If you’re planning a family vacation soon then this post might be helpful. I’ll share exactly what we did on our recent trip to San Diego as a family of 6. Sean and I have never really gone on a vacation without the kids, so traveling with small children has become the norm for us. We usually do one big family trip a year and I’ve learned a few things over the years. I think the hardest part about traveling with small children is GETTING THERE. A few years ago we took all the kids to Hawaii and I was really nervous about the long flight with 3 kids and a 9 month old. So I spent a lot of time on Pinterest and came up with a plan to keep the kids happy and entertained.
I created 5 different boxes or bags for each child and placed them all in their own back packs. Every hour of the flight they all got to open a new box or bag I prepared. Each one of them had 3 activities, and a snack or treat. I included a little piece of paper in each with an inspirational thought for the hour, and the list of things to do with the items in the bag. Here’s an example.
This hour for Lily was to play checkers with Olly, play math war with Sean, then tell Brooklyn the story of Goldilocks And The Three Bears using the finger puppets provided.
My kids loved this so much and it made my mama heart proud to see that it actually WORKED! Everyone was happy, nobody complained about how long it was taking to get there and it was just an all around great trip.
I put together something similar for our 6 hour drive to California. Except I included my older two in the preparation. I took them both to the store with me to buy a few new little toys and things for the kids. I gave Lily the responsibility to do Brooklyn’s bag and Oliver was in charge of Owen’s. This not only helped me a lot, but it also gave Oliver and Lily a sense of excitement and pride when watching the younger two unveil the bags in the car ride. Traveling with small children gets easier when you have older kids!
For your older kids it’s always a good idea to get them a new audio book to listen to and to download some new music or movie on their phones, IPads or tablets.
I would also highly recommend getting yourself a nice car storage organizer to help keep the car tidy. It’s always a good idea to have a place to put all your snacks, drinks, garbage, and extras. I’ve also learned to come equipped with Dramamine Motion Sickness Relief for Kids . I have a few kids that get car sick real quick, so it’s always good to have this on hand.
One other little piece of advice that might be somewhat controversial as I’m not sure how others might feel about this, but I brought some natural Melatonin Chewables for kids. Owen, my 3 year old absolutely REFUSES to nap even though he desperately needs them at times. So on the car ride around nap time, I slipped him a little melatonin candy to ensure a peaceful ride. There were a couple other times during the trip that I had to give it to him because he was absolutely losing his mind and needed SLEEP. He’s out within 20 minutes. Life saver I tell yah.
My favorite bags are these Jujube Bags. Not only are they SUPER Cute, but they have so many different pockets and compartments in there to help keep all the different items organized and separated.
Our first stop was Anaheim CA. We had to do Disneyland one day of course. So we found a place to stay near Disney so that we could come back for naps if we needed to. And we DID need those naps. Brooklyn and Owen quickly burned out so it was nice to take them back so we could go back and stay late for the parade. Be sure to watch our highlight video I uploaded to our YouTube Channel, and subscribe if you wanna be notified when I post more videos.
This was Owen’s first time at Disney and the highlight for him was getting to hug Mickey Mouse, see video.
After 2 nights in a hotel and one day at Disney, we made our way over to San Diego. Sean wanted to surprise me with a beach house as my mothers day gift so he did all the planning and even blind folded me a few minutes before we arrived. He did a Facebook live of the whole thing, I added a couple clips of it to the YouTube video.
I was absolutely blown away by the place. It was more than I ever expected. Such an amazing place right on the water, and the entire back wall opened up to the beach. The owner of the place said that even Lady Gaga and Beyonce’s family had stayed in this place. Needless to say I felt pretty spoiled.
P.S. If you are wondering where I got my swimsuits, bags, clothes, ect. Check out my Instagram feed. I usually ALWAYS tag the brand I’m wearing.
We spent one day at Sea World and the rest of the time was spent hanging out on the beach, paddle boarding, boogie boarding, bike rides, collecting shells, building sand castles, catching crabs and having much needed family quality time. One thing I love about traveling with small children is that my kids are forced to hang out with each other, haha. No friends, just good ol’ fashion family bonding. Brooklyn was loving every minute she got with Lily. It was her dream come true to get to share a room with Lily and have her undivided attention the entire time. She followed her around like a little puppy. It was the cutest thing EVER!
It’s not ALL sunshine and seashells. We did have some hard days. This was one of those days that called for some Melatonin for sure. This little guy needed a nap.
Our day at Sea World was absolutely perfect. It was perfect weather and a small crowd. Something I ALWAYS appreciate when I’m traveling with small children. Big crowds can really increase the anxiety levels right?
One thing I would HIGHLY recommend you do at Sea World would be the Dine w/ Orca’s experience. This was an all you can eat buffet right next to the Orca’s tank. While we ate we got to hear from the trainers and watch how they interact with the Orcas. Pretty incredible experience, not to mention the food was delicious. Watch our YouTube video to see what it’s like.
One thing I always like to do is get some family pics taken. This trip we had Krissel Photography capture our pics. She does such amazing work.
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