I’m sharing how we are getting ready to travel with my Duluth Pack duffle bag this Thanksgiving holiday to see family! Also, I’m sharing my top 10 tips for traveling with a toddler…
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Since we had Kennedy last year, we have traveled quite a bit. We lived in Houston, Texas for almost 2.5 years, soo we had to fly back and forth to California to see both our family’s quite a bit- especially during the holidays. I realized through all that travel how important having a great quality and durable bag is! It makes traveling go so much smoother when you know you can rely on you bag and luggage to arrive in once piece and withstand lots of wear and tear. I have always loved Duluth backpacks and bags for their timeless style and durable build. Duluth Pack have made bags for hunting, traveling, backpacking, hiking, and much more since 1882! They have a reputation for having the world’s best high-quality canvas and leather packs, luggage, purses and briefcases! Getting high quality bags and luggage for our travels as a family is so important and it makes a world of difference- especially when traveling with little ones.
I want to share with you my top 10 tips for traveling with a toddler, and things I pack for my family that make our travels go more smoothly. I have flown a lot with Kennedy by myself mainly, but with my husband Alex too. We also have gone on long road trips with her several times. There are lots if things I wish I knew before, and things I have learned along the way.
Before traveling with my family, I always go through a checklist of things I need for the amount of time we will be gone. A rule of thumb for Kennedy is, I usually bring a 3 more of each clothing item than I need for the day just in case of her outfit getting dirty. I love this leather tote for keeping with me while we drive so I can easily have all her necessities handy. I also love this bag because it is so durable and can go through a lot and still hold up! For packing for a few days to visit Grandma and Grandpa’s house, I love bringing my Duluth Pack weekender duffle bag! The quality of this bag is so amazing, it fits SO much and it can withstand anything. I love it the timeless quality it has and how classic it is. It has a handle for easy lifting or a shoulder strap to be worn cross-body or on the shoulder!
Now that we are living in California, we travel to my parents houses a few hours up north from where we live. Even though it seems like a short drive to some, three hours confined to a car seat for a toddler is not any of our ideas of fun.
There are some helpful tips I wanted to share with you that I wish I knew before!
1. First, is to be prepared and plan ahead of time. I always make a checklist on my phone of what I need for myself, Kennedy and Alex. If I don’t do this I almost ALWAYS will forget something we need. So plan a day or so ahead of time what you will need to make packing easier and faster!
2. Choose a Convenient Flight Time or time to start driving! I always like to fly or start driving for a long road trip when Kennedy is due for a nap. That way if she is well fed and has a clean diaper, she will most likely be asleep most of the trip! So try your best to schedule leaving when you know your baby or toddler is most likely to nap and when they will be the happiest. For Kennedy, she is always in a better mood in the morning, so that is when I like to travel when her!
3. Make sure their car seat is comfortable for them and installed properly. First, always make sure the car seat is intalled properly and everything is buckled in. Next, I like to make sure her car seat is clean and she has some comforts from home to make her feel more comfrtable. If you are flying, I always bring a soft blanket such as this one so she will be comfy and wrap herself in it when she naps.
4. Make sure your toddler is well fed before you start traveling. Don’t leave on the plane or hit the road unless your child is already full! You don’t want to keep handing food and snacks back to them or deal with any more stresses such as a big mess to clean up!
5. Don’t give them all the toys at once. Try to hide all your toys from your baby or toddler, and only offer one at a time! That way you can stretch out the hours of entertainment with the toys. If you get stalled or delayed, this will come in handy so your baby doesn’t get bored. Another tip is to go to the Dollar Store before your trip and buy some random, fun and cheap toys they don’t play with at home. Make it a fun experience so they get to have new toys for the trip. If they get lost on the plane or left behind in your travels, it won’t matter too much because they were from the Dollar Store 😉
6. Make sure you pack all the necessities in your purse or diaper bag and keep them with you- not in the suitcase! I like keeping some necessities and items I MIGHT need such as:Tylenol, band-aids, first aid items, lotion, gas drops, nail clippers, etc. Of course, always having extra diapers, wipes, snacks, water, and a change of outfit in your bag is so great!
7. Second, bring lots of snacks and extra water bottles. Sometimes when you travel, it is hard to find healthy food for your little one. So pre-pack healthy snacks you know they will eat. You can also bring a small lunch pail with an ice pack for more fresh foods and fruit! Also, why is it when you travel, you and your baby get SO thirsty yet water bottles at every store ocst like $4?! I always bring a case of water for road-trips and a couple in my bag when I fly. You might have extra screenings but it is worth it and hey I need it for my baby!
8. Tablet or some form of entertainment. I am not a huge fan of lots of screentime or using an tablet. But for situations like traveling, it is a life saver. Kennedy still is at the age where she can’t sit through a show enirely, so this will come in handy a few more months down the road. But pre-download tv shows and moveis you know they love and have ear phones handy. If you have multiple kids, be sure to buy multiple headphones or a slitter so they can share the screentime!
9. Bring their lovey or blanket, binkie or sleep sac. I always bring these when we fly and she will fall asleep so much better. They help soothe her especially when she is in a more stressful environment and not in her comfort of home.
10. Sit in the backseat of the car (if possible) to help with offering snacks, water, and switching out toys!