This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Surprize by Stride Rite for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.
They say to take time to travel before you settle down but… um… what does that mean for the rest of us? Do we need to wait 20+ years until each child is grown and out of the house to be able to travel?? I think not. Josh and I love exploring new towns, new beaches, and new places to hike all the time. Better yet, we do it with kids! Our 3 year old and 11 month old love to get out with us and discover new places. In doing so, we’ve learned a couple things along the way. Check out this list to learn a few ways to make traveling with kids easier and more fun for everyone!
1 | Pack an extra of everything
I’m the type that likes to pack light. I usually assume that everyone will be fine, we probably won’t have any diaper blowouts, and that packing more will only make the trip messy and more complicated. While that might be the case, the alternative to any of that is basically an emergency. What if you’re out of town and a kids DOES have a blowout?? What if your toddler DOES lose a shoe? I’ve pulled up outside a grocery store, gotten the baby out of the car, only to put him right back in again because I realized that he had a HUGE blowout somewhere during the 11 minutes for us to drive to the store and I had 0 diapers and 0 changes of clothes. I took the poopy baby into the nearest Target, bought a pair of pajamas and a pack of diapers and proceeded to clean up the mess in the bathroom. THANK GOODNESS we only had one child at the time or I may have shed a tear or two. Moral of the story, pack extras. It’s worth the effort.
2 | Bring help
A helping hand from someone who is willing to put in the extra mile is worth 1,000 toys and 1,000 snacks. When possible, try inviting a friend or family member on your day trips with you, preferably one who won’t have their own littles to worry about. When our family is available, we love getting them to join in the fun and travel to new places with us. They know exactly when mom and dad need a break and when to jump in- and they never mind doing it! Not to mention the kids always seem to react well to a “change in management” from time to time.
3 | Snacks that take a long time to eat
It’s no secret that babies and toddlers emotions get the best of them. But what makes almost all babies and toddlers happy? Simple! Food. Now, of course, any parent is going to pack snacks for a day trip. But the key here is to pack a snack that takes a long time to eat. The longer it takes to eat, the longer your child will be content while eating it. Honestly, simply handing our toddler an apple is the BEST way to keep him happy in the car for like an hour. He might be playing with toys or jabbering away, but it takes him so long to eat that sweet, crunchy snack, that it last forever! Our 11 month old loves to eat cheerios out of a cup with a rubber lid where she can stick her hand through and grab a couple at a time. Bellies full, minds distracted, everybody happy.
4 | Plan ahead to have the right gear
When visiting a new area, it’s important to know where you’ll be walking and what the area is like. Usually, at the beginning of any trip, our toddler refuses to ride in the stroller. But. We always bring it anyway because we know without a doubt he’s going to ask to be carried back to the car. I, personally love to put the 11 month old in the stroller to free up my arms but being the strong, independent woman that she is, loves to see the world from a higher vantage point. So we almost always keep a baby backpack in the car or stow it in the bottom of the stroller should we need it.
It’s also essential to have a functional baby bag that can fit in the bottom of a stroller if you’re going to be walking a lot. With our first baby, we had a traditional baby bag but then opted for a backpack with our second and we quickly realized we needed our arms a lot more with two kids!
5 | Make sure your kids are comfortable
We always try to remember to do our best to look up the weather before we travel to a new place to make sure we’re all dressed appropriately. Last summer, when my mom was visiting us, we took her to a beautiful hiking spot called Hurricane Ridge. While the weather was sunny and in the high seventies back in town, it was in the 40s and cloudy on our hike. Aaaand being stubborn and not wanting to pack too much, we were caught without warm clothes for the kids. Oops. Don’t be like us.
6 | Remember to help them be independent
Ok, so it might sound like an oxymoron to help someone be independent. However, if you set a child up for success, they can truly thrive in an environment where they feel safe but free to explore and learn. Our girl, Evy, is extremely independent and wants to discover everything for herself. That’s why we got her set up with a pair of Stride Rite shoes from Target. They are so perfect for her because they’re designed to gain traction and to protect little baby toes from stubbing because, let’s face it, they’re still pretty wobbly. Once she really gets moving, the memory foam foot bed will keep her feet comfortable for hours of walking and running! Grab a pair of Surprize by Stride Rite at Target before your next little adventure!
Evelyn has done so incredibly well in these shoes, I could not recommend them more! I can honestly say that they have made a big difference in helping to stabilize her as she learns to walk, even outdoors on some uneven ground. She has always been an extremely determined girlie and loves to keep up with her big brother and Surprize by Stride Rite help her to do just that! We easily found Evy’s pair in the infant section of Target near the strollers.