It’s that wonderful time of year when spring break is just around the corner. If you’re blessed enough to be going south to some sunshine this year, here’s a few tips for traveling the kids.
1. Bring your beach stuff with you. We bring life jackets, sand pails, sun block, and swim shoes with us. You know you’re going to need it if you’re hitting a beach with kids, and it’s much easier, and usually much cheaper to buy it at home and bring it with you.
2. If your lucky enough to be cruising, or at a resort that does formal night, bring a few fun things for the kids. I have two little girls. I usually hit an accessory store and take advantage of the 3 for $10 kind of deals they have. Things like sparkly hair bands, clips and flowers make little girls feel really special. Another big hit, the glitter hair spray that I picked up at the children’s hair cut place before we left. It’s little things like this that get kids so excited. If you’re at a resort and will be outside later at night, pack a few glow-in-the-dark necklaces from the dollar store, and surprise them one night.
3. Load up the computer with a few new movies (there’s a new Barbie one out right now). Another option, bring the kids to the library just before you go and pick up some new movies for your portable dvd player. Or, break out one of the gift cards they got for Christmas, and let them pick out a new game for their leapfrog or portable game. During a long plane ride, long drive, or even a long formal dinner, happy kids = happy parents.
4. Sometimes it’s hard to find summer stuff this time of year in stores. Depending on when you leave, you may still have time to order flip flops on-line, and any other gear you can’t find in the stores yet.
5. Shop at second hand stores. It’s sometimes easier to find great stuff off season. No one else is looking for shorts and sundresses yet, and you just might find some great stuff at second hand stores, especially kid specific stores like “Once Upon A Child” that are fully stocked with only summer clothes, shoes and hats already. This little Gymboree cover-up was about $5 at the second hand store -score!
6. Think about your travel days and dress kids in comfortable clothes, and layers. Remember gum, lollipops, or hard candies to suck on for the plane to help little ears pop. If you have a really long flight or drive, consider many small treats that can be brought out at different times, things like toys, colouring, games, books -anything that will distract them for a while.
And my best advice remember you’re blessed to have the opportunity to get away, so ENJOY yourself. Relax, and take a deep breath, and if your child is having a complete over stimulation, over tired, everything is just too much melt down in the middle of the life boat mustering station drill (I may or may not be speaking from experience here) remember this too shall pass and the moments of joy will far outnumber the less joyful ones -and order a Pina Colada!
This post is linked up at Tatertots and Jello.