Tots Travel Too (Awesome Giveaway!)

Traveling with Toddlers is no cake walk. 

The Packing. The Planning. The Airport.

Or Arguably Worse, Hours Trapped in CAR SEATS.

Then when you arrive at your destination you are home free, right?  Well not exactly.

If you’ve experienced life with a toddler, you know full well that there’s never truly a “break” from motherhood, even while on vacation.  There are kid friendly meals to fix, baths to give, and a nap schedule that’s not worth sacrificing.  Your little one needs time to move, play, and safely explore. 

I’m hoping through this post we can all brainstorm and exchange our tried and true “Tricks and Tips for Travelling with Toddlers”.  Hopefully we can learn from one another’s mistakes and successes in order to ensure “smooth sailing” for our future travels.

Here’s a short video of ways we’ve learned to survive a hotel stay with toddlers…

 

In our experience in traveling with toddlers some hotels have been more “kid friendly” than others.  Thankfully, there’s a great hotel chain we LOVE who “gets it”. Marriott’s Tots Travel Too has got you covered for travelling with little ones with free travel cribs with Coverplay covers, bath toys, nightlights, outlet covers, disposable bibs, and more!

 totstravel2   Print

And here’s the BEST part: They are offering one reader of this blog a

$250 Gift Card to Marriott Hotels

and a Tots Travel Too Welcome Basket. All you have to enter is leave a comment with your own “Tricks and Tips for Travelling with Toddlers”!

Can’t wait to hear your suggestions!

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I am working in partnership with Marriott and TheMotherhood.com to cover the Marriott Tots Travel Too program and have received a stipend for my efforts, but naturally my opinions are all my own.

174 thoughts on "Tots Travel Too (Awesome Giveaway!)"

  1. Christina says:

    I would have 2

    First if your multiples are inseperable and co sleep, do not leave behind the one without appointments(ok we travel for medical stuff) because the baby you will take will have melt downs alllllllllll day. And the driver’s who know what easy going travelers they are together will request you bring both with you on future trips!

    Tip #2

    I clean the house make sure everything is in it’s place and then walk from room to room and pack as I go, lists I always forget something. But when I do the room to room packing is easy fast and I rarley forgot something!

  2. Katie says:

    Lots of games for the car! :o)

  3. My favorite travel tip is when flying take the child’s carseat on the plane. We always do this with our older daughter. That way she is strapped in a seat that fits her and is comfortable (not to mention the safety benefits). I also told her that the writing on the back of the seat says, “Do not kick” :) That works pretty well, because she likes to follow rules. In the airport, we attach the carseat to a luggage dolly and it makes a stroller or cart for bags/carry ons.
    Thanks:)

  4. Christianne says:

    Instead of giving my kids the various Happy Meal-ish toys from fast food restaurants while we’re actually at the restaurant, I used to tuck them away for trips (either long car rides or airplane rides). No matter what the toys are, the fact that they’re “new” always buys you a few minutes of peace and quiet. Plus, the toys are always small enough that you can fit a TON of them in a small bag…and they’re so cheap that it doesn’t matter if you accidentally leave one in a restaurant or in an airplane seat pocket or whatever.

  5. Amanda Ro. says:

    What I always do is when actually IN the car, I bring lots of snacks. Mainly healthy snacks, with maybe a special treat or two in the mix. Then, as well as in the hotel room, bring their “safety item”, something that makes them feel at home. Those items can hopefully help them take naps in the car for some peace and quiet. If it’s a long car ride, stop at rest stops. Let them run around and get their wiggles out and take a potty break before they get in the car again. Once in the hotel, let them take little “adventures” through the hotel. Give them expectations to walk on the top floors, then they can “run” on the bottom floor as to not disturb anybody. Hopefully they can get that built in energy out from sitting in the car. Hope this helps!! =]

  6. Margaret says:

    My tip is for airplane flights- I get a couple brand-new books for my 17-month-old that she’s never seen before, and don’t read them until the plane is actually in the air. As she gets older I will do what my parents did, which was to make a small ‘airplane briefcase’ for us that had all kinds of goodies (gum, coloring books, etc) which we were NOT ALLOWED to open at all (although we had to carry it!) until the plane was actually in the air. It took care of at least 1 hour of the flight’s boredom!

  7. Sara Hintz says:

    With 5 kids, we have had toddler for the last 12 years:) We try to bring along fun snacks that are out of the ordinary, but really yummy for the kids… homemade fruit rolls, dried fruit, and beef jerky have been the favorites so far. Every time we go on vacation the kids ask if we can dehydrate fruit before we go. It breaks up the driving to have a yummy,healthy treat for them… as well as movies and games to play:)

  8. Danielle Barton says:

    We always bring a play pen! The 2 year old just can’t give you a good night’s sleep tossing and turning in the middle of a bed!

  9. We used to travel with a roll of duct tape… could be used for taping heavy hotel furniture drawers shut, taping over outlets, etc… the uses for duct tape when traveling with toddlers were too many to list.

  10. Kris says:

    Because my husband’s job takes us all over the world we have traveled many times with toddlers. It has become an art on my part. When I pack I always am trying to think of those unforeseen moments of board dome and rainy days. I stock up on lots of fun and new things for my girls. But, when planning for the airplane and car rides here are some tips.

    Lots of snacks. You never know if you are going to get stuck on an airplane or in a car. Make sure the snacks aren’t high in sugar. I like to bring fruit (blueberries, cut strawberries, bananas, cut grapes), nuts, pepperoni bites, cheese sticks, fruit snacks, fish crackers. These are a few of our traveling staples for food. They travel well and my kids love them.

    DVD player. I am one to limit my kids’ tv time, but when traveling we throw that rule out the window. When on a 12 hour flight you do anything to keep you and your kids sane. Sometimes movies are the trick. I always make sure to pack a few favorite movies along with 2-3 new movies. If on a budget you can borrow from a friend or rent from the library. Also, make sure your DVD battery is fully charged. We even have a second battery (fully charged) along just incase.

