We asked a BFC mom of twins for tips she’s learned while traveling and planning her family vacation. Here’s a top 10 list to help guide you on your next family adventure!
- If driving or flying have lots of snacks, drinks, games, coloring and some shows downloaded on a device in your back pocket. My kids love to play the license plate game on road trips, which includes looking for license plates from various states and making it a bingo game!
- See if the hotel you’re staying at has a Kids’ Club (and then maybe change the hotel if it doesn’t ;)). Review the itinerary of the Kids’ Club with your kids to determine if/when they want to go to make it exciting!
- Research the area you’re staying and have each family member write down the top 5 things they want to do. Review with the family and cast a vote to identify the top 3!
- Research and book restaurants that guarantee a kid’s menu.
- Check with a hotel or concierge if there are sitter services available for a date night — even better, book a BFC Travel Sitter to help! Then the kids can enjoy a fun night of room service and movies.
- Always look for the game room in a hotel or if you’re doing a property rental check to see if there are games there.
- Identify where the nearest doctor and pharmacy are in case of a last minute need.
- Review what hotel activities are available (bingo, pool activities, games) and make a list with the kids of some of their top ideas they want to do in a day.
- Bring toys or treats to add an element of fun each day. Something for the pool, the beach or outdoors that can go along with the theme of the day.
- If the kids meet friends while away re-establish the idea of a penpal!
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I’ve heard and seen how much new parents bring on road trips for their baby. I made a special point to not be one of those that bring everything they practically own (my attempt is seen in the photo below). I wanted to be prepared, but bring the minimum!
Thursday night before our trip I had the list in my head and began piling all the necessitates on my bed. I already prearranged to borrow certain things from my sister in Ohio (the big things).
My son and I woke around 4:30 a.m. and did our feeding routine. I put him down for a quick cat nap while I showered, ate, and finished cleaning the apartment. My husband got the car and we were on the road by 7:15 a.m. My son had never taken a paci before (the hospital I gave birth at made the suggestion), but I packed one just in case. Naturally, he began to fuss as soon as we got into the car, but then something happened…he took the paci and fell into a deep sleep! The sleep lasted till around 9:30 a.m., when we stopped for his feeding. We found a Panera Bread with clean outdoor seating that was perfect to nurse my son and grab a bite to eat. We sat next to a family with six kids under the age of eight. It didn’t take long for us to decide that we wanted to wait awhile before having another baby.
Back on the road again he resumed his sleep, while my husband did business calls and I answered e-mails. We stopped two other times, once to nurse again around 1:00 p.m. and another for a bathroom break before arriving at my parents house at 4:30 p.m. We didn’t make great timing like we used to, but I’ll take a no-cry ride with an extra two hours of travel any day!
Written by our Founder & CEO, and new mom, Lindsay Bell!
We all know we have given side-eye to the crying baby sitting next to us on a plane at some point in our travel adventures. Most of us plug in our head phones or have a glass of wine to cope, but that’s when it’s not our responsibility. Suddenly, life has thrown you a curve ball, and you are now the mom, sitter, or nanny with the crying baby on your lap. How do you cope?
We found a great article through Travel + Leisure that provides a survival guide on how to handle a crying baby through all of your travel adventures. Take a read, and find side-eye no longer in your vocabulary.
Fly in the morning, not afternoon
To avoid the fussy (4-6pm) time for babies
Window seat works best
Something to lean on, no one will run into you, and your baby won’t be distracted by everyone walking past you
Keep bottles, pacifiers, and toys handy
Classic tools to help babies during take-off and landing with those popping ears
For the full article on Travel + Leisure click here.
Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!
Traveling with kids can be quite the handful! Luckily, we have plenty of sitters on staff who are seasoned pros. Whether or not you’re bringing a sitter or nanny along with you this summer, we wanted to share some of our favorite tips for keeping lil’ ones entertained during your trip. Do you have any additional favorites? We’d love to hear them below!
1. Make sure to pay attention to the two “B’s” first and foremost: bathroom and belly. If you’re in the car, plan to take regular breaks at rest stops to let the family stretch, use the bathroom, and grab a bite. If you’re on a train, bus, or plane, make sure to scout out the bathroom early on and find the food options or pack plenty of snacks.
2. Bring plenty of entertainment. Here are some of our favorite in-car /transit entertainment options for lil’ ones:
-Mad Libs for older kids
-Car games (i.e. find a license plate from each state, one child chooses one color cars and one chooses a second color; see who can get to 20 first).
-Movies or shows pre-downloaded to a phone or iPad.
-Books or books on tape to listen to as a family or individual child
3. Engage your child. It doesn’t matter whether its teaching them how to read a map, allowing them to be the in-car navigator and read off the GPS directions, or showing them the map of where your flight or train will be traveling. This will help keep them up to speed with where they are on the trip (No more “Are We There Yet?”) and will keep them from getting too bored while waiting.
4. One of our favorite ideas we’ve heard (this one requires a bit more planning) is to buy a few toys for each child from the dollar store. Wrap them up or hide them and hand one over every 30 minutes or hour depending on how long your trip is. This will keep them occupied and excited for what comes next!