Traveling with young kids can be tricky, whether you are challenged by entertaining your kids on road trips or navigating the sleeping situation at hotel rooms. Our family has traveled a few times with our kids and our experience has been different each time. We’ve learned some useful tips for traveling with kids as well as things to avoid, and we’ve 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. If your kids can have their own room then it’s a lot easier for you and your hubby to stay up later to talk or watch a movie. These individual vacation rentals also often have their own kitchen and are furnished, so you can easily make breakfast and enjoy meals at home while on vacation with your family.
When we don’t rent a house, we love traveling in our RV motorhome which allows us to cook meals in our own kitchen and gives the kids places to nap during the day and sleep in beds at night.
Don’t Ditch Naptime
Maintain nap routines so your kids don’t become cranky while you are off on your family adventures. My kids still nap right after lunch for at least one hour. If the kids miss a nap it’s harder 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; walking through a park, going to a local ice cream shop, or just wandering the town and enjoying the local culture. Maybe you’ll find a local farmer’s market to stop by. Casual trip planning allows us to have down time with our small children and not 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 and and hiking with our baby to a forest waterfall in Hawaii. The rest of the vacation easily fades in memory, but these specific events of traveling with kids are memorable and cherished.
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 in a convenient carrying bag. All the materials are BPA-free, Phthalate-free and lead-free and 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 needs a rail or some type of barrier to successfully stay in bed. We have a built-in rail at home on her bed and these inflatable bed rails provide the security on the go that my daughter has built into her bed at home.
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!
Yummi Pouch Cloth Snack & Storage Bags by Revelae Kids
These modern cloth snack bags are another travel essential to hold our snacks while on family hikes. They close with a zipper and perfectly hold dry snacks, fruit, hair accessories, cosmetics, and more! Everything Storage Bags by Revelae Kids are ideal to hold larger items such as extra clothes, hats and sunglasses, and bottles of sunscreen or bug repellent. You can keep everything together in a cute, moisture-resistant cloth bag that you can tuck into your purse, diaper bag, or beach bag.
Okiedog Kids Backpacks
Nothing travels better on a family vacation than a cute kids’ travel bag. okiedog has several darling backpacks designed especially for kids and roomy enough to hold all 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
We like exploring forest trails and stopping on a stump for snack time. Kids enjoy time spent together as a family and discovering simple things like pretty flowers, spotting a chipmunk, and throwing rocks in a lake. Don’t plan an adventure that’s too long; our kids eventually need to be carried the rest to the way back to the car.
A hike through the forest is a fun and easy way to enjoy the great outdoors and fill an afternoon while traveling with kids.
Where will you go adventuring with your family this summer? Every family can enjoy the stage they are in by choosing age-appropriate ways to make memories and go on adventures as a family.
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.