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Real Talk Real Moms | Vacationing with Kids

May 19, 2017

Since we’re currently on a trip with our son (see more on Instagram!) I wanted to join in for this month’s Real Talk Real Moms series to share a bit about our approach to travel with a toddler. To keep it simple and easy to read, I’ve sort of interviewed myself asking the big questions I get asked a lot on this topic.

How do you handle the sleeping situation?
After enough trips where we shared a room with a baby in a pack n play, we’ve come to the conclusion that whenever we travel we always need to arrange for a separate sleeping space for Jack. If we’re in a hotel, we book a suite. If we’re stay with friends or family, we use a spare room or even a large bathroom or closet. Kids are happiest when they sleep well, and our son sleeps best in his own space, ideally without any light peeking in!

What kind of pack n play do you have?
We invested in the 4MOMS Breeze before Jack was born and it has been worth every penny. It’s larger than a lot of other pack n plays, which means our giant toddler still sleeps comfortably in it. Plus it’s super easy to travel with thanks to a great design for a quick setup and tear down.

Where have been your favorite places to travel as a family so far?
Aside from visiting close friends and family in Texas and Massachusetts, Santa Barbara has probably been our favorite spot! It’s so beautiful and it’s so easy to entertain a kid when it’s nice out and a beach or pool is near. A couple of our favorite spots are the Belmond El Encanto and El Capitan campgrounds. We haven’t attempted the campgrounds with Jack yet, but absolutely plan to go there when he and our baby girl are a little older and we don’t mind bunking with them in a cabin.

What kid items do you bring with you when you travel?
Aside from the 4MOMS Breeze, we like to keep our kid stuff to a minimum. We have never brought a stroller with us, though that may change when we have 2 kids. Since Jack isn’t potty trained we also always bring diapers and wipes, though if we’re gone for more than a few days we’ll pick them up when we arrive at our destination or have them shipped via Amazon. Lastly, we always pack a few little cars and trucks that Jack to play with anywhere, as well as a couple of books for him to flip through during car rides. Oh, and snacks! Travel is always easier with kids when you have snacks 🙂

What kind of expectations do you set for travel with a toddler?
I try to keep my expectations low and make my only goal to try our best and make good memories. We try not to stick to strict schedules and get sort of lax about naptimes and bedtimes when necessary. Although we try to stack the odds in our favor by picking good travel times, it’s inevitable that kids will get a little cranky when they’re out of their element so we just try to roll with it and have fun.

Now tell me all of your tips!! I want to know. And don’t forget to check out the other posts in the series:

Design for Mankind | The Fresh Exchange | The Effortless Chic | Oh Lovely Day | A Daily Something

  • Sara Azani
    May 21, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    Natalie, thank you so much for sharing this! I’m currently six months pregnant with twins and am gearing up for all of the changes to come. <3

    xx Sara

    • Natalie Borton
      May 23, 2017 at 2:21 pm

      Oh wow, big changes coming for sure!

  • MJ
    May 31, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    we stayed at el cap tent option (the cabins look great too) with our girls when they were 2 and 5 and it was great!! we go to SB every summer, it’s my happy place 😉

    • Natalie
      June 2, 2017 at 12:25 pm

      So fun! We for sure are going back there again. Love it!