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Since we leave for Hawaii this week it only felt totally appropriate to do this post! Plus, I’ve had a lot of questions from y’all after today’s insta-stories sharing some of the things we do when traveling. I wanted to keep this post pretty versatile, especially because sometimes we are flying, sometimes we are driving, sometimes both. So I think all these tips and tricks work for really all situations. Plus at the end I’ll share some more travel trips more dedicated strictly to roadtripping with Autotrader because we’ve done that quite a bit too.
I figure this is easiest and best to do in a little bit of a couple of sections and then in a list format and mostly covering well, littles. Since they seem to be the ones that make traveling well, more entertaining? 😉 So first I’m going to share some of the things we do and bring for Blake when we travel!
- Hit the store: About a week before we leave on a trip we take Blake to the store (typically somewhere cheap, Dollar store, Target Dollar section, whatever). We let her pick out a couple of new toys (that are small to bring with us) and activities to keep her busy. This can be coloring, books, whatever she sees that sparks her interest. Then things are “new” to her and fingers crossed they’ll keep her busy!
- Snacks: Don’t be afraid to go overboard on the snacks. Seriously. In my opinion you can’t have enough. I load her little backpack up with snacks, I load mine up, all the places have snacks and typically a few different options (fruit snacks, apple sauce pouches, crackers in the individual bags, etc.)
- Water bottle: Bring a bottle for your little (or sippy if they’re still in that stage), then you can re-fill it as you need to but have it on hand and don’t need to worry about making accommodations to the drinks you get along the way so they don’t spill, etc.
- iPad it up: we aren’t against a little screen time, sorry not sorry, but especially when traveling. We typically will download a few movies onto her iPad, a couple of shows and then have games ready for her to play when wifi, etc. is available! Also – bring kid’s headphones!! They make those and they’re awesome, we just grabbed a pair on Amazon and love them.
- Breaks: Whenever you have a chance for a break whether a pit stop or a layover, run it out, dance it out, wiggle, whatever. We tell Blake to get her wiggle worms out! HA – but seriously, whatever you can do to make things a little more smoother in the coming future 😉
- Back-ups: I don’t care what age your kid is, just bring back-up clothes. HA Bring multiple if they’re younger. I usually keep a full set in my backpack/purse ready in case she spills or whatever comes our way!
Now let’s talk about just random little travel tips that we love and swear by. A few packing tips, some rookie mistakes learned and then at the end I’m going to cover, RENTAL CARS.
- Buy snacks beforehand. I’m telling you, it’s going to save you money, time and your sanity. Sometimes (if I’m feeling totally motivated) I’ll even make little snack bags in gallon size bags for each day. Then in morning we can grab it, throw it in my purse and be on with the day and have snacks at hand for littles, you or whoever. We like to hit Costco and just get easy snacks that way and throw them in our checked bag!
- Packing compartments are a thing, use them. I used to look at them and eye roll because I was like why? Why spend the money or time, well now being a Mom I’m here to tell you they rock. They keep things separate, easy to find and you suitcase somewhat organized while it sits in the hotel room and you dig through it everyday. 😉
- Buy new shampoo/conditioner/etc. for the trip! We usually will buy either travel size (or normal depending on the length of our trip) of these and then we can toss them before we leave and you don’t have to worry about lugging them back home! Same goes for hairsprays, etc. Just get the little ones, use it all and toss!
Let’s talk rental cars. I’m not going to lie, this is something I typically dread….I don’t love standing in line waiting for a car. Marcus and I have totally gotten screwed in the past, like they can just be messy. SOO I’m here to give you some tips and tricks with Autotrader on this matter. I’ve learned a ton about cars in general from Autotrader and especially did this time around when booking so I could make sure we had a car that was going to work for us.
So here’s my tips and advice – Find a price that works for you, find a car that’s suitable for your adventures and family, and finally don’t pre-pay the gas for one, fill it before you drop it off. For Hawaii we are renting a car for a few days when we first get there so we can drive to the other side of the island and check things out. We went with a Toyota Rav4 after some research from Autotrader. Which if y’all haven’t used their tools and site to research vehicles (seriously for anything – buying, leasing, renting, etc.) do so!! They’re so knowledgable and have so many things to use. Anyways, we went with this because it’s a mid-size car, it’ll fit all of our stuff, the stroller, car seat, etc. but was still affordable to rent for the few days we needed it!
If y’all have more tips or tricks drop em’ below, love sharing with everyone! And go checkout Autotrader while you’re at it!