    Activities. Coloring books, markers/crayons, stickers, note books (small), sticky notes. These are things that keep my kids busy for good lengths of time. I also have one or two new activities that they haven’t seen. Because we have traveled so much they now know to expect something new. They love it.

    Favorites: blankies, animals. My girls have a few comfort items that we always travel with. When it is time to get them to sleep these are a must.

    Change of clothes (for all).

    These are a few things that I know work (for my family). As you can tell we don’t travel light. :)

  11. Pack disinfecting wipes! With a little one who always sucked her thumb, this was a big deal for us. We brought wipe canisters with us and used them all…..less to pack on the way home. We would clean everything so it was no big deal and she could play with anything and touch anything without worrying about the germs!

    We did always bring the nightlight (just in case) and outlet covers so it’s awesome to see Marriott becoming so family friendly. We’ve stayed at one of their places in Orlando and loved it…..was our daughter’s first hotel experience! :-)

  12. Ashley says:

    My tip for a stay in a hotel room with toddlers is to buy those window cling decorations. We bought some for our boys that had trains, planes, cars, and assorted traffic signs. They spent many happy HOURS arranging them on the big window in the hotel room and playing “travel”. They are also fun to use on mirrors as well. Safe, quiet, imaginative fun, which doesn’t damage the hotel room! We also “fingerpaint” with shaving cream in the bathtub! Have never stayed in a Marriott before with our kids, but love that they have thought of all those kid amenities!

  13. Amanda says:

    If I can take my kids pillow, I do. It’s all about having sleep time (whether it’s nap or bed for the night) as close to what it’s like at home as possible. So far, this has really worked for me. If I can’t take their pillow, I take their pillow case–that way they still think it’s their pillow. Also, I plan in ‘down’ days on our vacations–usually every other day. This way little ones get a nap and the older one can chill out at the pool or lay back and watch TV or simply read. Usually on the busy days, the little one still gets a nap it’s just not as long. We just came back from vacation and we flew–I let my kids run crazy in the airport. The LOVE the people movers, so we did that countless times. I let them explore, run, play–whatever they can do to run some energy off since they are going to be stuck in a small place for a while. :)

  14. Adjusting parental expectations goes a long way. I’m much better off when I go into a trip with the full expectation that our kids will not go to bed until we do, and also wake up crazy early. Naps are totally optional, and usually rejected (or take place in a stroller).

  15. Amy Mathison says:

    We have traveled the world with our babies, toddlers, and preK kids and the one thing we never leave home without is our sound machine! It brings a familiar background noise from home and helps them fall asleep more quickly. And since we (as parents) aren’t usually ready to go to bed at 7:30, it allows us to stay up and talk and not worry about waking the kids.

  16. Rebecca Farmer says:

    Start planning WAY in advance and lay everything out so you can see what you have and THEN pack!

  17. I probably need to steal tips more than give them. But I just make a little bag for both kids – movies, coloring supplies, blankets & their personal cups. That way they each have their own little thing to do. Plus since it’s in small bags for each of them it gives them something to carry & keep up with (or at least the 4yo … my soon to be 2 year old doesn’t keep up with too much!)

  18. Brittany says:

    My daughter will be one this month and I know the bigger she gets the more difficult it will be to travel. I’m always overwhelmed at the thought of forgetting one of the many things I need to bring for her to make the trip a success. I love the idea that now the Marriott may have some of those things for me! I’d say my tip would be bring plenty of entertainment for the plane / car ride and remember the short attention span calls for lots of activities.

  19. Aimee Ash says:

    My kiddos don’t really have “security” stuff and never took to pacis or anything, but when we do travel, they get to pick out a few of their favorite items and pack a small bag of their own. Typically a blankie and a baby doll that might calm them down when they stress and nothing else will. Love your pics as always Jenn!

  20. Jenn Brothers-Haler says:

    I was going to suggest bringing “new” toys as well – but I see where someone mentioned it w/ the McD’s toys. This suggestion came from my dad’s cousin. They have 12 kids within a span of 16 years (give or take) and they always when traveling to visit from Indy would bring a tub of toys that they only got to play with when traveling. They didn’t see them that often and they were always “new” to them so the excitement lasted quite awhile!

    We always try to make sure the portable DVD player is charged & ready to go as well. That saved us when flying a few summers ago to Florida w/ Jackson.

    SNACKS are always a plus too! And juice cups!

  21. Stacey Gillin says:

    The farthest we have traveled by car with our children is about 3.5 hours and our 1 year old daughter is quick to express her opinions about that! The best things that I have discovered are that our 4 year old son is a great “hander outer” of baby goldfish :-) He hands her 1 baby goldfish at a time and that seriously keeps her busy for at least half an hour. The other is to keep a tote bag of small toys and pacifiers (lots of them) in the front with us so that they can be handed out accordingly. Singing silly songs is a great entertainer also! We’re about to find out how she handles an 8+ hour car ride in a couple of weeks…wish us luck!

  22. Brodie says:

    My kids love to stay at hotels! We always let them bring one item from home that is a favorite, whether it’s a stuffed animal or blanket. For the littlest kids we bring toy blocks and books so they have something to play with at the hotel. Always bring lots of snacks and drinks!

  23. we went on a week long trip last summer with my 5 month old twins. We stayed in several different hotels throughout the week. So there was lots of packing and unpacking of the car. To help not having to carry in TONS of stuff everytime. I made a bag (backpack) for everyday. I put luggage tags with the day written on it. I would put the pjs, diapers, blankets, two sets of clothes, and various things we would need that day. It helped so much not having to take everything in.

  24. Jessica Heffernan says:

    Lots of snacks and games for the car. Someone suggested to me to bring a little notebook and a box of bandaids for each kiddo…it kept them entertained for 2 hrs…peeling…tearing…sticking…they loved it.

  25. Amy says:

    I have 2 tips. :)

    Tip #1: I would let each of my twins choose what they wanted to bring for the car or plane. But, it had to fit in their monogrammed backpack!!! They loved to make their own choices……with guidance, of course! I also encouraged them to keep room in the backpack for a possible souvenir………….this is especially handy when flying and space becomes an issue!

