Friday, June 28, 2013

guest post || traveling with a toddler

So excited to share about an upcoming adventure we are going to be embarking on in July. It has to do with beaches, passports, and toddlers! Oh my! So to mentally prepare I have asked my sweet pal Nicole over at lilliesandleon  to share some insight from her recent trip to - where she took her little city boy out to the scenic and vivid scenes of Puerto Rico. Did I mention she travelled without her man?! Go Nicole you power mama!! Here is Nicole with her great advice and wise words. 

Hi everyone! I'm Nicole. I live in NYC with my 2 beautiful boys. I started Lillies and Leon a few short months ago and couldn't be more excited to share our day to day adventures and little snippets of our life. Thank you for reading and becoming such an amazing part of our journey.

I have travelled with Lucas before, but he was an itty bitty thing and just learning to sit up. So he was pretty much immobile. This time around was a whole new ball game. This kid is not just walking, he's sprinting! A few weeks ago we packed our bags and headed to beautiful Puerto Rico. Sans daddy! Luckily we had grandma with us as a suitable stand-in. I had a couple of tricks up my sleeve but the whole trip was most certainly a learning process. Traveling with kids is no joke but don't let that scare you. In my humble opinion, it's totally worth it. Just be prepared for the unexpected ;) 

- Food: Lucas is a total foodie but sadly during our time in PR he suddenly became a full fledged grazer. I guess he was too busy soaking it all in to eat. I made sure we had plenty of snacks available for him at all times. Some of my favorite and easy options include: goldfish, fruit (Lucas is partial to blueberries and bananas), yogurt cups, and string cheese. My motto: don't get caught without a snack. It can get ugly. Fast!

- Plane étiquette: I think this is really the luck of the draw but there are some things you can do to try and help ease the pain of a cranky, flying baby. Take a red-eye. Sounds crazy but Lucas slept from take-off to landing on both flights. I had a bottle of milk prepared as well as his favorite pillow and within 15 minutes he was out like a light. Don't worry about your stiff neck upon landing. Trust me, a  sleeping baby wins every time. Just in case your little one refuses to sleep, have books, a few trinkets (Lucas likes remotes and calculators..), as well as a few new apps downloaded on your phone. Also, dress your kid in pajamas! They are comfy and it's a life saver when you need to change a diaper. Make sure to pack an extra pair in case of an accident. 

- Trips and car rides: This is where we did NOT win. Lucas is a certified city kid and is not used to long car rides. However here are a couple of tips I picked up from experienced mamas: movies, a few unexpected toys, and again: snacks, books, and apps. We had some really great sing-a-longs - just in case you also have a tot who is musically inclined ;)

- Packing: TRY not to overpack. I know this one is hard. I didn't use half the stuff I packed for Lucas. Those 10 adorable, fancy shmancy outfits? Forget about it. Pack 2 dressy outfits at most - the rest pack for comfort. Some great essentials: a water diaper, water shoes, slip on sneakers and sandals, and plenty of light-weight tanks and tees (shirts get dirty right away whereas I usually reuse the same pair of shorts for 2 days). Don't forget sunscreen, bug spray, shampoo/body wash, and diaper cream. With the heat in Puerto Rico I was especially diligent about making sure is his tiny butt was slathered in diaper cream. Bring one pack of diapers and buy the rest when you arrive. Trust me, no matter where you are flying there is a pharmacy that sells diapers. They take up so much room in the luggage and I found it unnecessary - only bring enough for 2 days.

I hope these tips will help you on your next adventure with your family. Safe and happy travels mamas!

Thank you so much Nicole for taking the time to share your advice! Now if only we can all look as relaxed on vacay as you!!  xoxo - be sure to pop by nicole's blog for more cute pics of her cute little man

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