Mom Hacks for Traveling With Littles

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I’m super excited to be joining up with my friends, Arin from Arin Solange at Home and Navy from Navy Berlin, along with 7 other awesome ladies to share another fun post with yall this week. Today we’re all sharing our versions of MOM HACKS! Because who doesn’t love a good hack, right?! And don’t forget to check out all the other posts at the very end of this one…

When I started thinking about this post I really didn’t know where to begin, so I did what I do best: made a list! Haha. If you know me, you know I live and die by lists. I have lists for EVERYTHING - gift ideas, post ideas, recipes, photoshoot locations, groceries, etc. Maybe that should be a hack? How to make lists for everything in life haha.

Anyways… back on track. I started jotting down random things that I do, products I love, and practices I follow as a new mom to see if I could come up with something. When I started looking around at some of our favorite things, I realized a lot of these “hacks” could be related to one specific theme and something we love: TRAVEL.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I’m a big traveler. I grew up in a family that traveled together constantly and luckily, Michael has jumped on board with that. We have been to several states (and countries) together in our five years of marriage, so we’ve always known it would be important for us to travel with our kids, too. Kennedy went on her first trip at the age of 3.5 months and has been on half a dozen flights since.

I know a lot of parents are super intimidated by traveling with kids (especially if it entails an airplane), so today I’m sharing my best hacks for traveling with little ones. I am a big believer that traveling should be fun and enjoyable and just because you’re a parent, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to go places and take your kids, too.

PACKING CUBES

I’ve talked about packing cubes before and have used them for my own personal traveling for years now. They are SO handy for keeping items organized and contained in your suitcase and if you like to unpack when you reach your destination, like I do, it will be so much quicker to both unpack and repack.

Since having Kennedy, though, I realized how much more useful packing cubes are! She is still small enough that we’ve never packed a separate suitcase for her, which means that I end up sharing my bag with all of her stuff. Luckily, baby things are small. The not so lucky part is that babies require way more than adult humans haha. Packing cubes have made my life SO much easier by being able to pack her things separate from mine while also keeping her items categorized into groups like “sleep”, “play”, “bath”, “accessories”, etc.

These are the exact cubes I have and love them. I often make a small label for each cube as well, so that when I pull them out of my bag I know which is which right away. This type of organization also makes an airport or travel emergency (i.e. blow out or other crazy scenario) much easier to handle! Keep reading…

NAME BUBBLES

Along the same vein as these packing cubes and with the idea of making labels… Name Bubbles are one of the coolest and most practical products I’ve seen for kids. I first heard of these from my friend Mika and knew I’d need these for my kids someday. There are a ton of different packs you can choose from - some for kids at daycare, kindergarten, college, going away to camp, etc.

I got the School Labels Pack in “pom pom” for Kennedy and have them on several little pouches and containers. I’m also planning on adding one that has our contact info on it to her diaper bag. They’re not only good for traveling but are just a practical way to label things for your family.

I love these because it’s going to make tracking down something that was left behind a lot easier and also makes packing and sharing bags a lot more organized. If you have more than one kid, Name Bubbles are a perfect way to keep everyone’s stuff separate and packed with the right person. Can’t imagine how much more I’ll love these when we have multiple kids!

DISASTER BAGS

Someone gave me this piece of advice before we flew with Kennedy for the first time and I will never NOT do this while she’s little and especially for as long as she’s in diapers…

Whenever we fly or even take a long road trip, I will take two gallon sized ziploc bags and pack them each with the following: a diaper and a change of clothes.

The idea is that if baby has a spill, accident, or god-forbid a bad blowout (it will happen), all you have to do is grab one of those bags and you’re good to go with a fresh diaper and clothes. Speaking from experience, this is a LIFE SAVER. The other best part is that once you take the diaper and clothes out, you have an empty ziploc, which makes for the perfect place to stash the aforementioned original outfit. I always throw an extra ziploc or two in the diaper bag for backup.

SLEEP ESSENTIALS

One of the biggest anxieties of traveling with babies or little kids is hoping they sleep well for you. We all want our babies to sleep through an entire flight and then get to our destination and be perfect angels the whole trip. Sometimes that works out and other times, not so much. BUT I do believe there are some things you can do (and purchase) to encourage great sleep for little ones.

Here is my hit list and the exact products we swear by when it comes to good sleep:

  • Portable sound machine - we have two of these and one stays in Kennedy’s diaper bag to be used on-the-go and for travel.

  • Room darkening mechanisms - at home we have blackout curtains and these blackout shades in Kennedy’s room. These travel shades are awesome and have suction cups to stick to windows of whatever room you’re in. You can also go for an essentially free option and bring a chip clip with you to keep those pesky hotel curtains shut because they never do seem to stay closed, do they?!

  • Swaddle/sleep sack - whatever you use at home, TAKE IT WITH YOU! Take it on the plane even! I never swaddled Kennedy on the plane but I always had it in her diaper bag just in case. We used the Ollie Swaddle and then transitioned to the Nested Bean Sleep Sack.

  • Depending on the room situation, you may need a monitor, you might not. Almost all monitors these days are pretty portable. We have the Nanit+ and use the multi stand when traveling.

“IN CASE OF EMERGENCY” POUCH

First, I am a lover of pouches and little bags. I keep everything separate and organized this way not only in Kennedy’s diaper bag, but my own bags, too. It just makes life easy when everything has a designated place.

For travel, I always have an emergency pouch that has medical and baby care essentials like infant Tylenol, nail clippers, hair brush, diaper rash cream, gripe water, gas drops, and lots of pacifiers if your baby takes one. For older kids you could throw in Benadryl, bandaids, ear drops, etc.

These are my fav pouches and I always add a label or name bubbles sticker. I love that these are clear, so you can see what’s inside if need be (i.e. going through airport security or something) and they come in a few different sizes.

SHIP OR BUY THERE

Michael and I are pretty adamant about being a “carry-on only family”. When we went to Europe last year we carried these backpacks and that’s it. Mind you, we visited five countries over the course of three weeks and had temperature swings from 60-90 degrees.

On longer (domestic) trips we are BIG fans of shipping our bigger, bulkier items. When we go out to Utah for the Sundance Film Festival each winter, we always ship our ski stuff and thick winter coats out ahead of time. Most resorts, and even hotels, will receive packages and have them delivered to where you’re staying without any issue.

One thing we’ve done since traveling with Kennedy is not packing a ton of diapers or wipes in our suitcases but instead packing a good supply in the diaper bag and our carry-on and buying packs of what we need when we arrive at our destination. Unless you’re going to the middle of nowhere, odds are you can find a Target, Walmart, Walgreens, CVS… you get the idea! Save the room in your bag for stuff you need right away and ship ahead of time and/or purchase things like diapers and toiletries when you get there.

I would love to hear if you have any more awesome mom hacks to share with me! In the meantime, be sure to check out my other friends’ posts today where they’re sharing their own ideas of mom hacks:

Arin’s Laundry Hacks for Large Families

Navy’s Mom Hacks on the Go

Val’s 10 Mom Hacks to Make Your Life Easier

Chelsee’s On the Go Car Kit

The Babbling Blondes’ 10 Favorite Mom Hacks

Jen’s 10 Mom Hacks to Make Life Easier

Chrissy’s Mom Hacks for Big families  

Nikki’s Single Mom Hacks  

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Thanks for stopping by!

xx Alex