    Tip #2: Bring your own traveling PHARMACY! There are many times that you are not anywhere close to a store. I use gallon ziploc bags that I just pop into my suitcase. In the first bag, bring the meds.: cough medicine, fever reducer, tums, Benadryl, Tylenol, etc. Do you really want to figure out where to get cough medicine at 3 AM in an unfamiliar place? In the second ziploc bag, bring your other pharmacy needs: sunscreen, bug spray, calamine lotion, hand sanitizer, etc.

  26. Becky says:

    My tip is you are traveling by is car is to drive at night! It is so much easier with two boys! We have an early and easy clean dinner and leave. The boys are worn out from the day and are out! When they wake up we are at our destination, it’s marvelous. It saves on bathroom breaks as well 😉

  27. Mara says:

    We just stayed in a hotel for the first time with our 2 kids (1 and 2 yrs old). My son went straight to the electrical outlet, said, “no! no! no!” and then proceeded to try to touch it. Over and over. So from now on…we will pack outlet covers! They are tiny and easy to pack (maybe I should just put them in my purse now!) Thanks for all the tips :)

  28. slivengo says:

    Everyone’s tips have been great! We are going on vacation this week, and I’m sure many of your tips will come in super handy! For long car trips, my suggestions to make life easier would include their favorite security stuff (blanket, bear), a DVD player, fun children’s music CDS. :)

  29. Andrea says:

    My mother-in-law purchased the Gogo Kidz Travelmate by Gogo Babyz for us to use whenever we fly. It is a wheel attachment that connects easily to our car seat and lets us roll it (with child strapped in) through the airport. It only takes a couple of minutes to attach, and it has really saved us from needing to bring both car seat and stroller. It’s quite pricey, but if you fly often, you’ll probably find it is worth the money!

  30. Julie Paris says:

    We travel (by car) quite a bit. Our biggest savior has been to always have their pillows and “blankies” from home to have in the car. This has always soothed both of our kids especially when we are driving overnight.

  31. Anne Blackburn says:

    I couldn’t agree more with the snacks idea – new ones that my kids haven’t seen before or are excited to try out. I often let my older son go with me to the grocery store and help pick out what he’d like for the trip. We don’t eat anything and have the snacks “special” for the trip.

    Thanks for a great give-away! :)

  32. christina says:

    First, I have to say that Marriott is my absolute favorite chain! I travel often for work, so the perks of staying with Marriott add up quickly. It’s nice to know what to expect and be greeted by friendly smiles no matter where you are in the country!

    As for travel tips, I only have nephews. However, I have a baby on the way and am reading up on all of the suggestions! But in traveling with my nephews, I’ve found a few things that work well. First, movies in the car are a great distraction from time. It makes the car ride go by quicker for them. Aside from movies, having an assortment of activities (coloring, games, legos, etc.) as well as an array of snacks always helps. Snacks are good so that you don’t end up spending boatloads of money at each stop. If it’s a longer ride, we try to plan a fun picnic or something mid-way so that everyone can get out and run around for a while, plus the picnic is something to look forward to.

    Thanks for the tips!

  33. Jen says:

    Lots of entertainment for the car, as well as lots of snacks – food always keeps my boys occupied for awhile!

  34. KS Dallas says:

    I do this even for myself when I travel… I put together a bag that contains stuff to do and of course – snacks and drinks. For me or my daughter now that she is older – it is an electronic Yahtzee game, a crossword puzzle book, a regular book, a notebook and pen, etc. When she was little – it was coloring books and crayons, a couple of kid books, maybe a beginner puzzle. Anything thing they can do that is quite and helps the time go by. You can also take a portable DVD player with headphones so that they can watch movies without disturbing those around them. Laptop’s and I-pod’s are great, too.

  35. Jill says:

    Now that my “crew” is a litle bit older the days of traveling have gotten easier, but I still do some things at hotels just to make it more enjoyable for all involved.
    We swim right before bed time, especially if it’s been a long day in the car. Great way to release some energy and get them tired; we watch a little tv at bedtime with the lights off, in our jammies and all ready for bed. That’s a treat.
    Finally Mom and Dad bring a book, some refreshements and some big pillows and blankets out into the hallway and sit there and talk and laugh and read while the kids fall asleep.

  36. Beth says:

    First I have to confess that I was more interested in collecting tips than giving tips. We are taking our first vacation with the quads this summer and I’m a bit anxious. We have traveled with our older son, though and here is what I have learned from that.

    For sleep, bring his pillow and blanket from home. He has always used a white noise machine, so we bring that as well. You want bed time to feel as “normal and routine” as possible.

    For driving, do as much at night as possible. Getting those milesu nder your belt while your child is sleeping contentedly is wonderful. While the kids are awake, I definitely recommend a dvd player. I limit tv time at home and that just makes this an even more exciting treat.

    My only other tip is when eating out in a city you don’t know, always carry along some sure-fire foods your child will like. You never know what will be available and it good to know that you have something your child will eat.

  37. kama says:

    We just recently took a few 4+ hour road trips with my 20 month old and 5 month old to visit grandparents. For the 20 month old, we took a DVD player and his favorite DVDs. He entertained himself most of the way with books and a few toys, so he only watched about 2 videos (30 minutes each). Pretty good. We also were fortunate that #2 slept most of the way! :)

  38. Our travels now include a 3yo and a 15 month old. If we are planning anything more than a three hour adventure we plan to travel at night, when the boys would be sleeping. It’s harder on us but it makes for easier and safer travels while they sleep than to have them screaming to get out of their seats. One of us will take an extended long nap during the afternoon and start out driving while the boys and the other adult sleeps. After the other adult has has a decent nap we switch out drivers and the boys never know we’ve stop to switch.
    If we have to travel during the day we pack a picnic basket with easy to manage sandwiches, drinks, and snacks then rather than stopping in a restaurant for lunch we stop at a rest area with picnic facilities and give the boys a chance to run off some of their built up energy. Once we have finished lunch and given the boys a chance to play they are usually ready for their nap so it’s not a fight to get back on the road.
    If we are staying in a hotel we also try to find one with a pool both inside and outside so they boys will have an added adventure that we don’t have at home.

