Mama Bunkfish

Navigating marriage, motherhood, and mental illness on Jesus, caffeine, and naps!

Traveling with Kids 101

We recently returned from our third family vacation with the kids. Although there were a few hiccups the trip was an overall success and the kids are excited about next year’s trip. I’d like to offer a few tips to those who are looking to travel with their kiddos for the first time or old pros who need some new ideas.

  1. Set an itinerary and stick to it.  In order to make sure you have the most fun, create your itinerary at least a week before you leave. Now of course when you get to your destination none of it’s going to matter because your children will be running off of pure adrenaline and you’ll want to do whatever keeps them from having a meltdown. But at least you can say you ‘had a plan’.
  2. Pack a different outfit for every day. The most important part of the trip is how you and your family look in all of the Instagram photos. Now granted, your children will probably want to wear the same three outfits over and over again – I mean they only wore it for an hour right – but go ahead and use all the luggage so that you’ll be prepared, ‘just in case’.
  3. Entertainment and engagement are key. Long road trips or flights can cause even the most well-behaved child to get antsy. Make sure they have something to keep them busy. Whether it’s a book, a tablet, or that great ‘Busy Box’ you created from your Pinterest board it’s sure to keep the precious littles happy. Of course, be prepared for tears, whining, and bad attitudes that WILL happen once batteries run out or they get ‘tired of doing the same thing’ before you reach your destination.
  4. Only stop at Starbucks, Bucee’s or other approved places for restroom breaks. These locations are notorious for their clean restrooms. And no matter how much TP you use to line the seat or whether or not you’re a no-touch-at-all type, no one wants to take a bio break somewhere that looks like the inside of a Dumpster. Now when your four year old ‘can’t hold it anymore’ and you’re in the middle of nowhere, find the nearest dirt road and handle business.
  5. Plan something fun to do with your spouse every night. The vacation is for family fun but that doesn’t mean you and your spouse can’t stay up late and have some adult fun. You’ll probably be exhausted from keeping the kids entertained and from strangling each other but there’s nothing better than a game of ‘How long can we talk before we both pass out?’

I could go on and on with tips to make your trip totally awesome but I think you get the gist. Above all else, the most important thing to remember is that you’re together with people you love and the most important tip is to be grateful you could actually take a trip together.

Until next time…

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