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5 Tips for Traveling with 2 and 3 year olds

Saturday, June 10, 2017
We just got back from a weekend in LA that gave us a dose of sun and heat we've been craving in the midst of a gloomy/rainy New York spring.  A post about our stay at the SLS Beverly Hills is coming soon but wanted to share some tips on how we had a pretty stress-free trip that included another solo flight with toddlers, a mini-road trip, a sleep-deprived, jetlagged mommy, and some much needed pooltime!

1) First flight out. Even if its at 6am
I've given this tip on several of my previous travel blog posts and it still applies.  We had a 6am flight out of JFK which meant getting up at 3am so that we were in a car at 4am.  Winter actually woke up in the middle of the night and kept me company as I packed (yes I had a jam-packed work day and taught class and wrapped up some projects; so I didn't get to actual packing until like 11ish) so I let her stay up. I did take a min 45 min nap.  What happens is that on the flight, they'll be a little amped up from the whole airport episode but they're conked out less than an hour into the flight.  And they ended up waking up with about 90 min left to go which we filled with snack time, homework, and nick jr tv (yay jetblue)

2) Even with the time change, stick to the schedule
I don't know about you, but I have little energizer bunnies. They just keep going and going until nap time or bedtime and then its lights out.  So the day we got to LA was probably the longest waking day during the entire trip for them but the next morning, it was back to the same schedule. Nyla may whine when we've dipped into her naptime but I handle it like our walking alarm clock. Whine = you've got about 30 min until we've reached toddler defcon 5 meltdown to get these girls napping. This especially helps if we're meeting up with friends (like we usually are when traveling) who can't do an early dinner like we usually do.

3) Go-bags for everyone!
With both girls potty-trained I've ditched the diaper bag/super-sized totes. But that doesn't mean I've come prepared with distractions. These days, I'll carry an ipad, and a CHARGER which can fit in any of my purses along with a small wallet and any personal toileteries.  I'm making more of an effort to pare down on the big totes and opt for mini backpacks or smaller satchel size bags like this fun kate spade one I recently got on sale. Plus, who wants to lug a 10lb bag of STUFF anyway? not I!  Also I'm able to travel light since the girls have their own bookbags they WANT to carry. so in goes their stickers, mini notebooks, mini toys along with snacks.  Just be cautious of the weight your little ones are carrying.

4) No strollers ...but...I might sneak a bjorn
I've embraced Nyla not wanting to be in a stroller. Less gear to keep track of and it makes us so much more mobile. BUT one thing I will take (just in case) is the bjorn.  I know, she's too big to probably be in this thing but I will take a casual kick in the knee if it means I may have to make a dash to the gate to board our flight. And literally I brought this out of retirement for our flight to LA because it was just me and the girls. Terminal 5 is literally a madhouse (even at 6am) so it just makes it easier when I have one hand on our rolling carry-on (yes carryon for all 3 of us!) and one hand holding winter's hand.

5) #$*! happens. Just go with the flow.
Maybe its just the way I am, but we're pretty flexible when it comes to traveling with the girls. I'll always try to find things for us to do in case boredom ever sets in (and that means for me and P - NOT the girls lol).  I'm very open to late bedtimes, morning sleep-ins, or just scratching off the to-see list in favor of just lounging poolside while the girls splash away or just hitting up a neighborhood playground  (which actually ended up happening) to burn some energy.  This also happened with dinner plans when we went next door to Gyu Kaku (my personal favorite in nyc) for dinner instead of trying something LA-ish and local.  Sometimes doing something familiar —even in a new environment— is an experience in itself.  After all, isn't this a "vacation?"

Any tips you have? please leave a comment below!!

Happy Travels!

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