The TRUTH About Traveling With Kids

disney
And YES for your mommy know it alls, I bought each girl their own seat and we just let them cuddle for a bit in between long stretches in their car seat.

My ENTIRE family lives 3,000 miles away.
So needless to say our two girls have traveled ALOT already racking up 40,000 flight miles!  This last week we packed up the family and ventured to California with our one year old and three year old.  When most moms show pictures of their trips it looks fun, glamorous and easy.  As usual, ihelpmoms.com is here to tell the TRUTH!

1.  SCHEDULE SMARTER THAN ME!
We scheduled a late night flight due to my husband needing to work through the day.  BAD IDEA. We ended up with two cranky kids that couldn’t get comfortable on the plane.  Note to new mommies traveling with babies who breastfeed IT IS THE BEST time to travel with little ones and the EASIEST! It was so easy when I could just put them on my breast and they would go into a happy milk phase of oblivion.   Remembering extra PJ’s and nighttime diapers wherever we went came in handy so they could sleep comfortably as we drove to the hotel from the airport at midnight!

2.  PACK LIGHT…BUT NOT TOO LIGHT.
My husband asked me to try to pack light so we didn’t have to lug a bunch of stuff.  Needless to say when I saw his 3 suitcases, you can imagine what I said;)  I FIT MY STUFF AND BOTH GIRLS THINGS INCLUDING DIAPERS INTO ONE SUITCASE!  Then I ended up having to find a Target to get sweaters becuase the weather was chilly…so lesson I learned is to have diapers shipped via Amazon to your hotel and use that space to pack extra back up clothes.

3.  LAUNDRY IS A LIFESAVER
My three year old wet her pants twice throughout the trip, so I decided to just toss a load of 20160416_092446_resizedlaundry in at the Marriott’s laundry room.  Such a smart decision!  All of the kids laundry was clean when I unpacked back home! HOORAY!

4.  STROLLER, DOUBLE STROLLER, CAR SEATS….ALL THE CRAP WE NEED
I once got in an debate with a friend over the need for a double car seat.  LET ME TELL YOU I FOUND OUT THE HARD WAY THAT YES!!!! it is a nice thing to have if your family travels alot with multiple kids under 3.  We forgot the car seat attachment for our City Select stroller which was a nightmare as we had to carry the baby AND the car seat to the plane terminal.  (With all of the traveling we do, we often land in terminal A then have to hike to Terminal T and the only way we make our flights on time is with the kids in the double stroller.  If you only travel short distances then no stroller would be needed!)Then to make matters worse, our stroller folding mechanism broke! I was at a park in California and had to throw the ENTIRE DOUBLE STROLLER into a friends car because it wouldn’t fold, my baby was asleep and the park was a mile away.  DISASTER.  On the flip side, smartest decision I made was renting a toddler car seat from the car rental place YES! It was clean, easy and safe!

20160416_173509_resized_15.  FOOD.  FOOD and MORE FOOD.
We were at Disneyland and California Adventure and the food just sucked.  It was all crap.  I walked with my one year old trying to find any food besides a hot dog for a half hour in my arm.  Needless to say we were both crabby by the end of that fruitless trip which ended with a dang hot dog.  Thank God our friends that lived in California packed a ton of snacks that literally saved the day.  Kids need to eat, parents need to eat…a fed family is a happy family! 

6.  MAKE FLIGHTS FUN
This time 3,000 miles back across the county, I had lots of food that I had ordered in the airport to take on the plane, I had games, coloring, stickers, ipad ALLLLLL ready!  Wouldn’t you know it, with all I had prepared this time, my toddler slept for the entire flight home and my one year old just played in my husband’s and my lap unwilling to sit in her car seat.

Sure the kids cried or fussed on the 5.5 hour plane ride, but I don’t feel bad any more.  I got bad looks from old ladies and baffled looks from those girls that were happily in their carefree, kid free twenties.  But you know what? I am just a mom doing my very best, unapologetically.

Kids definitely feel parents stress.  I recommend trying your best to be prepared and then  doing your very best to ENJOY…yes, this trip it meant drinking a margarita at California Adventure! After all, what’s the point of traveling with your family if you are not making happy memories?

Would love to have your comment on any great travel tips you have so I can learn from you all!
Hope these tips help Make Motherhood Easier!
Final Happy Mom Book Cover copy.pdfMichelle
ihelpmoms.com
Founder

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