  39. Carole says:

    For Walker, I save up H@ppy Me@l toys and put them in a plastic storage bag. We carry these with us so our “real” toys won’t get lost while we’re out and about!

  40. Michelle Ward says:

    We are headed off for vacation in a few hours and I loved reading all the tips!! We do not have a portable DVD player but we use our iPod nano to show our 2.5 year old son Sesame Street (FREE) podcasts that we download from iTunes. They are only about 5 minutes long but we use them when he gets bored.

  41. Christy says:

    First off, I must say that I’m so excited about this program! Such a nice thing for Marriott to do! We have a 15 month old, and regularly make the cross country trip to visit my husband’s parents.
    A few things we’ve learned:
    A small portable DVD player and a good stock of Wonderpets and Dora DVD’s will save your sanity on long trips.
    iPhones have wonderful apps for toddlers.
    Travel at night (sleepytime= quiet time).
    Pack lots of healthy, low-sugar snacks.
    Make sure a change of clothes, diapers, cups, Tylenol, Benadryl, etc. are easily accessible. I carry a humongous handbag so that everything stays with me. No worries about lost bags, clumsily burrowing in overhead compartments, or unpacking an entire trunk of bags to find something.

  42. Trish says:

    I don’t have a major tip….and it’s probably one that everyone knows, but it’s all I got since both of my boys adjust to new settings/surroundings very well.

    Plenty of changes of clothes. When on vacation, the weather may be different than what you expect, you may have diaper blowouts, potty accidents, food spills, fall downs in new places of exploring, etc….

  43. Samantha O says:

    A couple of things that are a must when traveling; snacks and games. These two items are so important to curb any tears or meltdowns that might come when traveling!!!

  44. Melissa Barnett says:

    I have 2 tips: first, for LONG car rides, our dual screen, travel DVD player has been a lifesaver. In fact, I just picked up some “Word World” DVDs from Toys R Us for a steal at $4.99 each to prepare for an upcoming 6-hour trek! My 2nd tip is super easy: bring lollypops! it’s amazing how quiet the children get when they have one of these treats–and they last a while, too, since mine haven’t really mastered “crunching” them yet!

  45. MH in OH says:

    Books on CD are a favorite for the car. Always have plenty of wipes on hand. My preschoolers love to study maps so it helps to have an extra or 2 they can look at.
    And I have to agree with the earlier comment about adjusting parental expectations. Sometimes you have to just go with the flow and be open to the (unexpected) adventures. :)

  46. sara b says:

    My tip is for when you return home… I always make sure that I have an easy dinner in the freezer that I can pull out when we get home. That way we don’t have to eat out one more time and don’t have to stress about what to cook!

  47. Sioby says:

    I don’t have any toddlers yet, but sure do love staying at the Marriott hotels! (The owner of the Marriott bought our old house in another state! (Not the house in IL) pretty neato :) We also have a sweet Marriott Resort & Spa here in town that we frequent often! Count me in on the give a way!! I’ll cross my fingers =) Thanks for the opportunity to be in the drawing, Jen!! Awesome writing!

  48. Crazy_lady_me says:

    We always take tot-sized sleeping bags with us. If they’re not feeling well, they can cuddle up in the car. If they don’t like the sheets at the hotel, they can use their sleeping bag. It’s their own security blanket that we use for traveling. It makes it special & exciting instead of scary.

  49. We get a suite. With Theo having his ‘own room’ it makes a restful sleep so much easier on all of us. And boy, did we learn the hard way that’s for sure!

    samanthajocampen at gmail

  50. jeanett says:

    I didn’t want to spend the money on a portable dvd player, so we instead spent $15 on an adapter doohicky that you plug one end into the cigarette lighter and the other end is an electrical outlet…set the laptop up with a DVD playing…happy kids…happy parents…and CHEAP! :)

  51. punkinmama says:

    To make traveling easier, I get a few new things that Punkin’s never seen before to keep him interested and entertained – new books, new coloring book, new movie, etc.

  52. Christi says:

    Stores like Target of the dollar store have a ton of cheap, fun stuff and I make “Surprise Boxes” that the kids can open in the car or on the plane. It’s a great treat for them and can keep them occupied for a long time!

  53. We rearrange the bedding a bit and get all three of our kids in one queen by having them sleep “sideways” with their heads on the side of the bed. They love sleeping together this way!

  54. Jean says:

    Leave as early as possible – or at naptime. Sleeping kids make for happy travelers. Usually when they wake I feed them and then they are fine and happy for at least another couple hours after that before they need to go run.

  55. Brandy says:

    DVD player is a must…especially on long car rides and make sure you packed all of the favorites that is a must, like a special cup or blanket that soothes them. I then pack each kid a special bag, with coloring books, crayons/markers, toys, games and stuff that I pick up throughout the year.

  56. Amanda McNeely says:

    I do the same things as others have stated where I make a surprise bag of things to do on the trip. They are not allowed to open it until we are on the road so that the excitement is there and it holds there interest. I do the same thing with a snack bag. I buy some of their favorite things and some things that they like but I don’t buy very often at all. One fun thing that I have always told my kids they can do when we arrive at a hotel is they can jump on the beds. At home they are not allowed to but when we are at a hotel I let them jump until their heart is content (kind of like wearing them out like the trampoline in our backyard).

    Hearing this information about this hotel I think I will definitely be looking to stay at more of those hotels in the future. What a great incentive to stay there!

  57. Dedra Rainey says:

    If you have one that won’t do the Pack’n play, but is still a little young for the bed without rails, take the loveseat in the room and turn it around. The open end faces the wall and the sides and back make “rails” to keep them in. My oldest loves it and it’s much safer and more comfortable than the double bed or floor!

