Travel With Tots

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Travel with tots can be a challenge. Tips for family vacations can ease some of the stress.

Travel With Tots

Whatever provides comfort for your child at home should be with you when you travel. That might include a favorite "blankie," pillow, and stuffed toy.

In addition to the favorite comfort items, there should be something new. You know the phrase about "something old; something new." The old is for comfort, the new is for interest and stimulation.

A small stash of new toys and books could be hidden under the front seat. The child should not get to see them all at one time as you will want each to be given when boredom sets in so interest will last for a while. These "surprises" don't have to be expensive, just engaging for your child.

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Snack Ideas for Travel With Tots

Travel With Tots

When you travel with tots you will want to pack some snacks. Even if your trip is a short journey, food helps your little one to feel your comfort and care even if you are behind the wheel and not always available in other ways.

If you are on a long trip be sure any perishable snacks are kept cool in an insulated cooler or cooler bag. Here are a few more tips:

  • Go easy on the sugar and maximize the protein. This will help keep your child at an even temperament.
  • Divide the snacks into easy-to-open plastic containers with lids.
  • Offer one container at a time.

Some of the best travel snacks for toddlers include: cheese bites, eggs (boiled and peeled), bite sized fruit (strawberries, blueberries apple slices), yogurt or yogurt smoothies, peanut butter or PB&J sandwich (cut into fourths and serve just one “square” unless your child asks for more), raisins, low fat ham or sausage bites, cereal…avoid the sugary cereals and look for whole grain cereal that your child likes. 

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Traveling With Tots Tips

These travel tips and ideas can apply whether you are on a road trip or traveling by air, train, or bus.

Our first "rule" when traveling with our children has been to consider their limits and needs.

The most basic of these is the timing of "potty stops."

No child should be expected to "hold it" when they have to go. If you are "in between" on potty training, put your little one in pull-ups for the trip.

A comfortable child is much more likely to be a happy child.

The other three top needs when you travel with tots are rest, food, and entertainment.

Not every child will sleep when traveling. We have a grand-daughter who stays wide awake even on long trips. The goal is not so much to get your child to sleep as it is to get her to rest.

Patience is a virtue. This is especially true when you travel with tots. Nothing will spoil a trip faster than a crying child and yelling parents. Parenting can be at its most challenging when traveling. Even a short trip can create tension that could lead to conflict and anger.

Long trips that last for hours, or even days, can seem like an unending marathon. You can "train" for these longer excursions by practicing on the shorter trips. 

  • Give yourselves extra time. Your curious toddler will want to look at almost everything in the airport or at a roadside stop. These are as important to your child as are the amazing tourist attractions you would stop for. 
  • Buy your child a small camera and teach her how to take photos so she can remember all the fun and funky sights....even the escalator in the airport.
  • Try to keep to a routine of eating, resting, and play time that is as close to possible to what your toddler experiences at home.
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A Few More "Must Haves" for Traveling with Tots or Babies

  • Baby Wipes - we use them for sticky hands and faces, for the kids and for us. We also use them to wipe off any surface in a plane, hotel, or restaurant that seems less than sanitary.
  • Prescription medications for your child as well as your own prescription and non-prescription meds. 
  • A child locator...yes, your child will walk off on his/her own when your back is turned.

The best family vacation destinations in Minnesota include beautiful family vacation resorts, dozens of state parks and many other top family vacations spots.

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