Kacie Blogs

Traveling with a toddler: Hotel hacks and more

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We are in the heat of summer and it seems like everyone has caught the travel bug. Summer is typically trademarked with full calendars filled with adventure but after the last few years of people feeling stuck there is a new wave of wanderlust coming through the country.   During that time on lockdown, travel wasn’t the only itch to scratch and new wave of babies happened too.  Traveling with kids isn’t new but it’s a different game than it was before. Not only has the frequency increased but the travel environment has entirely changed.   Traveling with kids isn’t for the faint of heart but it’s not going to ruin your trip! Being a little extra prepared can keep everyone happy. I’ve narrowed it down to 3 big things to think about. Conveniences. Entertainment. Price.   IMG_8238   Conveniences are going to be things like, hotel amenities for infants, (cribs) restaurant menus/seating, seating privileges on planes, walkability, carseat access etc.  Calling ahead is going to be your best bet with everything. Getting to your gate early will help you rearrange any seating issues if you’re flying and remember you can take your stroller all the way to the gate too!   One thing that will provide ample convenience is a well-packed diaper bag! (Or for older kids, their backpacks) Check out my video on what you need in your diaper bag HERE.    

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    When it comes to keeping them busy, it find it’s best to travel light and get creative. Bringing all their favorite toys will get you in trouble when they leave it behind on accident. Check out this video on FREE hotel entertainment for when you’re stuck in the room with them.      

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    Somewhere with cups and a spoon? Create a sorting game which not only keeps them busy but using the spoon or tongs or fork (whatever) to pick up the sorted items helps develop their fine motor skills too. Go around the property you’re staying at and use sticks to spear up trash. They will LOVE using the sticks and you get to teach them about littering and caring for our earth. Speaking of sticks, let them collect them. You can start a little pile by the door to the AirBnb or hotel and it kind of becomes a game each time you have to drag them somewhere.   Entertainment is all around you. Open your eyes like a kid and use what you got!   When it comes down to the dollars of bringing your kid along for the ride, the price ain’t always right! Taking your kid is almost a luxury these days when it costs an arm and a leg to bring them along. You have to pay extra to be seated by them, end up buying duplicate toys that they lose or stuff that is labeled for “travel,” not to mention the weird desire to commemorate each place you take them to with some sort of memorabilia so they “won’t forget” (but they will anyway I promise.)   IMG_8237   All I can say about this is: less is more. Save where you can and don’t feel bad about it. For example, have switched to only buying stickers on vacations to keep our gifting budget down. Another recent way I saved was not bringing my son’s toys along with us. I mean I brought a few but I kept it minimal. I knew I’d be staying with family at some point on my trip away and in that neighborhood is a lot of people with babies (who I babysat for) and garage sales. I banked on it and it pulled through. My now “grown up” kiddos happily gave over their old toys in exchange to meet the baby and then the next day there was a great garage sale! Scored a tub full of Legos (tub included,) toy fire truck, interactive farm with noises (and batteries included,) extra farm animal educational set, two books, crayons, a watch and a basket that looked like a basketball net all for $40.  

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  This trip I’m on right now is what I’d call long-term since it’ll be about a month long. Wow, is this different than all the other times I’ve traveled with Shiloh. Previously I could aways promise “two days until your own room again!” but that would just be a mean lie. It’s tough because you worry about breaking routine or synching to the time zone.. but I’ve reached a point where I’ve learned he knows what he wants and it’s normally for a good reason. We haven’t been on a real routine and that’s been tough on us all but it’s also allowed for him to develop more freedom. Learning his own cues, more time to explore, new places that are completely different than anything in Arizona etc.   We have gotten into the habit of always checking out the local parks. It’s been the best way to get to know the towns. You meet locals, can normally get a history lesson from different things posted on plaques, and have access to things you probably don’t have at the one up the street from you- or at the very least it’s presented differently. Best part about this is that it’s FREE. I love showing Shiloh what things are accessible to everyone! Where you’re visiting probably has lots of things with public access or free to kids. Worth a little research for hours of free fun that is enriching to all.     IMG_7984   There’s always going to peaks and valleys to any vacation whether you bring your kid or not. Embracing the moment more instead of having a fancy social media memory is what real time-off is all about. Bring your kids with you when you travel and REALLY show them what each new location is all about. Be creative with them. Encourage them to try something new. Enrich them with local history and culture. Lead by example by being present with them.   Happy trails and I wish you a safe journey- no matter where it may be!   KACIE

Bye, Friends!