Traveling With Kiddos

Alright mama’s, I’ve finally finished tackling all the questions you left on instagram last week about traveling with kids! I have a full recap of our trip to Jackson Hole coming up but today were talking all about traveling (and it’s a lonnnng one). So here we go……..

What do you do for Car seats? I’m afraid to check them plane side for fear of the shape they’ll be in?

We’ve flown several times and always checked our bags at the main check in (never at that gate). In the beginning we honestly just used trash bags to cover them and they always came out fine. They make tons of car seat travel covers like THIS ONE that got good reviews and THIS ONE with wheels that are great too.

I’m curious on how you do naps/bedtime. I feel like we are always stuck in the room when traveling with babies. My kids are 3 and 5 now so its not bad but were having another in a couple months so we need to figure this out.

Gooood question! If we’re traveling in the same time zone we really try our best to stick to the same nap and bedtime schedule. Unfortunately (and fortunately) we are very routine/scheduled oriented in our home. So when we travel we are pretty much always back to our rooms by 7. Before we had Luca and it was just Ava we would push it and stay out late but 9 times out of 10 it turned into a disaster. She would be so over tired and have major melt downs when we got back to the room for bedtime. Right now when we travel the kids still have us up by 630 am so we usually aren’t bummed about having the be back in the room (and the kids asleep 😉 by 7-730.

I just started the journey of mom of 2! Just when you got it down with one the whole game changes again. If you don’t mind me asking do you have a nanny? 

Oh my gosh yes having two is definitelyyy a game changer. I always think to myself “what the heck was I complaining about before when I only had one to worry about”. 😉 I think its an easier life adjustment when you have your second child because you’re already in your mom role but everyday errands and traveling are a little harder when there’s two. As for help yes I do have a help a couple hours a day during the weekdays. There’s NO WAY I would be able to blog full time without those few hours and to be honest I still feel behind and like there aren’t enough hours in the day to finish everything I need to do. We don’t have help on the weekends or when we travel. I should probably put together a post on blog/working because I’ve been getting a lot of questions about that lately. If you want to know more about that feel free to leave your questions below and i’ll try to answer them! xo

(Comfy Travel Style for the whole fam bam xoxo)

I’m going to Maui with a five month old and need to know everything! What to bring, what to carry on? Car seat?

What to bring…this may very depending on your child but we always bring our sound machine, favorite blank’y and our video monitor. We try out best to recreate the same kind of sleep environment/routine that we have at home. We used to always bring out car seat. We used THIS INFANT CARSEAT, and THIS ONE , Luca is currently using THIS ONE and Ava uses THIS ONE. Recently we started to call ahead and use a car service to and from the airport that supplies the car seats. It’s definitely an extra expense but its saves us the hassle of packing, installing and repacking our own. Now if we are somewhere for a long period of time and have a car rental then we always bring our own seats.
For in flight I ALWAYS have wet wipes (the sanitizing ones), TONS of snacks, an extra set of clothes (Luca drools non stop and Ava vomited multiple times on her first flight, so extra clothes are always a good idea), Suckers (a little bribery goes a long way;) and a couple new small toys that fit in the diaper bag. Oh we also love those magic pen and coloring books that you get from Targets $1 aisle.You know the ones that are clear till you color on the paper and they turn colors. Those are always a hit on plane rides.

(I’m pretty much always in Sneakers (more sizes HERE) when I travel these days and use this oversized tote and my carry on suitcase)

I have a very active 18 month old. How do you make it through the whole flight when they have no interest in an iPad? 

Ugh I feel for you! I honestly can’t wait till Luca is into the iPad. It sounds awful but iPads have been a life saver when traveling! I think the ages from 7 months (or whenever yours start crawling) to about 2 are the hardest times to travel. (would you moms agree?) It’s so tough when they’re not walking because you don’t want them crawling around on the airport floor and they don’t want to be confined to a seat on a long flight. I’ve heard some people bring their car seats on the plane and strap them in (which I think might be easier) but if you do that you have to pay for the extra seat. I don’t know about you but I try to take FULL advantage of them being an in lap infant rather than paying for another flight bc once they hit 2 you have to purchase a ticket for them. Have any of you done the car seat on the plane? I’d love to know your thoughts on it.

Best stroller to travel with on the airplane?

Okay I have several strollers (I still have a stroller post in the works) but it’s always a toss up with which one to bring because they’re all great for different reasons. The last couple trips we ended up bringing THIS ONE with The Second Seat Kit to make it a double. No matter how hard we try to scale back, we always have tons of stuff to bring and you can’t beat the storage space on that stroller.
 If you only have one child I highly suggest THIS UMBRELLA STROLLER. We used it a TON and always brought it with us when we traveled before Luca came. I’m now on the hunt for a double umbrella stroller and eyeing this new one from UPPA BABY and THIS ONE. Please share if you have a double umbrella stroller you love too!

Any tips on packing? 

It’s so crazy packing for a family of four now. Even if you’re only traveling for a couple nights there’s still SO much to pack. Depending on how long we are going for we always check at least one large suitcase and bring one carry on. I pack necessities in the carry on just in case our luggage gets lost. I usually put diapers, changes of clothes for the kids and other must have necessities.

