In the past 5 months, we have been to India, Mexico and Miami. It has felt much easier traveling with my son after he turned 2.5 years vs. before. Of course it has helped that we started traveling with him when he was an infant and he is now used to the drill. So now that he is 3 years old, these are some of the things that make my trips successful:
- Vacation for 4-5 days at least – don’t cut it short
- This one still applies – take direct flights, avoid layovers if you can
- Rent with Hertz. They have always provided a clean car seat and is always installed when I pick up the car. I still confirm twice to make sure everything will be in order
- Read the hotel reviews. Spending on your hotel room is of great value now than before. Hotels with a kids club are of great value. Just make sure you have read all the reviews on the kids club. I have always called ahead of time to talk to the director of the kids club to get a feel for the club, it’s services and if it is appropriate for my child given his age and interests
- If not getting two separate rooms – request hotel to provide a spare bed. Take your own sheets if you child has sensitive skin. Take a small pillow or lovee that your child uses every night to fall asleep
- Pack as many clothes for the little one, keep your own bags light. Pack his/her favorite small toys and 3 most favorite all time reads. Paperbacks are great to travel with
- If traveling international, take a few snacks you are sure your child will eat e.g.: take his/her favorite peanut butter as you will always find bread, take Mac n Cheese – its easy to cook. Take and Toss is still my favorite. I have atleast carried straws and traveling spoon & fork set
- Take basic medicine, thermometer and weather-appropriate toiletries (lotions, sprays etc.)
- Research restaurants in and around your hotel. It’s great to have a few options on hand. Quickly research nearby grocery stores, pharmacy, mall etc.
- Always keep sanitizing wipes handy – use them on the plane, rental car, in your room just to keep it safe. Sanitize in route always
So there are a few things to think about, keep your child entertained and manage his/her usual schedule. But overall everyone should take a break and enjoy. Vacations are a great way for the whole family to connect – so put away the blackberries, the iPhones and get to know each other. Let your child break some rules, don’t forget he/she is on vacation too.