Stacey's 10 Hacks For Summer Traveling With Young Kids

The sun is shining, the kids are wrapping up school and summer travel is calling!

(Seattle Space Needle, Summer 2017)

As a boy mom of three I've had my share of wild adventures in the air, crammed into hotel rooms and on the road for days at a time. There was a time when my twin toddlers puked every single time we took a road trip. Three words for ya: Dramamine For Kids. Which takes me to Pro Tip #1...

  1. No matter what you do, where you go or how old your kiddos are always ALWAYS always travel with baby wipes. To this day I still don't leave the house without wipes in the car and the purse. They work for everything; faces, bottoms, high chair trays, door handles, mud, sickness. You name it baby wipes can probably do the trick!
  2. If you're doing a long road trip pack surprises to break out at intervals to keep them busy in the car like coloring, puzzle books, mad libs etc. Dollar Store is great for this. Of course you'll want to map out potty breaks and snacks too!
  3. About the snacks. Vacation is a time to throw out the restrictions a little bit. One of my fondest memories about camping as a kid was all the fun junk food we were allowed to bring and snack on around the fire. Of course healthy snacks and eating habits can resume when you get back to the real world.
  4. If you don't already have PreCheck status, apply now! Children under 13 can use the TSA PreCheck lane when traveling with a parent or guardian who has the indicator on their boarding pass. Even better? It only costs $85 for five years.
  5. Fly on a Tuesday or Wednesday. According to air travel experts, those are the least popular travel days so you'll likely pay less and could even end up with an empty seat next to ya! (Sundays are the most expensive days to fly)
  6. Depending on the age of your little ones, there's no need to spend a ton on big theme parks or attractions. Playgrounds, parks, kid museums and zoos can entertain them and wear them out just as good as a budget-busting theme park. Sometimes an ice cream cone and dip in the hotel pool is a full day and that's okay.
  7. Plan your downtime and don't mess with that regular nap time! That includes the times you book your flights and adjusting for any time changes (trust me on this one!) Go Go Go vacations where you try to squeeze too much in can add stress, tears and tantrums (and I don't just mean the littles.) There's a real beauty to slowing down and being in the moment. You don't want to need a vacation to recover from your vacation!
  8. Whenever possible book a hotel suite with a separate bedroom. That way everyone doesn't have to go to "night nights" (or doom scroll under the covers) when the little ones go down. We love Embassy Suites because you can usually always find one and the free breakfast buffet saves a lot of $$ for our family of 5!
  9. Plan for someone to get the sniffles, or a stomach bug, or too much sun. Of course they won't (they will) but being prepared just makes good sense.
  10. Empty Ziplocs. Bring them. Like baby wipes, we still travel with extra Ziploc bags that work great to seal up dirty diapers, wet clothes, snacks or drinks that have been opened, even sunscreen so it doesn't squeeze out all over your suitcase mid-flight.

Happy Trails! Stacey's travel hacks sponsored by Oregon Charter Academy, an award-winning, tuition free, K-12 online school. Offering students over 50 clubs and countless activities like field trips, student clubs, and access to OSAA sanctioned activities like sports, band, orchestra, and choir. Explore more at

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