Jul72011

It’s that time of year- travel tips, tricks and products to make your life easier!

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One thing that I am very proud of, is that my daughter (5) is a GREAT traveler.

I think it’s because as a family, we’ve done quite a bit of traveling since she was 3 months old. Whether it be by air or car (we still haven’t hit that cruise yet) she’s always been very happy even in the 9 hour car rides or the 4 hour layovers.

Here I’m going to share with you some of my top tips, tricks and products that I absolutely don’t leave home without.

First up- the tips:

It’s all about keeping your child happy, and on their schedule if at all possible. If you’re leaving on a 7:00am flight (that means security check in at 5:00am), make sure they head to bed an hour or two earlier than normal. You can start this process by 2 weeks before departure, cutting your child’s bed-time back by 15 minutes every 3 days. Your child will adjust because their bodies cannot tell 15 minutes from none. Really. It’s advice I had gotten from my pediatrician early on, and it really does work.

Surprise your child- it’s okay to eat healthy on the go, but those little packages of 100 calorie cookies are a great way to distract from a high-stress situation. Or, if your child has a favorite snack, bring it along to help ease the transition. I’m always known for taking longer in the security line because I bring my daughter’s favorite applesauce with us. While it’s under 3 ounces, it still has to be wiped for explosives. This extra step doesn’t bother me if I know it will help keep my child happy while we’re waiting for the plane. It’s also same for the car. Want to make it to that rest stop that’s still 30 minutes away? Pull out the snack.

My tricks:

Theme your trips. I know it might sound cheesy, but if you’re headed to Disney World- have Tinker Bell visit your child during the night with some goodies. She normally brings my daughter a back pack full of glow bracelets (to share during the parades), coloring books, crayons, magnets & board, stickers and small toys. Sometimes, she even brings tiaras! If you’re headed to Washington DC, pack mini space ships, books about the presidents and so on. These are a great way to get your kids not only excited about the trip, but also gives them distractions. I get most of my items from the Dollar Store, so I never spend more than $10.

Another trick I have is loading videos on my smart phone. My daughter feels very special when I let her do anything with my phone, so when she gets to watch an entire video on it- well, let’s just say I’m the bee’s knees. It’s super easy to do and most of the time free (when I upload my own videos from home).

I also give my child a Hot-Wheels sized airplane every time we fly. She has a blast playing with it in the terminal while we’re waiting for our plane to arrive. Once, we were sat next to a pilot on his way home who knew everything about her toy plane. He kept her occupied the entire two hour flight by telling her about it, and then quizzing her on what she remembered as they chatted. It was a great experience, and I am so glad we had that toy with us.

And then there’s the products…

I could go on and on here. In fact, I already kinda have. I know I’ve mentioned a few things above, but here I’m going to share with you more smart products to keep you and your kids sane.

First, I received the coolest piece of luggage from Colorado Bag &Baggage. It’s a Hey’s Disney LED hard case Pooh and Tigger carry-on. Hey’s has several exciting prints to choose from, but we happen to love the Pooh and Tigger one, because they look like they’re on vacation. Plus, there are special LED lights within the wheels when the luggage is being rolled. It’s a cool effect, and we always get people asking us where we got it from. It’s also super easy for my daughter to use it. Protruding wheels keep the case elevated so it never drags on the bottom. It’s also specifically designed for kids, at only 3.8 pounds it’s easy to pull (and fill) with a mono grip adjustable handle that fits comfortably. We never get complaints from our daughter even walking in the longest corridors.

Next up are the Expo washable Markers. I had never even heard of these beauties until I was blessed to have a House Party for them. They are the first washable erasable markers from Expo that have no odor and are completely washable. There’s also very little lint. You can use them on almost every dry erase board, but I recommend Expo’s 8.9″x11.8″ Dry Erase Learning Board. It’s blank on one side for creative use, and lined on the other so your kiddos can work on words, letters or sentences. It also fits perfectly in a book bag or carry on.Who says you can’t learn while traveling?


Then there’s the Sesame Street USB. If you’re like me, you never go anywhere without your laptop, so these little USB memory sticks are perfect for keeping your kid entertained without taking up a lot of room. Each USB stick is character specific with a full length Sesame Street video loaded onto it. You also have direct access to SesameStreet.com (for use in terminal or using in-flight WiFi). It has the capacity for storing over 400 songs, photos and written content as well. It’s a one-screen, one-touch process to access the movie as well, so it’s easy for the little ones to navigate. It also has a built-in bungee cord, so once you attach it, it’s nearly impossible to lose.

So now you’ve heard some of my tricks and tips, and have seen some of the products I can’t live without when traveling with my kiddo. What are some of the things you find most useful?

 

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1 Response

  1. (1.) HeatherJuly 7th, 2011