Happy March Break to all! Although we are not heading south this month, I absolutely love traveling with my kids and thought Id share some of my fav tips to keep calm and “carry-on.”
- Keep Calm and the Carry On: Kids only get a carry-on bag. Yup- that’s right! I can’t stress enough how much this can change your life. When down south, kids spend 90% of this time in their bathing suits and you can recycle several shorts and T’s throughout the week’s duration. (assuming its just for a week). Next, bring your own mini bottle of washing detergent and a scrub brush just in case. Check out this article by The Mommy Insider for her picks for the Best Rolling Bags for Kids.
- Pack like a PRO: Keep it simple, and pack darker colored T’s as they will hide the stains, shorts or dresses with pockets, so they can stash some mini cars, cards or poly pockets. These will provide a small window of entertainment, albeit small, but as parents – we’ll take anything!
- Beach Bags for all: Find your kids a small beach bag so they carry their own #*it to the beach. Even if they are still in a stroller, giving them a sense of ownership for the items they want to have at the pool or the beach is a great lesson to instill at any age.
- Snack Master:I like to manipulate my kids into having downtime by using snacks- really …really… small… snacks. Never leave for vacation without 2-3 plastic sandwich bags or a few small Tupperware containers. At the breakfast area, they’ll be the typical selection of cereals and this is the time to stock up. Think about it, why give them a single granola bar, when you can give them 100 Cheerios? The smaller the snack, the longer the time it will take your kiddos to consume. Quick, grab the Kobo and everyone relax on those blue beach loungers:)
5. Holy Sheet- Ask your Chambermaid for an extra sheet. My kids again, love to snack and since they burn so much more energy while on vacation, snacking before breakfast and bedtime is a regular thing for us. Put down the extra sheet over the bed so all the crumbs, cracker bits, and any sand can easily be scooped up and shaken outside. This tip is especially important to avoid all ant and cockroach visitations.
- Download: One of my favorite things to do is download a series of songs to help motivate my kids to move faster or head to bed. My kids love Enya and will tolerate Jazz and Classical music before bed and we carry on with this routine while on vacation. To create an upbeat vibe, I love to use Score 1 on the Mission Impossible soundtrack.It’s a blast to watch the kids react to the music as they get ready for the day or for family dinner. (Personally, I have this song on my iphone and it’s a track to listen to if you’re in a hurry and need to get a few things at the grocery store- so fun!)
- Let there be Light– Kids love to explore so pack a few mini flashlights or even better head lights.We often go bug hunting or for a walk on the beach after dinner, so these really come in handy. Not to mention you’ll be able to see your kiddos when they run a head of you in the dark. Try the Coleman venison here available on Amazon.
8.Tune in and TV Out– As I look back at the few times we have traveled as a family, the moments I treasure the most are when we eat together. It’s a real treat to go to a restaurant without having dozens of TV’s, unnecessary noise and images distracting from the family narrative. To cultivate more of these memories, bring along a few card games, and invest in those mini travel games to keep everyone talking. “Eye spy with my little eye”, a family that looks connected, happy and rested. Have a great March Break to all.
Written by Holly MacLean, B.A, B.ED, Mother of two, Energizer Bunny Owner of the Wee Urban Ltd, Toronto, Canada
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