  58. Pack snacks for the road trip, pack a bag of fun things for each kid according to age/likes. You might even surprise them with something fun just to do for rest-stops like blowing bubbles, use sidewalk chalk. My boys like to draw and they each have their own notebooks.

  59. Melody Spangler says:

    I have yet to take a long trip with my toddler, but when I do, some things I would consider are sticker books, a digital camera for kids http://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&node=166166011 , Toddler Tunes CDs, and reading this site for tips and printable activities: http://travelwithkids.about.com/od/travelgamescar/Car_Travel_Games.htm

  60. Hannah says:

    We try to do travel close to naptime to ensure a couple of hours of sanity in the car. A DVD player is essential. I haven’t tried this yet, but am planning to for our family’s summer vacation this year (6 hours in the car with very active twin two yr old boys)…I am going to burn videos of themselves onto a DVD as part of our movie arsenol. They LOVE watching themselves on video and I think this will help pass some hours, not to mention I would rather listen to my little cuties than hours of their movies.

  61. Hallie says:

    Pack as lightly as possible! There will be enough chaos without the crazy clutter! 😉

  62. Paul Fuller says:

    One word: Benadryl. It works wonders… 😉

  63. We traveled from the East side of Michigan to Chicago last summer with 2 yr old twins and a 5 month old. We packed surprise bags for the twins so they could pick a new surprise every once in a while to play with. I packed a lot of snacks for the ride and the hotel. I could easily pack breakfast foods & snacks so we didn’t have to eat out for every meal.

    We are going to Great Wolf Lodge for 3 days at the end of July – our one big summer trip – and hoping the kids all have fun! At least our drive to Traverse City should be shorter than to Chicago!

  64. Chelsea says:

    Snacks, lots of snacks! New travel toys is fun if their old enough. I love new coloring books or stickers books, that way when we get there, I can play as well!

  65. Christine (idreamofclean) says:

    I say leave hours earlier than you normally would. That way you give youself pleanty of time to get there!

  66. Pam says:

    My tip is to bring a travel potty. It has saved us so many times with our triplets. You can’t always find a safe and clean place for your little ones to use the potty when they wait until the last minute to tell you that they have to go. We just pull into a parking lot and they can go in the back of the van. We even pulled into a self-serve car wash in a rainstorm when our daughter just couldn’t wait for us to find a public restroom. We were all able to stay dry (pun intended). We have a potty seat from One Step Ahead. You remove the Ziploc bag when they are done and throw away the bag. It’s a quick and simple clean up. It has also been helpful in hotel rooms. It gives us a second potty for those times when two kids have to go at the same time. I highly recommend the travel potty, especially for those of you with kids who are potty training.

  67. Heidi says:

    For us flexibility and not overscheduling are the key. We don’t try to jam pack our time full. I also do the special little packs of new toys, crayons, etc. And sometimes the DVD player is my best friend. :)

  68. Jen Heptinstall says:

    I totally agree with having a dvd player but I also stock up on a bunch of $1 items that are new to my daughter and give her one at a time. My daughter loves to color so new coloring books are great too!

  69. mary says:

    I try to have a lot of different toys and activities to keep him busy. And also try to play kid CDs in the car so he is also entertained.

  70. Krystyn says:

    Our trick is to bring things they don’t normally get everyday; snacks (like fruit snacks), special movies, books, etc.

  71. Eos Mom says:

    Ugh, traveling with kids is so hard!!! I recommend (1) drive instead of fly so you can bring all your gear with you and (2) a portable DVD player is your best friend. Thanks, I’d love to win!!!

  72. singalong cd’s for car trips. Our kids love it when we sing with them. And, if you have a long drive, a dual dvd player is a great investment. But, if you feel your budget is too tight to spend the money on a good one (and a bottom of the line is just a waste of money) right at the moment, Rent-a-Center has them, as well as other stores that specialize in rentals.

  73. After becoming foster parents, we went through a phase where we had four toddlers in the house. I can relate! Our best trick for traveling was that we would find local parks or restaurants with playgrounds and would ALWAYS take potty breaks or meal breaks where they kids could get out and play. This made quite a difference!

  74. MandyE says:

    We haven’t done much travelling with our girls yet – they’re just shy of 18 months – so I’m looking forward to reading all your tips. The trips we’ve taken (about 4 hours, one way, to see family), we try to break them into smaller segments. It works best for us if we can travel an hour or so, ideally make a long stop and let the girls eat and expend some energy, and then finish out the trip. When we’ve been able to do this, they’ve taken a really nice nap the second half of the day.

  75. Michele says:

    A DVD and plenty of healthy snacks has worked wonders for long car rides or flights! Also, new coloring book, stickers, crayons etc. to keep him busy.

  76. Carrie Williams says:

    When traveling to our destination in the car, we go to the Dollar Store ahead of time and buy little toys and wrap them individually. Then when the time is right in the car for a pick-me-up, the kids each get one to open and play with. I also take our boys favorite animals they sleep with and sometime for our one year old I have even put my pillow case on his so it has my familiar smell when he goes to sleep. Happy Traveling!

  77. Rachel says:

    My best tip is to remember the tylenol/motrin. It never fails that someone gets sick and you’ll need it – navigating an unfamiliar town in the middle of the night is never fun!!

  78. Carrie says:

    we took our twins to india when they were just two. one of the best things- their blankies and favorite stuffed dog. yes, they were kind of a pain to carry around, but TOTALLY worth it! they provided comfort and consistency, even when we were all over the place!

  79. Corrinne says:

    A few things that are a must for my family is DVD Players with favorite movies, Coloring Books, Favorite toy, Blanket, snacks/drinks, and a portable potty.

  80. Rachel says:

    We try to leave right at lunch time so they can start out the trip eating. After they eat they are ready to take a nice long nap! When they wake up I give them new toys that I have bought at the dollar store. It’s amazing what you can find that is inexpensive and will entertain them for hours!

