Traveling right now may seem like a far-off dream, but keep dreamin' mama, hopefully, soon enough it will become reality. I like to think once our world starts to recover from this pandemic, we’ll all be looking for a beach to sit on, and some fresh air to breathe!
Last fall, we were lucky enough to take our two kids to Hawaii. Traveling with a 3-year-old and a 6-month-old, was not for the faint of heart. But, we had plenty of family to help and learned some really good tricks along the way. The trip actually went so smoothly, and we came away with so many great memories and dreams of going back.
I want to share tips for 3 areas of travel that were crucial for me and my family. I think these tips we used while traveling to Hawaii are really great for anyone who is doing any long-distance travel or beach travel with kids.
We were really worried about the airport/airplane in general, especially for our toddler. We got to the airport plenty early, so that we didn’t have to rush. We ended up needing this time because both our kids had major blowouts on the way to the airport. What a way to start a vacation, right? We took both our car seats with us in protective bags and checked them at baggage. I also stuffed several packages of diapers in with the car seats, so that I didn’t have to take up suitcase space. This was a major win since diapers in Hawaii are much more expensive and car seats check for free. We took our stroller all the way to the gate, so we could push the kids through the airport, which helped us out so much. For many more airport tips, this post has some really great advice.
While the airport was a breeze, the airplane seemed much more of a hurdle. We had our toddler carry her own backpack, which was jam-packed with activities and snacks. For more ideas on what to pack, this post is amazing. We also made sure to pack their blankets--they keep those planes chilly for little ones. We also packed some melatonin to help our toddler get a little nap in, and made sure to take advantage of that aisle. We walked it a million times, and it never got old. We also kept our flights in the evening and morning. Our kids are much less cranky during these times, so those flights started us out on the right foot.
Location, Location, Location
I know how cliche, right? But, in all seriousness, the absolute best part of our stay was our location. We splurged and got an Airbnb on the beach. I was definitely a skeptic before we got there, the place didn’t have A/C and I didn’t think it was worth the hype. However, it ended up making the trip a million times better. Being close to the water always gave us something to do. We didn’t have to make special beach trips or hurry back to the hotel for nap time. We went and played outside when we wanted to, and came inside when we were tired. We were farther away from other attractions, but those were easy to make day trips to. On days that we wanted to be lazy, we could go lay out by the water, and still feel like we were on vacation, and not just in a hotel room.
Pick and Choose Your Activities
Picking activities that are friendly for your family is crucial. Keeping your typical schedule is probably not realistic on vacation. Likely naps will be missed, bedtime will be late, and snacks will occasionally have to suffice as meals. But, doing your best to keep some type of consistency will always benefit you. We opted out of several activities so that we could hang back with the kids and let them have a much-needed nap. We also ventured out and did some of our own activities that others in our group wouldn’t have found as fun, such as tide pooling and sandcastle making. Sometimes on vacation, there is such pressure to pack in as much as you can during your time there, but with kids that can be really unrealistic. My best advice would be to slow things down, give your kids time to adjust and try to go with their flow. Find activities that won’t overwhelm them or bore them. Beach days may seem overhyped, but those were honestly some of our most favorite memories. And, if you need some more ideas for beach days, this post has some amazing tips.