Our family has always had the spirit of adventure. As you may well know, Mark and I met when we were both living in another country! We were two Americans who had both somehow managed to get the chance to live overseas, and when we met and fell in love, we vowed we’d continue to keep seeing the world! Of course, once kids came along, it made it a bit harder to travel, but we knew we wanted to instill in our littles a sense of wanderlust. We made a point of taking several small road trips to different towns across the UK when Dexter was just a baby. Before he was six months old, he’d already been to three countries!
When he was a year old, we left him with my parents as we went on a Caribbean cruise, seeing many other countries, and I have always regretted not taking him along with us. When he was 16 months old, we made the decision to move back to the US. Moving from one country to another with a toddler is STRESSFUL. But we wanted the chance to show him more of the world, and America is so full of amazing places to see and amazing things to do. We chose to move to Orlando, Florida, and I am so glad we did. For two years, we were able to visit the Walt Disney World® Resort parks nearly every week. When our second son came along, it got far more crazy, but SO much more exciting.
In that time, we also made several long road trips. We twice drove from Florida all the way to Pennsylvania to visit my family, stopping on the way to see all the sights we could! We have explored hiking trails all over the country. We have visited farmers markets, theme parks, zoos and more in our efforts to make sure our kids loved going places. And when, in mid-2014 we decided to move across the country to Utah, we didn’t just hire movers and fly. We drove across the country with two pre-schoolers and me seven months pregnant!
I’ll tell you what… we have learned a lot about travel with children. Now that we have three kids, we’ve had to figure out the best ways to organize our lives so that we can continue to see the world. I wanted to share some of my favorite tips with you.
- Always be prepared. If you’re going to be in the car for a long time with kids, you need to cover all your bases. Keep snacks, bottles of water, extra formula, etc in a small cooler where you can easily reach it. Make sure you have diapers, wipes and toilet paper in the car so you can make potty breaks as quick and easy as possible.
- Bring the fun. Food and toiletries are not the only things you need to remember. You also need entertainment for the kids! Unless you enjoy it when your kids hit and poke each other, cry and yell, and basically use boredom as an excuse for misbehavior, you’re going to need to have stuff on hand. There are loads of travel games you can buy. Bring coloring books and crayons. A tablet with some fun games and apps on them, as well as a few movies or tv shows they can watch. Books for the early readers. Whatever your kids like, be sure they have access to it! For ideas, check out this article on the 14 Best Travel Apps, Games & Toys for Preschoolers.
- Gimme a break. Kids are not meant to be cooped up in a car for hours upon hours. It is especially important for babies to be able to get up and get out to stretch their legs and get some air. Aim for every two hours, though if they are napping you can usually extend it to three.
Above all, remember that kids LOVE to travel. But they need their parents to teach them how to do it right.
Scholastic and Disney Parks are teaming up to provide travel-related content for parents with preschool aged children. Disney Parks is sponsoring Scholastic’s Parent & Child Smart Family Travel editorial destination and Scholastic is offering parents the chance to win a vacation for their families to the Walt Disney World® Resort with the Tiny Travelers Sweepstakes. Scholastic could make a dream come true for you with a five-day/four-night Walt Disney World® vacation for four. Includes airfare, hotel, ground transportation, Theme Park tickets,Disney Character Greeting, and more. PLUS: The first 2,500 to enter get a FREE Scholastic book to their tiny traveler, while supplies last. Enter to win today! Contest runs 2/28/26 – 4/28/16
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Disney. The opinions and text are all mine.