Eight Ways to Travel with your Kids to Keep Calm and “Carry On”

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.”

  1. 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.
  1. 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!
  1. 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.
  1. Snack Master:General Mills Cheerioes, as photographed for WikipediaI 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.

  1. 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!)
  1. 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. fridayblog-2

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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6 Sleep Tips for Easier Traveling with Children Over the Holidays

traveling sleep tipsWith the holiday season quickly approaching, many parents are wondering how to fit their holiday travel plans around their child’s sleep schedule. In my work with children and families as a certified sleep consultant, I’ve learned how to help families get through the holidays. Here are 6 tips to help your children sleep well while traveling this holiday season.

1. Establish healthy sleep habits before you leave

A well-rested child will adapt to changes in their routine and schedule better than an overtired child, so make sure they are caught up on sleep before you go. It’s also important to have a consistent sleep routine in place so that you can re-create their nap and bedtime routine when traveling. This will be comforting to your child as they will recognize the sleep cues even in a strange place.

2. Do some planning ahead of time

If you don’t normally share a room with your child, try not to share a room while you are traveling. Book a hotel suite instead of a single room, hang a sheet as a room divider, or use a walk-in closet as a temporary nursery. If you child is unable to see you, it will make the transition easier and they won’t be looking for middle of the night stimulation. If you plan on using a travel crib or playpen over the holidays, allow your child to practice sleeping in it before you go.

3. Bring along their sleep environment and favorite items

Bring your child’s sheets, blankets and sleep sack with you if possible. Their familiar smell and feel will help calm your child in a strange environment. If your child is used to falling asleep to white noise, bring that along as well to help soothe them and drown out any unfamiliar noises. Also don’t forget to bring your child’s favorite lovey, pacifier or stuffed toy as these items are invaluable when traveling away from home.

4. Preserve sleep schedules as much as possible

Where possible, make your travel and holiday plans around your child’s normal sleep schedule. Make it possible for your child to nap when they usually nap, and maintain your usual nap time and bedtime routine. If you follow your usual schedule and routine, your children are less likely to lose sleep and become cranky and overtired.

5. Help them adjust to changing time zones

If you are traveling to a different time zone for more than a few days, get your child’s schedule on the new time as quickly as possible. Have your child go to bed at their usual bedtime and be sure to wake up your child in the morning when they would normally wake up. It also helps to expose your children to plenty of natural light to reset their internal clock.

6. Have a plan of action for your return home

If there were many changes to your child’s sleep environment, schedule and sleep habits while away, your child’s sleep may be a little “off” upon your return home. Have a plan to get your child back on their usual schedule and routine the minute you walk through your front door. If your child missed some sleep over the holidays, plan for an earlier bedtime to help them catch up on sleep. The sooner you get them well-rested and back to their regular routine, the sooner your child will adjust to being back home.

certified child sleep consultantGuest blog by Jenn Kelner from BabyZzz

Jenn Kelner is a Family Sleep Institute Certified Child Sleep Consultant and owner of BabyZzz. She helps tired families with infants, babies and toddlers become well rested families through customized sleep solutions and support. She offers various services including home, phone/Skype and email consultations.

For more information visit www.babyzzz.ca or email jenn@baby-zzz.com.

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All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Wee Urban makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

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