Traveling with young kids can be tricky. You often need to be creative to entertain kids on road trips and navigate the sleeping situation at hotel rooms. Our family has traveled many times with our kids and our experience has been different each trip. We’ve learned some useful tips for traveling with kids as well as things to avoid. We’ve also tried some great gear that has made traveling with kids a whole lot easier!
This post is a partnership with Nakturnal featuring travel bed rails.
Choose Kid-Friendly Accommodations
Stay in a place where your kids can have their own room or section of a room. Vacation rentals by owner (VRBO) are a great option for getting a larger space for your money. You can often rent a small house or condo for the price of an average hotel room. We love staying in VRBO rented places. When kids can have their own room, it’s much easier for parents to stay up later or watch a movie. Individual vacation rentals are furnished with basic amenities and often have their own kitchen. Families can easily make breakfast and enjoy home-cooked meals at their home away from home.
Conversely, our family doesn’t always rent a vacation house. We also love traveling in our RV motorhome. We have a comfy living space and kitchen which allows us to cook meals on the road. Our kids also have beds to nap during the day, which allow us to maintain our kids’ regular routines.
Don’t Ditch Naptime
Speaking of naptime, it’s very helpful to maintain kids’ regular routines even while on vacation. Plenty of rest will help kids stay energized during your family adventures. Our kids usually nap right after lunch for at least one hour. If the kids miss a nap, it’s harder for them to enjoy the afternoon. Our RV motorhome allows the kids to sleep in actual beds for naptime, even if we are parked at the zoo!
When we are on the go, the kids can nap right in their car seats in the RV motorhome. The increased space allows them to stretch their legs and cuddle up with a pillow. It’s important for kids to stay in their car seats while an RV is moving, just like in a car.
Choose Casual Destinations
Don’t pack your schedule too full when traveling with kids. Leave room to have fun and fit casual activities in. We usually plan 2 to 3 main activities to do per day and fill in the rest of the time with spontaneous activities. These could include walking through a park, going to a local ice cream shop and exploring the local culture. Sometimes we find a local farmer’s market to stop by. Casual trip planning allows us to enjoy some down time with our kids. We don’t always have to worry about meeting our itinerary goals.
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Make some special memories vs. seeing everything you can. We focus on making a few special memories with our kids on vacation, rather than seeing everything possible. We loved exploring the tide pools on our Oregon family vacation last year. In Hawaii, we also hiked with our baby to a rainforest waterfall. You can easily forget the details about the rest of your vacation. However, your family will remember the more adventurous events of traveling with kids.
Bring Helpful Kids’ Travel Gear
Staying away from home with your toddler? These travel bed rails from The Shrunks make naps and bedtime much easier for kids when away from home. You can create a cozy sleep space and barrier on any bed that will make a child feel more secure. The Shrunks travel bed rails feature a slim design that easily slips under the bed sheet. You can inflate these portable bed rails in minutes using the compact foot pump it comes with. All the materials are BPA-free, Phthalate-free and lead-free. The Shrunks inflatable bed rails are designed for ages 2 and older. The inflated size is 48 in. x 7 in. x 4 in. and the bed rails roll up at a weight of 0.6 lbs.
- Keep your child safe from rolling off the bed.
- Slim design slips conveniently under any fitted twin, queen or king bed sheet.
- Recommended for kids 2 years and up.
The Shrunks travel bed rails may need to be occasionally re-inflated depending on location, temperature and humidity. My 2-year-old benefits from using a rail or barrier of some type to successfully stay in bed. We have a built-in rail on her bed at home. On the go, these inflatable bed rails provide similar security for keeping kids snug in bed.
b.box Sippy Cups
These are easily our favorite sippy cups to use when traveling with kids, featuring a weighted straw and easy-to-grasp handles. The straw allows your child to easily drink when semi-reclined in a car seat or stroller. And the straw is thinner than normal so they are pretty hard to spill in the car. My daughter loves her award-winning b.box sippy cup and she’s hard to convince to drink from anything else!
Revelae Kids Cloth Snack and Storage Bags
Colorful modern cloth snack bags are another wonderful travel essential to hold snacks and accessories while on family hikes. They’re made with moisture resistant food-grade material and close with a zipper. We use these cloth snack bags to hold dry snacks, fruit, hair accessories, cosmetics and more! Revelae Kids Everything Bags are great to organize larger items such as clothes, hats, sunscreen and bug repellent. You can keep everything together in these Eco-friendly nylon bags and organize your purse, diaper bag or beach bag.
Okiedog Kids Backpacks
Nothing travels better on a family vacation than a cute kids’ travel bag. Kids’ okiedog backpacks are roomy enough to hold all of a child’s necessities. These okiedog Wildpacks would be perfect for family traveling this summer and could be used later for school!
Enjoy Kid-Friendly Adventuring
Our family loves exploring forest trails and stopping along our hike for snack time. Kids enjoy discovering simple things such as pretty flowers, spotting a chipmunk and throwing rocks in a lake. We recommend that you don’t plan an adventure that’s too long. During many hikes, our kids eventually need to be carried the rest to the way back to the car.
A hike through the forest is an easy way to enjoy the great outdoors as a family. You can explore nature and enjoy a simple afternoon together while traveling with kids.
Where will you go adventuring with your family this summer? Every family can enjoy their current life stage with kids. You simply have to choose age-appropriate activities for making memories on your family adventures.
Katie is a writer and influencer based in beautiful Coeur d’Alane, Idaho. She enjoys DIY projects, photography, decorating and going on family adventures. She feels blessed to be a wife, a stay-at-home mom to three kids and a Pacific Northwest lifestyle blogger.