Saturday, August 18, 2012

Traveling with the Kidlets ( and not going crazy)

I recently got back from a week long trip to visit my sister. My husband had to work so the girls and I went by ourselves. It's a decent day's drive, over and around the mountains into the province west of us. We did  the drive again (because we're crazy?) this week for some photo work and to spend more time with some of our favorite people.

In a couple of weeks (ah!!) we are going to be flying across the country to Nova Scotia. Flying.
With the same adorable, rambunctious little girls. 

We love to travel. It's one of the things we do as a couple and now as family. Rather then stopping altogether in the busy season with littles, we just figure out a new rhythm. 

Here's what we've found works for us:

Pack activity bags for the vehicle
These are often a collection of the girls' favorite books, the ones they like to look at over and over again. A few small toys that can be manipulated like an etch-a-sketch, an I-SPY bottle or a doll. I always make sure Kilmeny's sunglasses are in there, she likes to travel in style that one does. A favorite teddy and blanket are always close by as well. I avoid toys or books with any sound effects, hours in a small contained space with those sorts of toys would make us all go crazy. Agreed? 

Snacks and Drinks 
On my trip, we stopped by a grocery store on our way out. I grabbed some favorite snacks, ones that I don't buy all the time so they have that novel appeal. I also made sure I got Starbucks before heading out. 
Small containers work great for housing snacks like strawberries or chips and Kilmeny loves the idea of eating out of her brightly colored bowls. Small baggies of dried fruit and crackers work well as I can give the whole bag to the girls who can eat at their leisure without me constantly passing back another cracker. I made sure we were well-stocked in the food department for them and me so that if they were sleeping, I could just drive and drive. There were a few beautiful moments on my way home of driving through the mountains, sipping some hot tea and delighting in the rain amongst the trees while the girls slept.  

Keep it Fun 
Everytime I've driven somewhere long with the girls solo, I've always found a playground to stop at. I can feed the baby, Kilmeny runs around and plays, we all get fresh air. They typically fall asleep again after that little break which totally works for me. The novelty and delight of a new place to play is always worth that half hour (or less) it adds onto the trip. 
This last trip, Kilmeny was getting fussy and tired of being in her carseat until I gave her a fresh wipe. She 'cleaned' her carseat and then 'cleaned' everything she could reach. She was happy. I was happy. And it only took a few fresh wipes which under normal circumstances are not playthings. 

Make it Special 
 Something I'll be doing on future trips is packing a special surprise for each hour. It could be a snack, a new toy (hello dollar store!), coloring book/crayons, book, just something new and novel to pass the time away. Giving one each hour helps them to wait for it and keep their anticipation high.

There are some ideas, what works for you? Any new ideas on plane travel with two active little girls? 


  1. Love these ideas... they've always worked for us! Little ones also love easy-for-them-to-handle water bottles (which I'm sure you have). I <3 being organized and prepared! :-)

    1. I just got Kilmeny her very own pink water bottle, she loves it! =)

  2. Those are fantastic ideas, Breanne!!! Wow, if I were a little girl I'd love to travel in your car. :-)

    1. Krista, you are the how-to-travel-well-queen, thank-you =)

  3. Elianna is absolutely fascinated by my mp3 & earbuds right now. Photo albums with pictures of real people also hold her attention for much longer than regular books...maybe because she can recognize some of the faces now? I don't know, but whatever it is, I'll be bringing along a few albums if we fly east this fall! It's SUCH a long plane ride. I hope your trip goes well!



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