Vacation with your kids is a LOT different than vacation without them. Don’t get me wrong, it is a ton of fun and the memories gained are worth it all! But boy, it is hard. My boys are now 2 and 4 years old. Which means they are old enough to understand that we are going somewhere fun, but young enough to still throw a tantrum whenever they want (even when we are spending thousands to take them to the beach!). Planning for your trip can make all the difference. Below are some tips and tricks that I used last week on our trip to Pompano Beach, FL. (Note, that all kids are different and these worked for me, but they may not work for you…. may depend on your
For the Airplane: Yes, we fly everywhere. We would much rather spend the extra money and be stuck on a plane for 2.5 hours than in a car for 20. If you drive, good luck to you.
- Stick to ONE carry on! You already have your hands full with your kids, you don’t want to add any more “baggage”. I ditched my regular diaper bag/ purse and bought a backpack. (The one I got is in the pictures below). In the backpack was everything I needed for me and the boys. This included snacks, diapers, wipes, water bottle, activities, my book, the tablet, and a few other random items. The backpack allows you to be hands-free which is a must while maneuvering through a busy airport.
- Snacks! TSA could care less what snacks you take through the security checkpoint. The only thing you cannot take through is liquids over a certain size. (I take one of my boy’s water bottles, and then fill it up once through security). Other than that, you can take whatever foods! So load up on your kid’s favorite snacks to keep them happy throughout the flight!
- Activities! The worst thing that can happen is your toddler gets bored….that is when it is game over. I stick to things that are mess free and can fit in a backpack easily. A magnetic drawing board is a great example. (See in pictures below) Since my kids are smaller, taking markers or crayons is a nightmare, they would just drop them and they would be rolling up and down the plane. Something like a drawing board where the pen is attached is a lifesaver.
- Tablet/iPad! If there is ever a time to let your
kidsbinge watch the tablet, it is on an airplane! However, most flights will not have wifi and if they do you have to pay for it. The best thing to do is download their favorite shows or movies onto the device ahead of time. Netflix will let you download from their site. You can also find YouTube channels with free downloads as well. Also, look for fun free games that they might like in the Apps search!
For the Beach! Going to the beach without kids means relaxing while reading a book and enjoying the view. Going to the beach WITH kids means sand….everywhere! There is no getting around it. But these tips may help:
- Apply Sunscreen ahead of time! As in, before even heading to the beach. I learned real quick, that putting it on AT the beach just turns your kids into human fly papers. Every grain of sand will stick right to that goopy sunscreen and it is hard to get off! Even after splashing in the water, they still had sand stuck to them from the sunscreen! It is best to apply it beforehand and let it soak into their skin.
- Waterproof or Mesh
Beachbag! Because it WILL get sand in it. You want to be able to rinse it out easily before having to shove it in your suitcase for the flight home. My favorite is in the pictures below.
- Aloe Cool Down Lotion! (Pictured below) This stuff from Sun Bum is amazing. Not just for kids, for adults as well. Put it on after your shower/bath to help soothe your skin. And as always, make sure you have a proper sunscreen that is not expired! You will ruin your vacation with sunburnt kiddos.
- Dollar Store beach toys! If you’re vacationing in the US, then just get buckets and shovels from the dollar store once you get there. That way you are not taking up a ton of space in your suitcase! Plus, those plastic toys will get gross and most likely break while there anyway. But if only a dollar or two, you will not feel bad just tossing them in the trash at the end of the vacation.
Below are my must haves for a Beach Vacation!
No matter where you go or how old your kids are, vacation with them will always be an unforgettable experience. Notice how I did not say relaxing….Ha!