When we decided to take a road trip to California with the kids, I knew I had to make sure everything was super organized or I would go nuts. I’m a planner anyways but my husband is the opposite. Even he will agree that the key to an enjoyable trip with the kids starts with a plan. After getting home from our trip, I realized the main things that made our trip run so smoothly.
1.Plan Out Everything
As a mom we normally do this anyways but I find being extra organized on a trip makes for better success. Schedule out your rest stops/feedings for on the way there and back. Also try to outline an itinerary for your trip. It can be easy to get overwhelmed with children and miss out on things you wanted to do, but if you have a plan, you can make the most out of your time. Plan accordingly: So for example, if Monday the weather is sunny, plan Monday as your beach day and if Tuesday is windy, make that your day you spend inside at the aquarium. Also, arrange meals throughout the day, snack time, and nap time. And- if you have kids, go to kid-friendly places. Choose a restaurant with a casual vibe vs a fancy place. Making these simple choices will make a world of difference on your vacation.
Packing smart is especially important for the kids. Snacks for the way there, the way back, and all the times in between are essential for traveling with kiddos. This limits your unnecessary stops and unnecessary spending as well. Think about how many diapers and wipes or underwear the kids might need and then pack extra of everything. Its always better to have more than not enough. If you’re going to the beach, pack bathing suits, towels, sunscreen, beach toys, an umbrella and lots of wipes to make clean up easy. Also pack in case something changes. Pack just in case the weather changes or in case your kids get sick. Bring extra phone chargers, medications, different types of shoes, etc. Make a list and check it right before you leave the house.
3.Travel As Early as Possible
If there’s anyway to plan the traveling part of your trip early enough for when the kids are still asleep, we found this to be our best route for us. Of course make sure that if you’re driving, you’ve had enough sleep beforehand. My husband and I did this on our way home from San Diego; we left at 4 am and were home back to AZ by 10 am. The kids slept most the way and the little bit of time they were awake, they were still sleepy. By the time we got home, we were exhausted but the kids had a lot of energy. Of course this kind of sucked for us but considering there was only about 10 minutes of fussing on the way home, we were happy.
Probably the most important tip for a successful trip with kids…young kids especially, is to have patience! There are a lot of things that can and will go wrong and there will be a lot of challenges when you’re vacationing with babies. The only way to successfully navigate through those tough parts is to keep your cool. The kids are in different places, they’re not on their normal schedules, and it is understandable why they may be more incorporative. Just focus on communicating with your child and making good memories on your vacation. And remember, as parents, we all go through it!
5.Have a Backup Plan
When everything goes wrong, don’t be afraid to change your plans. That’s perfectly okay, but it would still be a good idea to have a backup plan. Plan for things not working out the way you had originally wanted and don’t get caught up in the expectations. If you’re planning a beach day, but there’s a chance of rain, then do your research ahead of time and have an idea of something else fun to do inside. Another great tip: have surprises lined up for when the kids need extra motivation for participating. Bribery is always a great backup plan. HAHA.
All in all, we had a great trip to California. We spent Mother’s Day and two nights at Loew’s Coronado Bay Resort. Then we stayed in a beachfront condo in Mission Beach for the rest of our trip. We spent a lot of time at Mission beach, Mission Bay and Belmont Park. We also went to La Jolla Cove to see the sea lions, took the kids to Sea World, and ate at our favorite pizza place, Luigi’s at the Beach. The weather changed, plans changed, the kids got sick, we spent our last day of vacation cooped up in our condo, but we dealt with it and dealt with it together. We had picnics on the beach, searched for sea shells, built sandcastles in the moonlight, and fed a family of 15 ducklings, and those were the little moments together that really made our vacation so worthwhile. Here are photos from our trip to San Diego!
My “MAMA BEAR” necklace is from Made With Love By Angie
Arabella’s outfit (& the coral sweater pictured above) are from Sweet Mini
Arabella’s swimsuit is from Marysia
The kids’ sweats are from Lulu & Roo
Arabella’s sandals are from Piper Finn
LJ’s hat is from George Hats
The kids’ outfits are from Rylee & Cru
Our bathing suits are from Kortni Jeane
Shirts are from Rylee & Cru
Arabella was so cranky and tired, she was literally about to fall asleep on the carousel until she went on this crazy car ride that woke her up. LOL at her faces in these pictures.
All of our outfits are from Rylee & Cru
Shirts are from Loved by Hannah & Eli