Best time of day to fly for an infant? Also how do you deal with their little ears popping at the higher altitude?

I try my best to plan our flights around Lucas nap time but you just have to work with what you can. A lot of other factors come into play like flight prices but we usually try to get an early flight out. I’ve never done a red eye with the kids because I feel like that could be a real hit or miss. (mama’s feel free to chime if you have any advice in that department). We do however always go for the direct flights only. When you have a layover it just adds hours onto another already long day. Not to mention if you end up having delays as well.
When Ava and Luca were both really young I would nurse them during take of and landing but now I just make sure Luca is having a bottle. Honestly we never really had a real issue with the ears popping.

How to easily load the kid and car seat onto the plane, how to not loose your sh** when they do and how to handle mid flight freak outs? 

I touched on this one in one of the above questions but we’ve always checked our car seats with our baggage. I think it would definitely be easier on us to bring the car seat and have the little one secure but we always opted out because to do that you have to purchase a separate seat. By the time the hit 2+ mark where you have to purchase a seat for them, they can totally sit in their seat on their own.
How to not lose your sh!T… lol well trust me there are times that I’ve come close.

When we landed in Jackson Hole last week they have you de-board outside and it was freezing. Well Ava being a So Cal kid she hates wearing jackets. Anyhow she proceeded to throw a huge fit once we got off the plane (in 30 degree weather). I try to stop them before they happen…(bc we all know when they’re coming on right?) but if they do happen I try my best not take her on. I just tell her “let me know when you’re done throwing a fit and and well put on your jacket and go”. It’s super frustrating (and stressful) but I just try my best to be patient and if that doesn’t work…..

There’s always wine! 
Bless the United Airline stewardess who brought me a round on the house after she watch me struggle trying to get Luca to nap on the plan for over an hour. A little bit of wine goes a long way! (can I get an Amen! ;))

How are y’all able to sneak away for some alone time?

Ahhhh alone time…what is that? 😉 So we love to travel but to be honest it can be A LOT with kiddos. We don’t travel nearly as much as we used to but we knew we would be scaling it back a bit these first few years when the kids are so young. Ava is getting to an age where it’s so much easier (and more fun) to travel with. Luca… well we’re still in the thick of it with this stage. Basically the only alone time we got is when the kids go to bed. We’ve never traveled with help or family members soooo our alone time consists of staying in the room and lounging after the babes are down. It’s not our idea way we would like to spend out vacations but we know this phase is temporary and just try to soak up the experiences we have at the destination when they’re awake. The kids have us up so early that by the time their bed times role around we’re not even complaining about being back in the room for the night.
This trip to Jackson Hole was the first time we ever used daycare. We put Luca in the hotel daycare for a few hours (yes he cried ;( and I stood outside and watched him for 45 mins until he fell asleep and we also put Ava in ski school (which she also protested but after about 45 minutes she finally got on board). It was hard for me because we’ve never done that before but honestly it was nice for the hubby and I have a bit of a break, even if it was only for a few hours.

Sleeping arrangements for two kids? I feel like we have system down for one kids but were expecting our second and I’m lost! Doesn’t the baby wake the toddler up?

This has changed for us as the kids enter different stages. We always try to book hotels that have cribs available so that we don’t have to bring a pack n play as well. When we go back home we do bring our play yard and my husband SWEARS by THIS ONE. He says it’s so easy to set up and break down (and that means a lot coming from him ;).
We also try to book a room that has a separate living area so that after the kids are asleep (around 7pm) we can sneak away and have some us time watching movies and having some wine. If it has a patio then that’s a big bonus! Ava used to sleep with us and Luca was in a crib and lets just say sleeping with her is BRUTAL. We always end up cracking up in the night because one of us always end up with a foot or hand in our face. This last trip Ava actually slept in a roll away bed at the foot of our bed! Yeah!
As for the baby waking the toddler up….ugh! I should probably do a Luca update but my sweet baby boy who just turned one stilllll wakes up once a night. We were so spoiled with Ava who slept from 7 to 7 without fail every night. So this trip the first night we go to Jackson Hole they both were up off and on all night. Luca woke up crying and woke Ava up. It was a disaster. Luckily it was only that one night and the rest of the trip they all slept great!

My son is 9 months and were thinking of taking a family vacay and would love to know your travel must haves! 

I touched on this one in the above but definitely tons of snacks, Wet Ones sanitizing wipes, some little toys and bring a favorite blank’y or anything to help with nap time (if you can get them to sleep on the plane that’s amazing because 9 months is a tough age to keep them contained and entertained).

Yes sleeping with two kiddos in one room? We have a ski trip planned in March with our 2 month and 17 month old. Are we nuts?!

Oh that’s a tough one because you probably have two nap times you’re trying to tackle. In our hotel the bathroom was big enough that we could put Lucas crib in there. It also had one of the those rolling/sliding doors so we were able to kind of have a second room for him and that helped with trying to get him to sleep and away from our noise. It may be worth trying to get a room with a separate living area so if one wakes up they’re not waking the other one up too. Good Luck mama!

