Taking the kids on a vacation can sometimes mean that you don’t actually get one. So we asked Debbie Dubrow, founder of the kids’ travel blog Delicious Baby, for some tips on how to dial down the stress, whether you’re taking a road trip or jetsetting around the world. This mom of three has logged tens of thousands of miles with her kids, so she has the planning process down pat.
Pack It Up
1. Bring along some blue painters tape — you can use it for everything from making a car racetrack to baby-proofing a hotel room.
2. Keep things organized by packing each person’s clothing in its own color-coded sack inside your suitcase.
3. Pack extra Ziploc bags. They’re useful for everything from wet swimsuits to snacks.
Prepare for Takeoff
1. Allow enough time at the airport for your child to “get the jiggles out,” have a snack, and use the restroom before boarding.
2. If your child is old enough, have him/her pack a busy bag, but reserve a few secret (preferably wrapped) items in your own bag for when your child gets bored
3. If your child is newly potty-trained, pack a diaper since airplane bathrooms can sometimes feel intimidating.
4. Worried that your child won’t settle into his or her seat for takeoff? Bring along a favorite snack and a drink to offer when it’s time to buckle up.
1. When you’re on the road, a plastic cereal container with a flip-top lid makes a great trash container. Station one next to your child’s car seat.
2. Books on CD are pleasant to listen to for both kids and parents. To save money, borrow one or more from a local library.
3. Not sure where to stop? Libraries are often marked on maps, and make great stops in bad weather. When the weather is great, there’s almost always a playground nearby.