7 Tips for Vacationing With Toddlers

Sometimes orange headphones are all you need to get through the flight. That and massive amounts of animal crackers. Thanks JetBlue.

Sometimes orange headphones are all you need to get through the flight. That and massive amounts of animal crackers. Thanks JetBlue.

Vacation planning can be intimidating even without a child. Add a child — particularly a small child — to the mix and the planning can become paralyzing. Here’s a quick list that has helped me make the most of our weekend visits to see family, or beach trips to get away from the daily grind.

  1. Social media is your best travel agent. New hiking trails that are opening, local free movie nights in the park, in-season fruit picking, museum special exhibits, it all gets posted on social media.
    1. Follow your destination city on Twitter
    2. Search “Things to Do with Kids in [city]” on Facebook – follow the appropriate pages that come up.
    3. Sign up for Groupon and AmazonLocal at your destination location a month or two prior to your arrival.
  2. Less is more. Leave the toys behind (bring the devices though – let’s not get crazy) and let the kids get handsy with their new environment. Also, buy this. It may seem ridiculous, it’s not. Your kid will LOVE it. Everyone will ask you where you got it and you will thank me when he’s sleeping on the plane from exhaustion after having scooted from security to the gate. That in combination with #3 is a no-fail WINNER. Plus, you have an activity should your flight get delayed.
  3. Bring a beach ball in your bag/purse/carry-on. Deflated it is extremely light so you’ll forget it’s tucked away in there. Then, just when the crazy sets in and they can’t sit still, and your flight is delayed another hour, you’ll see it there, sitting in the bottom of your bag smiling back at you in all of it’s glory. I carry a mini beach ball on me at all times. It has saved me on so many occasions I’ve lost count. Also, finger puppets — make them, buy them, however, you want to do it.
  4. Amazon is still awesome. Fruit snacks, granola bars and sunscreen can be ordered on Amazon and delivered to your hotel room. Do this the day before you leave and they will be there waiting for you when you arrive. You’re welcome.
  5. Plan one activity a day. Ambition is not your friend when it comes to vacationing with a toddler.
  6. Weather not cooperating? Hotel blankets, popcorn, and an over-priced on-demand movie can solve any vacation rainy day whoas. It’s not about the missed activities in your destination city that you’ll regret, it’s the missed opportunities to find happiness in the moments you’re given that you’ll wish you could change. Also, theme parks, hikes, and park visits are tons of fun in the rain assuming absolutely no thunder/lightening exists and it’s warm enough you all won’t get sick. As an added bonus, they won’t be nearly as crowed on rainy days and you won’t get a sunburn.
  7. Do not potty train too early. OK, so maybe this train has already left the station for you, but for me, I decided to hold off on the potty-training until he’s absolutely ready because honestly, it’s easier to carry around an extra diaper and wipes than it is to find a public restroom!
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One thought on “7 Tips for Vacationing With Toddlers

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