We totally have a moment during just about every trip where we say “forget it, were not traveling again for awhile” only to them book something again a few months later. Traveling with kids is so different than traveling solo but the experiences really are so worth it in the end. The excitement on their faces on all the new adventures and places they get to discover is priceless. I think you just have to realize that it’s not all going to be perfect. There will be melt downs and things won’t always go as planned but you just have to roll with as best you can. And wine lots of wine 😉
As always I love hearing your feedback and tips and I’m sure my readers would love to scroll through your comments as well!

I hope this was helpful for you mama’s! 
(and sorry if there are a lot of typos. This was a long post and  babes were demanding my attention so couldn’t read through it again xo)
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  1. Thank you SO much for posting this!! Traveling this fall with my twins who will be 18 months and also this summer and I was struggling on what to do about naps and bedtime since we have a rigid schedule for them as well!

  2. This was an awesome and extensive post. Thank you for putting alot of thought into the answers.
    I would love for you to do a baby update. My son is about to turn 1 on Feb 13 and I would love to hear about your little one. We too are still waking up 1-2x a night. I would love to hear about favorite foods/products.
    Thank you

  3. Thank you for this! We are planning our first trip with our 5 month old twin girls. I'm so nervous because I feel like it takes 3 hours to get them out of the house just to run errands or go to dinner. You answered all of my questions and covered things I didn't even think about (like using a car service with seats is brilliant). Such a great post! And hello to my fellow twin mom above 🙂

  4. Great post! Highly recommend the Maclaren stroller. As far as travel goes, I'm a really light and terrible sleeper, so whenever we travel we rent a small house or condo with two bedrooms. Typically the prices are cheaper than renting a hotel suite. We rented a house in Palm Springs once with a pool so that during nap time we could hang out and lounge in the sun ��

    1. I was just going to post almost the same thing. I tested both the Uppa Baby and the MacLaren and went with the MacLaren. It's lighter in weight, easier to fold and love the shoulder strap. I also almost always rent a house when we travel as I'm a light sleeper. Houses are cheaper than suites.

      Thank you for a great post Andee. Have you traveled to Europe with your little ones yet? We just came back from Mexico but hoping to go to Italy next year. I'm curious to hear tips for longer distance travelling especially with time difference as well.

  5. Car seats and planes. We now always lug our seats on the plane. We take the stroller through the airport (which holds the seats, yay Orbit) and gate check the stroller. We have had damage one time we flew and checked the seat. And the airline does not accept responsibility. So. I wrestled my 18m old on a long flight for a long time and had a ride flight attendant that required he be seated in my lap. Actually seated, which he hated, if the seat belt light was on. It was awful. The next time we flew, he was 2 so we bought a seat and brought the car seat on. GAME CHANGER. He was used to the seat in the car and it was such a more relaxed flight. We now have an eight month old and have flown with her twice, both times buying her a seat. It's so much easier. Loading and unloading is no joke but the flight itself is a dream. Plus, I've heard of damage happening to checked seats that isn't visible from the outside but compromises the way the seat performs so I try to avoid that if at all possible. So much work with kids! And usually worth it.

  6. Also, the go guava lotus crib is AMAZING. We have the breeze too but only use it if traveling by car. Plane, we always pack the lotus. It's so good and so much nicer than hotel cribs. Our kids are the same, early to bed. And we try to keep the environment as close to home and familiar as possible.

  7. I absolutely LOVE your blog. I am a new mom to a gorgeous 4 month old girl and I love how you are always so transparent and honest in your posts! Keep it up. You are definitely an inspiration to stay fabulous!

  8. I absolutely love your blog. I am a new mommma to a gorgeous 4 month old girl and your posts really help me out. Thank you for being so transparent and honest! Youre an inspiration to always stay fabulous!


  9. What an awesome post! And so familiar too! We have such a similar situation as far as an older daughter and younger son, 4 & 11 months. Traveling like you said is so worth it in the end, but my biggest adjustment was just changing my expectations of what we would do and how everything would go. Now that we have done it multiple times and I know what to expect we just roll with it. We always get 2 rooms adjoining or try to book a suite with separate living room so that the baby can have his quiet place for naps,etc. I totally agree with recreating home the best you can in the hotel room. We are pretty scheduled too and plan most of our activities around nap times as well. My husband and I are a pretty good team so we usually split up and tackle one kid each at bedtime or getting ready in the a.m. We just traveled to San Francisco and we did a road trip. Most of the ride, my son screamed, I broke my phone and I looked like total crap most of the time. My sunglasses and beanies saved me and I planned cute outfits so I still felt put together. Must say your mama style puts me to shame, but hey like I said we gotta set realistic expectations, right?!

  10. I love Q and A posts. I feel like bloggers are able to connect with their readers. Please do a Q and A on relationships, marriage, mom/wife balance.
    Thank you

  11. Welllllll, tomorrow is the day! We are jetting out of LAX to go visit my parents – wish us luck!!! I'm praying my 2-year-old doesn't become the negative subject matter of our fellow air travelers' dinner convo. O_O #passthewine #ALLthewine

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