Traveling With Children, Part 1: You Can Do It!!!

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Exploring the streets of Amalfi – the look in his eyes makes it ALL worth it!

When we made the decision to take William to Italy, I can’t tell you how many times people told us we were crazy. “You’re traveling with a one year old – to ItalyWon’t he be walking then? How do you really expect a one year old to sit still on the plane for ten hours?” and the best…

“Oh the other passengers will just LOVE you guys.” <<< Dripping in sarcasm. Thanks everyone!!! 

 Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of people cheering us on as well – but those people were few and far between. Long story short, those discouraging comments were how this blog post was born. As with all things in life, I think proper preparation is key. In the end, with some diligent planning, some crowd sourcing, and some benadryl and ambien <<< (just kidding) we made it through. And we didn’t just make it through, we sailed through. Easily. We weren’t banned from any airlines, restaurants, or hotels – and we actually had THE most amazing time.

When we got back from our trip, I got a lot of questions about how we did it.  So, per usual, I am here to tell you everything.  The good, the bad, and the ugly. How we packed, how we airplane-d, and generally, how we maintained our sanity. Even better – that crowd sourcing part I mentioned above – I have picked the brains of some of my favorite mommy bloggers, and I’m bringing you their top secrets for traveling with children as well.

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If you plan on traveling with children – this is Part 1 to your comprehensive guide (Part 2 is coming tomorrow). If you know someone that wants to travel with children – please feel free to share this with them. If you’re neither of those things, have no fear. <<< For you, I hope you love my blogger friends just as much as I do, and that you find some new amazing women to follow.  All of these women inspire me daily, and they are just as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside. 

Amaris Arcus, Lovely Blonde Closet

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Amaris has been one of my favorite mommy bloggers for quite some time now. She’s beautiful, she’s creative, and she’s an incredible mom. Her blog is stunning, she has the most amazing boho-chic style, and I love how candid she is on her Instagram. Amaris lives in Canada with her husband, and her two adorable babes, Addilyn and Beckett, and I’ve loved getting to know her and watching her beautiful family grow. Also – full disclosure – her snapchat will fuel your #babyfever. <<< 100%.

What are your favorite on-the-go snacks to pack? Some of our go-tos are grapes, they’re so simple, but they’re mostly mess-free and such a refreshing snack. I usually just pick off a handful, wash them and toss them in a container for Addi to hold onto.

What is the best piece of advice you have to give to parents traveling with young children? Lower your expectations or don’t have any at all! You need to go with the flow when you travel with children. This is key. There are some days when Addi wakes up in the happiest mood, and bam an hour later she is crying, having a tantrum and so emotional. On a trip you just have to go through the motions of what your kids need. For example, if you had your itinerary for the day planned out, got halfway through, and your toddler won’t nap, sometimes it’s better just to call it a day. Get back to the hotel, give your babe what they really want/need (a nap) and move around your plans (if you are able to). I swear once everyone is fed and has slept, you will enjoy your outing much more than trying to haul around a miserable toddler.

Sarah Tucker, Sarah Tucker Style

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Sarah was one of the first bloggers I ever followed on Instagram. It was so long ago that she wasn’t even a mom yet. I remember following along through her first pregnancy (with her son Tuck) and thinking how gracefully she handled everything – and how beautiful she looked. She seriously defies nature. Her second son, Wes, and  William were born only days apart, and let me tell you, her pregnancy style puts mine to shame. Her blog is beautifully written, her photography is gorgeous, and her kind heart shows through in everything she does. She lives with her husband, two boys, Tuck and Wesley, in Gulf Coast Florida.

What packing tips do you have for parents traveling with children? As far as packing I really try to plan out outfits, which is something I never do at home.  I make sure to bring more versatile pieces too.  For the boys, I pack their clothing in outfits, socks included.  I’ve also been known to put everything in gallon Ziploc bags.

What are your must have items? Wet ones to wipe down the seats and trays. I also love the boon snug sippy attachment – I used these so often on our last trip to Rome, and I always have one in my diaper bag. I also always pack a couple of new and exciting toys – the water wow is great and no mess. Lastly, organic lollipops or juice for the ascent and descent.

Do you have any funny anecdotes to share? I’ll never forget the twenty something Italian man on a plane with us from Zurich to Sicily.  I don’t know a single American male in his twenties that would be delighted to find out they were sitting next to a six month old.  But apparently Italians are a different breed!  He entertained Tuck the entire flight – silly faces, noises, and all.  It was really so kind.  I actually have a little clip of it here.

Caroline Curran, Perfect 10 SF

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Caroline is a newer blogger friend of mine, and all I can say is, thank goodness. She was born and raised in San Francisco, and she blogs about everything from style, to the business of blogging, and obviously now, motherhood. When we were first introduced, via email, I felt like I was chatting with one of my closest, oldest friends. That’s how reading her blog feels too. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and their sweet baby girl, Lillian.

What is the best piece of advice you have to give to parents traveling with young children? The most important piece of advice I have is to be prepared and to try to stay as relaxed as possible. Something will be left at home and something will go differently than planned, but going with the flow will make the vacation an actual vacation. Also – understanding who is doing what, and who is carrying what, helps relieve all of the stress of looking for car keys, plane tickets, IDs, etc.

What are your must have items? We brought our UppaBaby Cruz stroller with us and it was amazing! We did curbside check, pushed our daughter and gear through security and then did a gate check with the carseat and stroller. We bought a car seat travel bag but you can use garbage bags to cover the carseat if you don’t want to purchase a car seat protector.

Rachel Curran, Recovering Corporate

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Rachel and I have known each other for 7 years now – GAH where does the time go? She recently left her job as a VP at a Fortune 500 Company to “explore life beyond the 9-5 as a freelance writer and mama to [her] toddler girls.” Personally, Rachel is one of the most organized people I know, and she is endlessly thoughtful as well. She has affinities for anything monogrammed, letter pressed stationary, and calligraphy <<< like she does it herself, and she is a mean baker. <<< Her ginger snaps are out of this world! She lives in Reno, Nevada with her husband, two girls, Harper and Elliot, and their puppy Oakes.

What are your favorite on-the-go snacks to pack? I always have an emergency special treat on hand – like yogurt-covered raisins – that in moments of extreme desperation, I use for bribery.

What packing tips do you have for parents traveling with children? I get a little crazy on our bigger trips and dedicate a Ziploc bag for each day and put my daughters’ whole outfits, including socks and hair accessories in each bag. This makes it so much easier when my family would try to help me get the kids ready. Instead of me hollering from the hotel shower which color tights they need – they just have to look for the right baggie and it is all inside.

What are your must have items? A stash of plastic grocery store bags to tuck away in my carry-on or purse. They are my Macgyver item. I’ve used them as tarps and gloves, and then for obvious stuff like trash and wet or soiled clothes.

Aren’t these women amazing? I hope you’ve found this post informative, and that you’ve found some new favorite bloggers as well! Also stay tuned for my follow up post tomorrow. XooX

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