Practice makes perfect!
Start out taking some small day trips to become familiar with getting away with the baby. This way you can learn what works for your child and what isn’t going to help. These investigative outings should give you and idea of what to take, how long your baby can handle being in a car seat, and which toys or items to bring for entertainment purposes. If they end up getting carsick, then you will know ahead of time to make sure you prepare for that.
Take a treasure box!
A great way to keep children entertained on a vacation is to include a treasure box filled with toys and fun activities to keep them busy. Visit the dollar store and get things like dolls, puppets, books, crafts, puzzles and games. You can even wrap some of them before you leave so you can surprise your child throughout the trip, especially when they are behaving well.
Pack some favorite snacks!
Make sure you bring your child’s favorite snacks and drinks for the trip. Babies can get dehydrated easily during a flight or on a long drive, so bring juice boxes or sippy cups for them. Toddlers prefer to snack often and might not be able to wait for the next stop so bring plenty of easy to pack snacks like little zip lock baggies of cereal, cut up fruits, veggies and animal crackers. Dispensing snacks will help keep your toddler entertained. Don’t forget to also have wipes to help with clean up if needed!
Go with the flow!
You never know how a toddler will react, even if you do practice, so remember to remain flexible. Sitting in a car seat can be very stressful for a little one, especially if he/she just learned to walk. Have a relaxed schedule and limit your plans one activity a day. That way you will not be disappointed if your baby decides to take a nap or just hang out in the pool for the day.
Kid friendly destinations
Think about your children too. What are they going to enjoy? Are their opportunities for them to be kids? Camping, renting a place on the beach, going someplace where you can get back to nature and have time to relax as a family and enjoy one another. Avoid the tourist traps that can be too crowded and over priced. Look for family friendly hotels that let kids stay and eat for free.
Stop and stretch your legs!
If you are driving it will be a good idea to stop along the way and stretch your legs. Pick places like parks or malls so your little ones can get out and run. Instead of stopping at a fast food place for lunch, pack a picnic complete with balls and Frisbees so the family can run around and let out some energy.
If your child is still in a car seat, make sure the seat is attached correctly and secure. Take along a child proofing and first aid kit. Don’t forget to use window shades and or sun blockers to keep the sun off your child. Make sure each of your children have an id card with pertinent medical information in case you get separated.