I can honestly say I love traveling with my kids. It pleases me to no end to watch them soak in and explore a new destination, particularly a foreign country where they have to be resilient and adaptable to a new culture, foods and language. Of course, it’s also a ton of work – from the car rides, to the family friendly restaurants we had to hunt down. In general, it’s just harder schlepping them all around, but also so much worth the experiences as a traveling family.
There are some things you can do to make traveling with kids easier. We just returned from a three-week long vacation in Vietnam with our three kids. If I can haul 3 young kids on 7 flights and across 3 cities overseas, you can do it, too! Here are my top travel tips:
Invest in a JetKids BedBox–the world’s only portable in-flight bed and ride-on suitcase. Yes, seriously, someone made this! My boys had so much fun zipping around the airport on their carry-ons. People stopped to take videos! It’s a great time-killer when you have active children who need to run off some steam before boarding.
The luggage converts to an in-flight bed that can be attached to the seat. The only downside was that my oldest two are just too long for it, but we made the most of it because we were seated in a bulkhead row and their feet could dangle off the edge.
Keep them on the same daily routine you have at home. It’s so important to have consistency with little kids, even when you’re on vacation. When it’s naptime, it’s naptime. Don’t skip it! If you need to adjust the time a little bit, go ahead. But you may be surprised to find that they have little trouble falling into their natural schedule.
Pack as little as possible. Not even a single toy. Since we’re traveling to a major city, we know we can always pick up whatever we need there. Need diapers, SPF lotion, bug spray? Buy it at a local grocery store, or send via Amazon Prime if you’re staying domestic. But even foreign countries like Vietnam carry major brands such as Huggies and Pampers!
You can rent car seats if you plan to do a lot self-driving, but car seats are not required in taxi cabs domestically and are not used at all in some overseas countries, like Vietnam. In Vietnam, we took about six Uber rides a day on average. (All the locals get around on mopeds and they even carry infants and small kids on their laps without even batting an eye!)
Approach eating new foods with confidence. I believe that a lot of what our kids do, and how they act, is because of how we as parents project to them. For example, if bedtime was a major struggle the night before, chances are you are probably going to approach tonight’s bedtime with the same apprehension remembering yesterday’s shenanigans. Same with trying new foods–be confident and act nonchalant about it!
One other important thing I want to point out regarding eating out while on vacation, is food safety. Just because you’re on vacation, don’t forget to be overly cautious if your littles have food allergies, especially while traveling in a foreign country. My oldest has a peanut allergy, which made eating in Vietnam a nightmare. This is a country that eats peanuts in or on everything! They leave it on tables for snacking and street vendors walk around selling them. Peanut allergy awareness is basically nonexistent here! We had a bad scare in Nha Trang because I ordered a soybean drink for myself. I never would have thought to ask if the drink had peanuts in it, which it turned out, did! Roman drank some and immediately his throat swelled up. Thankfully, there was a pharmacy a couple blocks away and I was able to grab an antihistamine. All this happening as a local lady selling peanuts approached our table. Fortunately, Roman is only allergic to peanuts when ingested.
Lastly, enjoy yourselves! There’s nothing as worthwhile in life as traveling and exploring in a new place, especially when you are making memories with your loved ones! Just do it! Don’t overthink it. Otherwise, you’ll never step outside your comfort zone.
Don’t forget to read yesterday’s post on my Vietnam Travel Guide.
I created this video below via iMovie on my iPhone 7+. Took me 30 minutes tops. If I can do it, you can! It’s sooooo easy. Enjoy it and let me know what you think!
I love this quote here…
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sail. Explore. Dream. Discover”