  81. Jenny B says:

    I love traveling with our quads. They are great travelers. Some necessities—a few cheap new toys for the dollar store. They are always so excited to get in the car for a trip and get a new book or car. Our Dvd player has been a life saver—esp on our last 18 hr trip! Snacks, snacks, SNACKS!!
    and my # 1 Necessity in the car now (besides a potty) is my extension grabber! now when they drop their cup/toy/book/ who ever is riding the passenger seat can turn around while still wearing their seat belt and use the grabber to get the item that’s causing all the screaming!:)

  82. Mama Llama says:

    Great Giveaway! My tips are
    -Pack snacks ready to toss out.
    -try not to have a movie playing the whole time– mix things up.
    -Have “stations” just like at home… pack small “grab bags” filled with little toys and swap between siblings.
    -Map out the Playlands along the route (if driving)
    -definitely leave at a time where chidlren will nap along the way!
    -get good kid music and take breaks from movies and games for some family sing time!
    -engage them– don’t expect them to sit in a van for 8 hours like total angels while you snooze or read a book.

    1. Jennifer Phelps says:

      On recent trip from Indianapolis to Tulsa, we took LONG lunch breaks for our 14 month old twins to run around and then traveled as much as possible while they slept. We also found that a suite made everyone’s life easier – this way the girls could sleep ininterrupted while those of us who don’t nap twice a day and go to bed at 7:30 didn’t have to hang out in the tub. Suites have fridges, too!

  83. TallyMichelle says:

    I think the best thing we’ve traveled with is the knowledge that this is just a short time, and we will survive without EVERYTHING we have at home. A sense of flexibility is so helpful. And so is a corkscrew, if you catch my drift.

  84. Kelly says:

    We pack a lot of snacks and a variety of new toys along the way. Driving a night or a naptime helps too.

  85. Rachel says:

    Plan ahead! Make a list a week or 2 in advance of things to pack so you won’t forget anything. Pack a noisemaker to help drown out the hallway noise and slamming doors that are constant in hotels. And don’t forget snacks!

  86. Ashley P says:

    I’ve loved reading all the tips. We’re moving from TX to CA in 8 weeks and I’ve already started preparing for the 18 hr car trip with my 18 month old. Some tips I have:
    1. Pack the blue painter’s tape and a flat sheet. The tape can be used to cover outlets, tape drawers shut, hold blind cords up high, etc. You can tape the sheet over the pack’n’play or a window to keep little ones asleep.
    2. Use the hotel alarm clock/radio on static as white noise to help little ones sleep easier.
    3. We’re getting a tray to go over Kate’s car seat so she can color, play with small toys and eat snacks easier.
    4. On trips to see my in-laws who are 5 hrs away, we eat in the car. When we stop, we run, run, run to get all the energy out, get food to go and eat in the car. It keeps Kate busy in the car and she has a chance to tire out a little instead of being cooped up in a high chair while we’re stopped. I put a twin sheet over her lap so all the food she drops falls on the floor instead of in the car seat- much easier to clean up. I also give her food to her in a bowl so it doesn’t spill as easily and feed her nice, clean foods- black beans, carrots, pasta with no sauce, dry sandwich with just meat, grapes, etc.

  87. Brandy says:

    When we travel with our 3 year old I always get her a couple of new movies, snacks that she doesn’t normally get, crayons, paper, etc. We also try to stop every 3 hours or so and just stretch our legs and refresh. We travel all the time and so far it has been easy! The portable DVD player is a must for us on long trips too.

  88. We fly frequently with our three kids…and wouldn’t leave without our portable DVD players. We got an extra one free, so now we have two – one for each kid that is old enough to enjoy them!

  89. Jennifer Sessoms says:

    We have to be careful of how soon to tall DS who is 3 when we are going on vacation (or anywhere for that matter). He gets so excited and does not understand the concept of time……so we refer to when we are going somewhere as after dinner or three more sleeps in your own bed. We take snacks and fruit with us because there never seems to be enough healthy choices when traveling.

  90. Heather Pun says:

    We usually make sure we stop for lunch at a McD’s playplace to get some energy out before the afternoon nap. Many rest stops have playgrounds in them as well or we will pull off the highway and find a park. We did a 13 hour drive last year with my 22 month old and he did better than we did!

  91. We like to pay for the toll roads, beacuse most have nice rest areas with food, and clan bathrooms, and also lots of running areas.:)

  92. Kara says:

    I LOVE Marriott’s Tots Travel Too program! We try to stay at Marriott’s whenever there’s one close to our vacation (or hockey) destinations! We play the “who can spot whatever first” game. My almost 2 year old can spot any train tracks and tractors before anyone else! We also stop at parks every hour and a half to two hours for play and stretch time. This gives him something to look forward too. He loves exploring new parks.

  93. Jenn says:

    My answer is similar to others. We just took a trip to northern Michigan and having different “surprises” along the way definitely helps. I picked up a few inexpensive new things to have at different stops along the way. We also stopped for ice cream and time to walk around and stretch our legs half way there. We also always plan for part of the trip to be around nap time. So we stop for snack, lunch and push through during naps.

  94. Mary Perrin says:

    We’ve taken many car trips with our three kids. The number one thing I have learned in the past few years is that I cannot set my expectations too high, meaning I cannot expect my kiddos to ride like (most) adults do. Noise happens, potty stops are a must, kids will cry at some point, but I must be willing to roll with the punches before we ever pull out of the driveway! During the trip we will experience a day’s worth of emotions (happy and sad) and noise within the confined space of our car…instead of having it spread throughout the house. Car trips give me a time to practice the techniques I try to teach my kids. I count to 10 before talking and sometimes I even pretend I am in my “happy place”. :)

  95. Melissa says:

    We play old fashioned car games on car trips. Games like the rainbow game where each person has to find something red, orange,yellow, green, blue and purple and whoever finds all the colors first wins. I also break the trip up about halfway and stop to eat and play…..but I only let me son play while we are there and then eat when we get back in the car! :)

  96. Tricia says:

    I always bring my kids’ sound machine with us to a hotel. You never know how noisy your neighbors might be and the sound machine always helps them sleep.

