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Traveling with Kids

Today I am writing about the stress of traveling with kids… as parents, we get excited to plan our big trip with the family. What happens? D-day arrives and we start to freak out (or at least I do)! It is hard enough getting ourselves ready and, let’s be honest, most of us need to help our spouses as well; and if you are single mom, like I was for a while… forget about it. We all have our internal checklist: cancel paper, set light timer, notify alarm company, throw away food that may spoil, empty trash, ugh. I wish that was just the half of it.

Truly the hardest part for me is packing for my little ones. Especially when they were babies. The list is quite frankly endless: bottles, diapers, snacks, “sippy” cups, baby wipes, toys, bibs, baby sun block, medications (in case they get sick), car seats, baby shampoo and so on.

Thankfully, there are some great companies that will deliver everything you need right to your hotel. I happen to be super anal when packing and believe, wherever I am, there are not stores for me to purchase all my necessities; or maybe I am just lazy and want to enjoy my trip as soon as I arrive at my hotel.

This is how COVERPLAY came to be… it was one less worry on my very long list of them. It was much easier for me to throw the COVERPLAY slip cover in my bag and not carry two 25 lb. play yards with me.

Some tips for traveling with kids

Over the years, I would like to say, I have perfected traveling with my kids but I honestly think it is just because they have gotten older and I need LESS STUFF. But one of the tricks I have learned is to ask how can I make this a learning experience for them, as well. So I worked my magic and created color-coded bags for them. In those, I have snacks (low in sugar, because the last thing I need are hyped-up kids), coloring books, washable markers (for when they draw on the hotel walls) and games (quiet ones, so they don’t disturb other passengers on the plane). I also include amenities like a toothbrush and shampoo. Each child is responsible for their bag and the belongings in them. I color code everything because it reduces fighting over what’s theirs. Any mom with more than one child knows this always happens. We also know what will amuse our kids. It truly is a great way to personalize it based on your child likes.

I also keep a change of clothing in my carry-on bag: a couple pairs of underwear and a pair of pants. I learned from experience that children spill their drinks constantly and then they whine when they need to sit in wet pants for four hours on a plane… I reduced this oopsie.

And the most important item: FOOD, FOOD and more FOOD. I feel as if I am carrying a buffet in my bag as I board the plane. I must admit I love taking Lunchables — minus the drinks of course. They are super easy to throw in the bag, they don’t leak and come in many varieties. I also am a huge fan of mini boxes of cereal… especially if you have a child who is a picky eater, like I do. Once the kids were old enough, I did bring gum to keep their ears from hurting and always my trusty bottle of kids’ Motrin — you just never know — and, truthfully, if your kids have DVD players or iPods, make sure they are well charged and don’t forget the headset.

Do you have any travel tips? Check out Marriott’s Tots Travel Too contest and give us your tip for a chance to win a COVERPLAY and more.