, joy, anticipation, exhaustion, fear, anxiety, and more. You name an emotion, and we are feeling it. But that is just a part of it, and we are welcoming it all.
One thing we are focused on is ensuring that the kids are supported through this change and are set up to handle this transition as best as they possibly can...and have the best possible adventure ever.
Below are some of my tips for traveling with littles that we will most definitely be putting to use in the days, months, years ahead. Whether you live life on the open road or are just taking a family vacation, snag some of these for yourself!
Make frequent stops. Better yet, time them with a fun activity or landmark.
Making a point to stop on a long drive is a no-brainer, but I am not talking about stopping just to use the restroom or grab a bite to eat. I mean, strategically think through your route and plan a few fun stops along the way. Will you be driving by a pumpkin patch in the fall? Great. Stop there! A giant souvenir shop? Take a break to wander! And don't be afraid to be spontaneous too. If you happen upon a breathtaking field of wildflowers. Get the kids out and let them run barefoot in it.
Pack snacks like you are preparing for the apocalypse, and don't forget the liquids either!
Seriously - prepare for an apocalypse. We all know tiny humans are snack monsters, and now is not the time to underestimate them. Put a meal in front of them, and maybe they will eat it. Offer snacks? They will snarf them down every time. Make sure to pack a variety of options, like fresh fruits, nuts, crackers, protein bars, etc. Another tip - pack your snacks in a separate bag devoted entirely to the snacks. Nobody wants to be digging through socks to reach the good stuff.
Music is for creativity, and quiet is for playing games, reading books, or sleeping (if you are lucky).
Hear me out. Jamming out goes with road trips just like peanut butter goes with jelly, but too much stimulation for children can be a bad thing. We have all dealt with those over-stimulation melt-downs. Not pretty. So, use music strategically. Every so often, after it has been a while without it, let the kids pick their favorite playlist/artist/station and whip out the coloring books, markers, crayons, and stickers (pro-tip: invest in the no-mess markers. You won't regret it). Put on an imaginary timer (or a real one) and let them get creative. While they are busy with their masterpieces, you can enjoy some uninterrupted time sipping your coffee, having a snack yourself, or just taking a breather to look at the scenery. Once time is up, turn the music off and launch into the games, books, or whatever activity makes them happy! I guarantee you all will emerge from the time refreshed.
Have a loose timeline and let go of expectations. You'll thank yourself for it.
I know. You want to get there, and you want to get there NOW, but that pressure to stick to a dreamt-up agenda when you have kids in tow is just going to cause you stress. Of course, have a timeline, but allow it to be flexible from the get-go. You never know what craziness might arise once you hit the road, so if you let go of the expectations of when you will get here and when you will get there, you may open yourself up to some memorable surprises.
Don't forget to pack the essentials, and keep them in a handy spot.
By essentials, I mean bandages, baby wipes, tissues, hand sanitizer, phone charges, etc. Basically, don't forget to pack all of the common-sense items that for some reason, when we are in the thick of packing, we inconveniently leave out.
Before you even pull out of the driveway, place an empty trash bag in the backseat with the kids.
Empty wrappers, discarded masterpieces, and used tissues will all need a place to go and you won't want that place to be the cracks of the cushions or the cupholders. You also won't want to waste time at the next stop gathering up all the trash from the floorboards and then waddling into the gas station with hands full trying to find a trash can. Give that trash a home from the beginning. Your life will be so much easier and clutter-free!
Take the picture, but know when to put the phone down.
These are moments that you will want to capture. The wide-eyed smiles that you will want to save and look back on in the years to come. But sometimes, too much time behind the camera prevents us from living in the moment. Don’t experience something extraordinary from behind a lens. Put down. Look up. You will know when it is time.
Lastly, have some fun because that is what you set out to do, right?
I hope you found some of these tips helpful! And always do what is best for your family. After all, no one knows your family better than you do. Be sure to follow us on Instagram, Youtube, and merch store for more!