Last week we took our first official vacation as a family of four and holy crap did we take a lot of stuff! Ha! I mean traveling with two kiddos two and under alone means you’re going to be bringing a bunch of stuff but since we went to the beach, our car was packed to the max!
Here’s what we brought for the kiddos:
- PacknPlay: for Waylen to sleep in
- Portable Bassinet: for Kenny to sleep in
- iPad mini for white noice
- Single umbrella stroller
- Happybaby carrier
- Solly wrap
- Swim diapers
- 6 outfits per kid
- Bathing suits
- Sun hats
- A Lovie
- 2 favorite books
For the Beach:
- 2 Beach Chairs
- Waylen’s mini Beach Chair
- Tent for Kenny
- Beach Mat
- Puddle Jumper
- Beach toys
- Wagon for everything because you know there’s no way we’re carrying all that crap!
Now to the important part- how did we survive? Well first off I think traveling with your kids is so fulfilling! I swear the fun always outweighs the stress of bringing them! I love seeing Waylen light up when we take him somewhere new and honestly can’t imagine traveling without my babies. I’m sure at some point I’ll enjoy a vacation sans kids but honestly at this time I know I wouldn’t enjoy it without them. I’d just spend all my time thinking about them, missing them, and wanting them to be with me to experience it all. Maybe I’m crazy but that’s just how I feel!
Now, sleeping arrangements can get tricky while on vacation. This trip we had a living room and a separate bedroom which made things easier. We had Waylen stay in his PacknPlay in the living room while Kenny slept in the bedroom with us. Other times we’ve had Waylen sleep in the PacknPlay in the bathroom when we don’t have an extra room ha. Do whatever works!
Another tip is to allow the kids to roam and explore the entire space before putting them down for bed. The hotel is new and maybe even a little scary for them so letting them explore will help them be more comfortable in the space thus leading to better sleep!
The most important thing to remember when traveling with kids though is to just go with the flow! Naps and bedtimes get pushed or skipped some days and other days you stay in to keep your schedule and catch up on sleep. This vacation Waylen stayed up until 10pm pretty much every night and we pushed his nap until like 3 every day. Yes he was a little more irritable at times but it was SO worth it to get to do all the fun stuff we did! We also just wore Kenny wherever we went. She slept and ate on her regular eat, play, sleep schedule just wherever we were!
The best way to avoid or shorten a sleep deprived toddler tantrum that is almost inevitable on a vacation? Snacks, a favorite toy, and redirection to something new! Myrtle Beach was the perfect place for redirection. Mini golf, flashing lights, beaches, pools, fair rides, and motorcycles for Bike Week.
Yeah- there was so many things to redirect to which made it easy to end the tantrum quick! Also toddlers are a lot like me, they get hangry! Snacks are so important for vacations because meals usually get pushed later and that can lead to extra fussy kids. So stuff your kids full of snacks and show them lots of exciting, new things to keep them happy!
Also, almost just as important, be understanding. Your kids will be overtired and out of their schedule. When they get upset and are having trouble processing their emotions it’s probably not their fault. Think about why they may be acting out; hungry? Tired? – it’s probably because of the situation YOU put them in so instead of getting angry or flustered, try to be calm and understanding of their emotions!
Most importantly though, remember to have fun! Skip the nap to see the albino allegation, stay up late, and let them eat that sprinkle covered ice cream cone! Waylen eats fairly healthy regularly but on vacation we let loose and aren’t afraid to eat pizza and ice cream at 9pm! I mean it is vacation!