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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Traveling With Two

I've been meaning to write a post about traveling with two kiddies since we made the trek to Charlotte for Jason & Rebecca's wedding when Craft was a little over a month old, but I kept forgetting until Sara reminded me this week.  I do not by any means consider myself to be an expert on this matter, but having done it twice now and with quite a few upcoming trips planned, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on the subject.  I should note that my advice is specific to car trips.  We have not yet been brave enough to attempt air travel with two, but we flew with Lilly three or four times in her first year of life and I documented some travel tips for air travel with a baby here, if you're interested.  Anyway, in no particular order, here is my advice.  

  1. Don't travel.  Just kidding.  But seriously, don't do it.                                                                
  2. If you are brave (or have no choice) and decide to ignore #1, my first piece of advice is to make a list of what you'll need to take.  Even if you aren't a list person, I think it's beneficial to make a list at least for the kid-related items that you need to take with you.  I typically start my list about a week before our departure date and list out everything I'll need to take from home.  The original list is always huge, and I always think that there's no possible way that I've forgotten anything, but it never fails that I'll remember something here or there that I need to take that isn't on the list and I can just add it so I don't forget.  I am a serial over-packer, so having a list helps me to stay focused.  Additionally, I can mark things off as I pack them and then do a read-through right before we leave to make sure I haven't missed anything.                                                              
  3. Start packing well in advance.  And by "well in advance" I mean like a week before (not a joke).  For our Easter trip this past weekend, I was behind on laundry and procrastinated on packing and it was a nightmare.  On the morning of our departure, Lilly's school was nice enough to let me bring her in even though it wasn't a school day for her (she only goes MWF) and Craft had a doctor appointment which of course took forever because they were running behind even though we were 15 minutes early.  So by the time C and I got home I had about 45 minutes to pack (while taking care of him because he decided he wasn't sleepy) before we had to get back in the car to go pick up L, and then I had to finish packing while taking care of both babes when we got home.  To say it was stressful would be an understatement - thank God Dan was able to scoot home a little early to help and load the car.  What I should have done was packed what I could have for the kids in the days leading up to our departure and packed all of the food/snacks as well as myself and Dan's stuff in advance or at a minimum the night before we left, but sleeping seemed like a better idea at the time.  Never again.                                                                              
    This is what our car looked like last week - my husband has surely perfected the art of packing the Daddy-mobile.  Granted, we were gone for 6 days, but still.
  4. Plan your departure time around feedings and try to coordinate so that at least one child will be sleeping for the majority of the trip.  Depending on age, this may be trickier than it sounds.  Lillian, for example, will not sleep in the car 95% of the time, even if it's during naptime or way past her bedtime.  With that said, I prefer to travel either right after breakfast or get L up a little early from her nap and travel between nap time and dinner.  This past trip, we left on a week day and Dan had to work for a portion of the day so we did not leave until it was time for Lilly's nap.  Luckily, it worked out this time because she had gone to school that morning and was worn out, so we just didn't put the iPad in the case that straps to the seat to let her know we meant business and after she talked to herself and sang every song in her repertoire at the top of her lungs for about 45 minutes, she fell asleep and slept for the remainder of the trip.  It probably also didn't hurt that we told her if she took a good nap she could have a cookie when she woke up.  The first words out of her mouth as soon as her eyes opened, in fact, were, "I had a good sleep.  Can I have a cookie?"  It's double helpful if you can make the whole trip without having to stop to feed the baby.  We have not yet accomplished this, but our Easter trip was a lot better than the previous trip for the wedding when C was still eating every 1.5-2 hours and we had to stop three times, turning a 3-hour trip into 4.5 hours.                                                                                                     

    A beautiful sight (and sound!).
  5. Borrow anything you can at your destination to minimize the amount you have to take from home.  We are fortunate that my sister lives about 10 minutes from my parents and lets us borrow a lot of Mason's baby items when we're there - think boppy, bouncy seat, play mat, bottle warmer, etc.  Additionally, we bought some things to leave at my parents' house when Lilly was born to make things easier - infant bath tub + towels and accessories, bottle basket and drying rack, etc.  My parents also bought some things when Lilly was born for all of the grandchildren to use - a crib + mattress and bedding, a swing, changing table and pad, etc.  Seriously SO much easier not to have to travel with all of that.
So, that's my two cents on traveling with two.  Craft does not love the car as much as Lilly did, so that has been a challenge at times, but if I can time it right to where he has just eaten and will sleep for a good portion of the trip, it goes pretty well.  If you have any helpful tips that I haven't listed above, for the love please share them!

Happy Hump Day!



  1. i would just like to say i love your log but please move your childrens chest clip up to armpit level for their own safety or else it wont protect them correctly number cause of death in car accidents for childrens is incorrect use of carseat

    1. You are actually not the first person to bring this to my attention, thank you! It has been corrected. :-)

  2. I'm so glad you put this post together. I was cracking up at #1. Traveling with littles is SO hard. Mac hates his carseat and is not a good passenger. I can only imagine how much harder it's going to be adding a newborn to the mix. She better be a champion car seat sleeper! :)

    1. I totally forgot the most important one, I almost went back and edited the post to include it, but #2 should have been "if you insist on traveling, make sure you have a to-go cup full of wine and some ear plugs." HAHA!


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