By Loukia from Loulou’s views
I could write a book called “Before I Became A Mom” because life was so much different then. I’ve learned so much since becoming a mom, I sort of feel like an expert in certain areas. Of course, being a mom also means learning from mistakes I’ve made - and trust me, there have been plenty. It’s a learning experience, motherhood. A life-long learning experience. Sometimes, you get it right, sometimes, you get it wrong, but you’ll always have a story to tell.
Today I’m going to share you some tips on traveling with children. Because trust me, gone are the days when vacations meant relaxing.
Back in the day, before I had children, going on vacation to me meant sleeping in, putting on a bikini, finding a perfect spot on the beach or by the pool, and working on my tan, while sipping a Pina Colada. The most work I’d get in a day would be flipping sides so my tan would be completely even, followed by an afternoon of shopping, possibly a nap, and dinner at my own pace.
Once you have kids, you can forget all that. Vacations have now taken on a whole new meaning. But don’t worry - they’re still fun! Just…different. And way more tiring.
My tips for traveling with children six and under?
Take a short flight. No longer than 3 hours, and you’ll all keep your sanity. Trips to Europe can wait until your youngest child is six years old!
Bring a portable DVD player with your child’s favourite DVD’s. The ipad and iphones are also great distractions for your children! Don’t forget the headphones, either.
In your carry-on bag, bring new books and toys to occupy your child on the trip.
Also bring lots of snacks. Junk food is awesome. Children love chocolate.
Travel with family. The more, the merrier. Seriously - as many extra hands as you can get to come with you! Almost all vacations we’ve taken with the children involved my parents, and sometimes even my grandparents, and sister, and her family. Extra hands on the plane means you can go pee without bringing your children with you to the small bathroom - something I’ve had to do while travelling solo before, something that caused me to break out in a huge sweat.
Try to take as many cute pictures as you can while on vacation. No matter how annoying you sound to everyone around you!
Bring lunch to your child in the hotel room. No need to sit and wait to eat at a restaurant. Who wouldn’t enjoy a burger and fries in bed?
If you’re breastfeeding, nurse your baby on the plane. He/she won’t even realise the plane has taken off, and he’ll sleep almost the entire time.
Make sure to stay at a child-friendly resort, where they provide things like beach toys for the kids to play with. We love staying at the Westin Diplomat in south Florida, and we loved The Atlantis in the Bahamas - packed with things for children to do, and the children’s pools were amazing.
Try to pack light. You’re not only packing for yourself only anymore! You have to bring less shoes to make room for all the items your children will need. Oh, the things I sacrifice!
Don’t worry about leaving your baby half dressed after a diaper change on the plane. It is hard enough changing the diaper of a squirmy baby on the plane to begin with! And don’t worry if he walks up and down the aisle of the plane, talking to everyone he sees. They don’t mind at all. He’s happy? You’re happy, all is good.
Make sure your children have enough soothers to last them the entire trip.
Leave the flat iron at home, and go ‘au natural’ with your hair. It’s okay, really. (Did you really think you’d have the time to straighten your hair?)
Nap time can be enjoyed under a palm tree in the shade. That way, someone can always stay close to the baby while you swim!
Did I mention bring your parents? My dad is such a great grandfather - travelling with him and my mom makes trips more enjoyable.
And of course… after the kids are happily tucked in and asleep, you can have a few drinks and go out for dinner without the children, because they’ll happily asleep in the hotel room, while your parents baby-sit
Do you have any traveling tips that you want to share?