Traveling with little ones can be a stressful experience. Packing a few essential items will help you out along the way.
Lunches and Snacks: Pack chips, fruit roll-ups or gummies, favorite cookies or crackers, trail mix and other such favorites. Also baring along several “lunch bucket” type dinner favorites for your child in case you happen upon a restaurant along the way without foods your picky eater likes.
Tub Totes: Store your snacks in a 10 gallon Rubbermaid-type storage bucket and it will double as a clean tub if you check into a hotel without one, or with a dirty one.
Take Alongs: Coloring books, blank paper and crayons/markers keep kids occupied for hours. Old cookie sheets work well with refrigerator magnets for a busy time. A walkman radio with song and story tapes for quiet listening. You can make some read-along stories yourself before you leave. Other great ideas to bring along: a black or blue sharpie marker for marking items along the way, scissors and scotch tape (believe me, you’ll find a use), nail clippers (when better to trim those nails than when your child is a “captive” audience?), a stain-treating stick, a familiar toy or stuffed animal, a small pillow and blanket, a small flashlight, a roll of toilet paper and paper towels, a box of wet wipes and a few towels.
More Travel Tips: Use a fanny pack or small backpack instead of a purse. Your hands will be free, your shoulders will be less stressed, and your personal belongings, money and impotrant paperwork will be safe and at your fingertips. Also consider using a backpack in lieu of a diaper bag.
When traveling with an infant, pre-measure water into the bottles needed for the day and then scoop the formula in at feeding time. This will eliminate the need for refrigeration. If you won’t have access to a microwave or other bottle-warming method, fill a wide-mouthed thermos half way with hot water. Use this water to warm baby’s bottle.
When considering a safe place to stop for phone and restrooms (especially when traveling with opposite gender children and one adult), hotel lobbies often have large clean restrooms and plenty of phones with seating nearby. You might even be able to take advantage of the game room for a quick side trip.
Tips for Airline Travel: Aids for take off and descent: gum and lollipops for older children; juice, milk or pacifiers for babies or toddlers.
Umbrella strollers often fit in the overhead compartment on the plane. This will give you instant access to your stroller and it will eliminate the problem of it getting lost with the luggage.
If you decide to take your regular stroller, take it into the airport with you and check it at the gate. The stroller will be unloaded and returned to you at your arrival gate as well, so there is no chance of it getting lost. Gate checking also makes the stroller layovers. Just let the gate attendant know that you plan to gate the check the stroller and you can wheel it right up to the plane door.