My name is Kayla, My husband’s name is Ben and we have a two year old daughter named Jessamyn and are expecting a second tiny due this summer. We currently live in a tiny house school bus and travel from state park to state park. We get asked a lot what it is like to travel with a toddler and surprisingly my answers don’t come from life in the bus but from all the times previously we have flown, gone on road trips, or camped with Jessamyn. Honestly every family’s travel needs are unique, you know your child best and what they will need to have a great experience. But these are a few of our “travel must- haves” that we take with us every single time we go anywhere.
1. A good pack (or stroller). It doesn’t matter if you are in the city, an airport, out in the mountains a good pack or stroller will make all the difference in the world. We have a hiking back pack that we use for everything, it has a little compartment that I use like a tiny diaper bag and Jessamyn can just ride along on my back when we are out exploring. This is something I may have under estimated early on but trying to juggle a baby, diaper bag, and enjoy whatever you are doing (hiking, exploring a new city, trying to get to your flight on time) is ten times easier when everything is all in one (including the baby) on your back or in a stroller.
2. Snacks are essential. We bring tiny granola bars with us everywhere we go just in case Jessamyn starts yelling “Hungry” at the top of her lungs. This has prevented tantrums and worked when we weren’t in a place to easily buy food or can’t find something Jessamyn will actually eat. I feel like snacks are probably just a toddler life essential whether you are traveling or not but definitely come in handy traveling just about anywhere.
3. Sunscreen, a good hat, and a water bottle. At one time or another (especially when exploring in a new city) these three items have been a life saver. A lot of times the weather can be unpredictable and knowing your toddler isn’t going to return home with a sunburn or dehydrated is always worth it.
4. Don’t necessarily assume you can’t do something or go somewhere just because you have children. I think for us that hasn’t so much been a problem as we literally take Jessamyn everywhere. No that doesn’t mean the experience is always the same as if we didn’t have kids- but restaurants, activities, and trips shouldn’t be crossed out just because you have children and the more you travel the easier it gets as Jessamyn has totally learned our trip routine and embraced it.
I am not sure I have many more tips than that. The truth is every family is different and so traveling will look so unique based on your lifestyle and family. My best advice is just to go into it expectation free and enjoy every moment for what it is. Know that no matter what happens you are out living and creating beautiful experiences with your children and these are the memories they will remember. I know it sounds silly but really the moments we spend out exploring and doing new things no matter how hard or crazy with our kids are the moments that will last, and so finding your own routine, creating a trip that fits your individual needs is so possible and so worth it AND if you worst nightmare happens (such as a blow out in the airport with no wipes and no change of clothes) allow grace for yourself and know airport paper towels work great and a half naked baby on a plane is just as cute as a fully dressed one.
I didn’t mention diapers in this post but not because they aren’t important actually quite the opposite, blow outs, rashes, leaking would completely ruin many of our adventures and long travel days. The truth is, we have used Bambo Nature for almost the entirety of Jessamyn’s life and just never had to think about it because the diapers are dependable and it has never really been an issue. The only thing we have started to do is carry a plastic bag with us in case we don’t have somewhere to dispose of the diaper right away.
All that to say don’t be afraid to make memories, to go new places, to have stories you will laugh (or still cry) about later… it’s worth it.
This guest post is from Kayla Petering of This Little Wandering. Kayla and her family document their family adventures while living and traveling on their tiny house school bus.