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Traveling with Kids with Nap-Time Creations

Today I'm sharing my personal tips for getting organized for summer travel. I'm Emily and I blog over at Nap-Time Creations. If you haven't been by before I'd love to have you pop over and check it out. Leave a comment so I can return the favor if you also blog!


I'm a small town girl from Wisconsin currently living with my family in Hong Kong. Its a big city and very different from where I grew up, but I {we} LOVE it!! Living halfway across the world requires travelling, and we have gone back twice a year for the 11 years I've lived here! The first five years it was just my husband and I, then we added one kid, then, two... and the 15 hour plane ride doesn't get any shorter... Oh, and I did I mention that I travel one way alone, just me and the kids.. SO... I've got a pretty set method for packing and for the actual travel. Whether you are flying across the world, or just driving a few hours to grandmas house, I think you can find a little nugget to help you this summer.

tips for traveltips for travel1

My plan, don't get the suitcases out until the VERY LAST MINUTE. If I do, my kids go nuts and starting putting things IN and taking things OUT and it makes a disaster of the whole packing thing... now, I don't wait until then to pack... my plan involves PILES. A pile for each suitcase and a pile for the carry-ons. Then at the end, its simple to just pop it all in the case and go. I find that I also remember most things this way too because I'm actually packing over the course of a week, and as I think of something I add it to a pile.

Take only what you need... no extra kids things {borrow!!! reduce!!!}

I know in the above photos it looks like we have a lot of luggage, but this is on my way back to HK and I've stocked up on our favorite US foods, clothes and craft supplies. We normally travel very light, back to the USA and other travel locations. My plan is to borrow {if travelling near friends or family} or go without when it comes to most kids items. If you are in a location where you can do laundry, pack enough clothes for about five days, even if the trip is longer. Our kids sleep with us when traveling or on a bed made on the floor. This greatly reduces bedding needs and keeps things simpler. When we are staying with family we generally are in one bedroom for several weeks in the summer. We have to be flexible with sleeping arrangements. Toys: when I do pack some... they don't get played with... my kids end up playing with whatever is at the house we are staying at or the new item {see below} that we bought for the trip... Its much more fun to play with new things. Don't waste luggage space with your everyday toys.

Buy a special gift for the kids or let them pick something out:

When the kids were little I used to buy several little gifts and let them unwrap a new one every few hours. It could be a new book, stickers, playdough, video, etc... all things that would keep them busy for a bit. Now that they are a bit older I let them choose something that will keep them busy for a long time and that they love. We don't leave for our summer trip for another month, but we bought the boys their sticker books last week. I've put them away, so they will still be special when we live. If you kids are into arts/crafts buy new markers or coloring book. Whatever will get the most miles of fun for the trip!

tips for travel
Pack Special Snacks
We eat very healthy at home. I loosen up for the plane trip {or long car drives} it makes it more exciting for the boys and more special when they know that they will have special snacks on the flight or we will be stopping for a treat on the drive. Its an easy way to make them happy {happier} during travel.

Make the Trip Special...
This goes along with the point above... I try to make it so my kids look forward to the trip instead of dread it. They don't get to watch much tv at home, so they know they can watch hours and hours on the plane... and they can't wait! Do I love that they watch 6+ solid hours of cartoons {ummm NO!} But, if it makes the trip go smoothly for me.. I can do it a few days of the year. Other ideas: buy a new DVD for the car ride, stop for a treat, go through the drive through at a favorite restaurant... pretty much be willing to put aside some rules for the day. I find the price I pay to relax for the day has a great reward when my kids enjoy themselves... These incentives also give me some leverage to take away if things aren't going well.

What are your travel tips?
For other travel related posts click the photos below...Travel Portfolio for FOUR passports 
Travel Portfolio for FOUR passports[/caption]

Trip memory journal

Single traveler portfoliotravelport1

1 comment

  1. Great tips for traveling with kids! We do the special gift too. Last trip it was a giraffe pillow that was stuffed with a blanket. I can imagine all the tools gathered for 'traveling with kids' toolbox when traveling across the globe!


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