Travel Tips with 2 Year Olds!

Hey guys! So today I wanted to share some travel tips if you have little ones. Our twins are 2 years old now, so things are definitely different from a year ago, and even just 6 months ago. I always am so thankful for Andrew, because I sometimes would rather just not go anywhere just so I don’t have to deal with the stress of traveling with the girls. It’s much easier to stay at home and remain in our everyday routine. But Andrew is always wanting to go to new places with the girls and I’m always glad we went after. Even if it was a lot of work (which is usually is!), it’s fun to look back on those memories and be able to show the girls everything they did when they were little.

So in today’s post I wanted to share some photos of our most recent trip to the Rancho Bernardo Inn, which is only about 45 minutes away from us and also some tips to make your travel go as smooth as possible.

Have you guys ever done a “staycation”, to me that’s considered traveling somewhere that feels like vacation, but it really isn’t too far from your home. For our family, a quick trip to San Diego or Orange County is really ideal. We get the vibe we are away, but it’s so close!

tips traveling with kids
tips traveling with kids
traveling tips with kids

Tip #1: Bring more snacks than you think you’ll need.

I don’t why this makes me laugh, but seriously I am always running out of snacks wherever we go. I under estimate how much the girls combined will eat and also sometimes Andrew and myself will want some too. If we are going somewhere for a weekend or longer I pack a separate bag with snacks and stuff we may need on the go. When we go out to restaurants, we usually have to wait a little bit until our food is ready, so it’s also nice to keep some snacks in your diaper bag in case you need to keep them occupied while waiting.

Here are some things you can usually find in this bag, just depends on how long we’ll be gone and what we have on hand.

wipes (to clean up sticky hands and messes)

granola bars

fruit snacks

pouches

water bottles

bottles for milk

ziplock bags with popcorn, cereal or veggie straws (a bag for each girl, sometimes two)

a few cookies or something sweet (my secret weapon that I can use to either keep them entertained/quiet/happy if really needed)

***Also bring extra shoes and extra clothes because of spills or losing things or who knows what!

tips traveling with kids

*Can we talk about these potato skins?? Maybe one of the top things I’ve EVER eaten. Oh my gosh so yummy, and I had a little mocktail which was fun. The girls tried creme brulee for the first time and fell in love.

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Tip #2: Don’t expect their sleep to be the same.

We still bring two pack n plays with us and so far they have been great. During this trip we just had them sleep with us in bed and it was a mistake haha. They move around sooo much it’s insane. But typically we will set up their pack n plays next to each other and bring their sound machine so as least something is normal for them. We also always bring the things they sleep with at home. So their bears, blankets and binkies. I pack all those things in the bag with their clothes. I try to put them to bed around close to the same time that they sleep at home. But I try to not be super strict, especially if we are with family because they’ll usually like to play with them a lot. But within an hour of when they normally sleep is what I aim for. Just because I know they need the rest and will be much happier once they wake up. It’s also nice for me to get a break!

If we are somewhere with other people and maybe they aren’t sleeping great or we are sharing a room and they see me, I try to soothe them first back to sleep without picking them up. But if they really won’t sleep and are crying a lot, I will bring them in bed with me for the sake of everyone around us!

tips traveling with kids

Tip #3: Have a loose schedule and give yourself extra time.

You never know how long they will nap, how long it will take you to leave the hotel or how slow your kids will walk to the restaurant. :) If you are making reservations, give yourself ample time to get there. I always start getting ready earlier than I think is necessary because stuff ALWAYS comes up. Your little one will get a cut from jumping off the bed, they’ll be taking extra long to go to the bathroom and they will not want to put clothes on. Or shoes for that matter. Kids are unpredictable so just be ready for that and don’t have a super tight schedule or else you’ll probably be stressed trying to fit everything in. I’m at the point where I’d rather take our time, let the girls enjoy things as long as they are having fun, rather than racing to the next activity.

tips traveling with kids

*How cute is that little tent? It was in our room with a little teddy bear and s’mores kit for the girls to use at night!

Tip #4: Don’t expect everything to go according to plan.

Because it won’t. I am a planner and like to have everything planned out to a T. Before I had kids, I would get annoyed when something didn’t pan out the way I had intended it to. But kids tend to change a lot of things. They change your priorities for SURE. Now I’m more focused on them being fed, changed and having a good time rather than doing everything we said we would do. You have to really go with the flow when traveling with little ones. This particular weekend, the girls ended up getting colds the first night. They were up, what seemed to be every 30 min., coughing and crying and just not sleeping. I got zero sleep. But I realized in the middle of the night as I was thinking oh my gosh how am I going to function tomorrow, that the day would pass and coffee would help. Obviously kids getting sick when you aren’t home is not fun, but it actually seems to happen to us a lot. They are thrown off their schedule, exposed to new germs and much more tired. So I’m learning to just roll with it. Embrace the uncertainty because you’ll look back one day and laugh!

tips traveling with kids
tips traveling with kids

Tip #5: Be in the moment.

This is one that can sometimes be hard for me. I think as moms, we are always 5 steps ahead of everyone else. The minute we sit down for lunch, we are already on the defense and ready for a spill or a melt down to come at us. We are thinking about when the kids will need their next snack, when they’ll need their diaper changed, how long it will take to get from point a to point b and so on. I think we take pride in that. We are “all-knowing” of our kids needs. However, sometimes that can be our biggest enemy. At the end of the day, if you are doing something fun with your family or friends, you won’t look back and think about what a great super-mom you were. You will look back and remember how fun your kids had, or what a great trip it was. And that’s what your kids will remember too.

I think while yes, as moms we feel the need to keep everything under control and running smoothly, but what happens is we don’t ever get to be in on the fun. So I think once it a while it’s okay to wait a little bit to change their diaper or give them a cookie instead of trying to scout out a place with healthier options. It’s all about choosing your battles when on trips and deciding what really matters.

I hope this helped you guys out if you are planning on traveling with your toddlers soon. This stage is so much fun, but also so much work. Toddlers test your limits daily, but leave you laughing so hard. It’s quite the wild ride!

tips traveling with kids

Thank you to Rancho Bernardo Inn for providing us with the room accommodations. We had a wonderful time and loved to come back to one of our favorite spots! I would highly recommend if you are looking to stay in the area. Also, I did a spa day with a few of my friends last year and it was amazing!!