  97. Brandy Perez says:

    One of the things I do that makes travelind easier with SIX kids, is we pack the “surprise bag” for eachchild. It is usually things they have never seen before and great snacks. Also we make sure we have the dvd pLayer with lots of movies in the car and to use at hotel.
    Brandy

  98. SkipsMKGirl says:

    When ours were little, staying in a hotel was *fascinating* just like getting in someone else’s car: every button, handle, drawer, cabinet HAD to be explored! So my biggest tip is when you first arrive somewhere new, explore it with them! Encourage them to play in/with safe areas: empty drawers, on the bed, etc. When you get to something dangerous, make it fun while saying no: for instance let them open the closet doors that slide in the hotel but show them an “ouch” with YOUR fingers if you don’t slide them s-l-o-w-l-y

  99. Jennifer B says:

    tip 1: leave when kiddos normally sleep
    tip 2: favorite character ‘new’ dollar toys
    tip 3: dvds!
    tip 4: snacks pass the time well too!

  100. robin says:

    always plan on an extra hour for every four hours in the car. a “quick stop” for lunch will inevitably turn into an hour. we’ve learned to build this in so we don’t feel like we’re off schedule so soon into our road trip. oh, and if you can leave about 30 minutes before nap time, you’ll get a good head start on your ride!

  101. What an amazing giveaway!! We pack lots of snacks and lots of books- Elias’s two favorite things. :) Thanks for the opportunity.

  102. Kori Gammon says:

    We LOVE the Marriott and have stayed there with our boys. Bringing snacks is must as well as books and toys. The last two times we traveled with our kids our baby decided to cut teeth. So, bring Tylenol, Ibuprofen for any hope of sleep. Also, a positive attitude is a must because vacation with kids really isn’t a vacation, just laugh when crazy things happen and chalk it up to experience.

  103. Jill Perry says:

    We tend to just bribe our son with tons of snacks to keep him pleasant while traveling.

  104. Katie B. says:

    I have no exciting suggestions, I just want to leave a comment to have a chance to win. :)

    My suggestion is books for the car. Obviously kids will eventually get bored of looking at books, but they keep them entertained for awhile!

  105. val says:

    I think a great travel tip to keep in mind while traveling with toddlers is TIME. Try and be more patient, if at all possible, leave extra time to do things. Example, don’t assume the bedtime routine will go as usual, don’t expect your toddler(s) to be OK with all your travel plans which include, I’m sure, loads of things to do. They will be going through a lot of changes too and it’s unfair to them if you come without the correct expectations. Try and give yourself a bit more time to cater to them, to love them and to understand them while on vacation so everyone can enjoy the experience!

  106. Jaimie Zetterberg says:

    My tips for traveling with tots are to pack lots of fun kid music – so the kiddos can sing and listen to the CD’s, lots of snacks, books and baby wipes. No matter what the age…you can always use WIPES!!

    Thanks for all the fun posts and good luck to the marriott hotel winner! Maybe me :)

    jz

  107. Caralyn says:

    We just returned from a trip to Destin with a 7 year old and 3 year old twins. My advice? Don’t be shy about re-arranging the furniture in the hotel to fit your needs. On the way to Destin, we stopped in Baton Rouge and used the vanity chair as a stool in the bathroom, and moved a big over-sized chair in case someone fell out of the bed. Same hotel on the way home……we had a sick kid and didn’t want all 3 sleeping together, so we moved the same over-sized chair and crammed it between the two beds so the sick child could sleep in the sleeping bag but still feel like she was part of the group. (Of course, we put everything back before we leave.)

  108. Kristine says:

    Don’t have a toddler, but have heard bringing snacks is a must.

  109. Jen says:

    I hit the dollar store or Michael’s (usually has $1 or cheaper light up bracelets) for little surprises to hand out along the way.

  110. Jill says:

    We travel ALL THE TIME with our toddler especially in the summer as my husband is a youth minister so we are off to camps and mission trips and to see family too. The biggest thing I’ve learned is to keep a bag of essentials together all the time. This bag includes nail clippers, tylenol, soap, brush, thermometer, etc…..(basically all the things that you might not remember to pack but will probably need). I actually just leave it in our overnight bag so I never forget it!

    Also, a toy bag for the car is a MUST! Ours is filled with books that require our son to actively participate (lots of flaps and textured things). Then, each trip I let him pick out 1 or 2 other toys to put in the bag.

  111. The thing that saved us was a portable CD player and mini-speakers with her “sleeping music” on it. It gave her a sense of “home” no matter where we were. She’s seven now and still goes to sleep to the same music. Of course, now it’s on her ipod and she starts it herself.

    What a great prize. I’ve got lots of little nieces and nephews who could benefit from that!

  112. Kathy crumbacher says:

    We are past the toddler stage but still remember it well! We started getting audio books to listen too. We find it better for them. We started we toddler friendly ones like whinnie the pooh and Beatrix Ppotter. And now we still listen to them but much longer ones (we just finished the Swiss Family Robinson).

  113. Karen O says:

    I stay at the marriott often and spend a week every november at a Marriott for a work conference. They are awesome with kids, even if the hotel is a bit less than kid friendly (the one I stay at is). My suggestion is to get your toddler a role. My 4 year old and 1 year old each have book bags that we pack with items they have chosen to entertain themselves. I’ll pack a few new things, but they are in charge of movies/toys/snacks/etc. That way they know what’s there and feel like they have an important part.

  114. Megan grisez says:

    New toys are the best! Nothing expensive, even something from the dollar store. Having something he’s never seen before seems to work. I’m also loving the DVD player for the long car rides.

  115. Amy Gleason says:

    We have six children (number 7 is on the way) from age 7 down to a 1 year old, so unless we WANT to never leave home we MUST travel with toddlers. My best tip is to pack each day’s outfit (shoes and all) for each person in a plastic bag. That way if there’s a late night arrival at a hotel all you have to bring in is the bag with the “pj’s” (if they’re not already in them), and one bag of clothes for the morning. SOOOO much easier than dragging all the “luggage” in when everyone just wants to crash. Thanks for the chance to win!!!

