Traveling with Toddlers

Ciro and Rudy - Hyalite Canyon, MTWhile children can slow you down, they do not have to stop you from enjoying a little Ε“mother nature!

In fact, introducing our children to the outdoors should be one of you fondest memories of spending time together. There is a great book titled Last Child in the Woods written by Richard Louv. In this book Richard states that the lack of nature in the lives children is directly related to some of the most disturbing childhood trends, such as obesity, attention disorders, and depression.

So if you and your spouse stay adventurous, more than likely you kids will to. You should try to do outdoor activities as a family and one-on-one with your kids, when possible.

Below are a few points my wife and I would like to share with you. Some we feel we figured out on our own, others were referred to us via friends, family and social networking!

Always Have Snacks

Our son Ciro is very much like his Mom,s side of the family. Meaning, that hunger can come up quick, fast and you better be prepared! The family joke is that if you wait too long to feed them, they start to turn into Regan from the Exorcist. J So, we always have snacks for the whole family. We will have GORP, deer jerky, deer sticks and Ciro’s favorite Mum-Mums!

Car Travel Distractions

We noticed early-on that Ciro did not like to restrained, so we knew that long car rides would be tough. On our most recent trip we paid the extra $10/day to get a DVD player. This was a huge benefit for us as he could watch his favorite DVDs. Now we also brought along his favorite stuffed animal, his custom double sided t shirt quilt that he’s grown attached to, and a blanket to assist in keeping him content or to comfort himself whenever he needed! We were also looking at going to the website QuikSnap to see about some car window shades to shield him during the long car rides, the sun can get pretty fierce in summer and it’s better to make sure it’s not annoying or upsetting him by doing this instead.


Get Sleep

There is nothing worse than a tired, cranky car load of people! So, don’t stay up late and get some much needed rest. Remember, vacation is to unwind, not burnout on top of work. Once you get the child down you and your spouse could talk about the next day’s plans or just read a book. Then, lights out!

Prepare For Air Travel

This starts with the purchase of your tickets. We highly recommend getting the whole row of seats at the bulkhead of the plane. This will provide ample leg room and room for your little monkey to climb over you and your spouse during the trip. This is a much better alternative than having your child run up and down the aisle of the plane for the duration of the trip and be “That Family!” The trade-off is that with no seats in front of you, there is no under seat storage and everything you will need for child will have to be put in the storage above the seats and cannot be accessed during take-off or landing.

Purchase Good Kids Gear

We purchased a BOB stroller, which are awesome, but we do not take it on airline trips as it is too large. In its place we purchased a very light-weight flat folding stroller that allows for some storage and the child to lay flat if needed. The other piece of gear that I like is the Kelty Child Carrier, this makes it much easier for everyone and Ciro loves to have his Sherpa (Me) carry him around! You don’t have to buy brand new gear, check eBay, shoppok, yard sales or some local consignment sales. Don’t skimp on your kids gear, cause if the kids are uncomfortable, nobody is having a good time. I also recommend giving all of the equipment a good clean before your trip. A friend of mine uses a stroller cleaning company to do the cleaning for her so that the stroller looks good as new for the vacation! This is completely optional though.

Take Your Time

Again, this is your time with your family, enjoy it! Remember with kids you’ll need to stop often, especially if they’re walking, they will stop and inspect every stick and overturned stone along the way.

Patience goes a long way, the time that you take spending outdoors with your kids will be rewarded in the long run. Chances are they will want to spend time outdoors more often as they mature. And as they get older, you can plan to do more exciting and memorable trips as a family.

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  1. Nice post. Thanks for sharing these tips.

  2. Toddlers activities says

    Thanks so much for this. Sorry, I don