    Amy

  116. Elizabeth says:

    We put their nighttime music on an iPod playlist (repeating several times). Then when we arrive at our destination, we plug the iPod into a tiny speaker, and voila: bedtime music.

    We also made a copy of their bedtime CD and keep it in the glove compartment in case it’s naptime while we’re on the road (it at least signals quiet time).

  117. Kathleen Mires says:

    We travel with our kiddos frequently (7 yo twins and 2 yo twins). I recommend that you borrow some movies from friends so that you have some new ones for the car, snacks and of course toys! Each kid gets to bring 2 special items (usually a stuffed animal or a doll or 2). I pack bag for each set of kids with things to do! My 7 yo loved it when they pulled out flash cards last weekend :) The babies loved the coloring sets that used water (1/2 price from Kohl’s). We rotate things to do so that there is quiet time, no electronic time, etc. that way the are not looking at a screen for extended periods of time.

  118. Kate Hardin says:

    We like to take a blanket from home that smells like our house. It seems to make the kiddos sleep better. We love Marriott also. I didn’t know of this program though.

  119. Katharine says:

    Ooh, great give away! When we are going on a trip I start collecting bits and pieces from the Target dollar spot and the dollar store and such ahead of time to make a fun bag of snacks, little toys, and activities for the traveling and the hotel. Last hotel stay they really enjoyed balloons in the room and bubbles on the balcony. :)

  120. Cori says:

    Bring lots of snacks and new toys!!

  121. Meridith Acosta says:

    My tip…run your child silly when you have the opportunity! For us, this usually means letting my 2 year old run up the moving walkway through the airport, hop off at the end, and hop back on the walkway going the other way. We have been known to “do the loop” for over an hour (thank you fog in Denver…). While lots of people stare, one other mom got it right when she commented “Wow, she is going to sleep on the plane!” And sleep she did!

  122. Janet says:

    If you are going to be in the car for most of the day, plan a couple of really fun spots to stop for the kids to run around. Look online to find a great park or a fun indoor play area.

  123. Lindsey says:

    If you have a routine at home, follow it while you’re travelling. (Brush teeth, bedtime story, songs …) It will make falling asleep in a strange place a little eaiser on the toddler.

  124. Sarah says:

    Great giveaway!
    In the suitcase I pack in outfits – just grab the first pile which will contain shirt/shorts/socks/underwear. The suitcase stays more organized and it helps me keep track of what we have left.
    I also bring a trash bag for all of the dirty clothes – that way we avoid wondering what is dirty and what is clean. When we get home the dirty clothes bag goes straight to the laundry room!

  125. I think wet wipes are a must–especially for the car!

  126. Lisa P says:

    We just broke down and bought DVD players for the car. It made the two-hour, each way, by myself visit to my parents house a breeze.

    I know, I know…we didn’t have them when I was a kid and we turned out fine but I would have enjoyed watching a movie more than fighting with my sister because “she was touching me!”

  127. April says:

    My tips would be to bring plenty of snacks for the plane, be flexible about keeping your “typical” schedule/routine, keep clean and dirty clothes separated (this helps unpacking tremendously), and stay relaxed so you can enjoy your trip as much as your kiddo(s)!

  128. Amy says:

    What an amazing gift, especially for a family that is trying to cut down on life and pay off debt! We try to get a couple of new things (Target $1 of the Dollar Store are fabulous for this!) that we hide from the kiddos until the trip. If there are new things, they tend to play with them a little longer than normal!

  129. Jenn M says:

    Thanks Marriott! What a great giveaway. A couple of my tips include: 1) Give a new toy (or one “forgotten about) to the child at the start of the trip so that they can say “oh look mami, something new that I have never played with before” 2) portable DVD players (with an extra battery pack) are ideal!! You can find them on sale lots of time at Target 3) Lift the flap books are always favorites and 4) bring their 1 special thing (blanket, stuffed animal, etc) so that they are inclined to take a nap at some point.

  130. Crystal says:

    I don’t have any ideas… but am looking for some! I am taking a flight with my 15 month old next month for the first time and my husband can’t come. So I am already stressing!!

  131. Lindsey says:

    We try and bring some new toys also.

  132. Jocelyn says:

    I think little “surprises” from the dollar store works great! My son is always anxious to know what’s in his special bag.

  133. JessieLeigh says:

    For air travel, be sure to get your child his or her own seat (I’m a safety-nazi… sorry!) and sting Cheerios on a necklace for your child to wear and munch on.

    For car travel, try to get to a hotel early enough that your kids can swim for a bit and “get the wiggles out”. Go to dinner somewhere as a family and sit at a table… maintaining some normalcy is key to content kids!

  134. Hope C says:

    we pack books, snacks, stickers, puzzles and painting tape. we use painting tape to make roads or christmas tree so we can decorate with stickers. it is so much fun!

  135. Dana says:

    We actually just traveled last week with our kids and I did a couple of things to keep them happy. First I had lots of snacks and drinks. I also bought them trays that have pockets on the side to put crayons and coloring books in. They fit perfectly over their car seats and they were able to keep there stuff together and not keep dropping it. And I also bought little items from the Dollar Store and gave them a present every 100 miles- they loved this!! I think I actually got the idea from this blog?? Anyway, it worked like a charm and they were happy for most of the 13 hour trip!!

  136. Lynne says:

    As the mom of five year old twins who often travels 10 plus hours by car I have a few tricks up my sleeve! We pack snacks they normally aren’t allowed to eat, rig up the DVD player they normally aren’t allowed to watch, pack up surprises from the $1.00 store in brown bags to open when they get fussy and just generally try to be prepared.

    Also, make sure to stock up on all your medications (RX and OTC) before you leave the house, put them in a Ziploc and also include a small first aid kit. If you do this, you will not need it, if you don’t your child will develop a need for one of these items and you will have to visit a doc in the box.

    Happy trails!!

  137. Alison says:

    We try to make it as much like home as possible…bring her fan, her sleeping things and such, and then its not so foreign!

  138. Carter says:

    Always check with the hotel to see what there complimentary offers are before packing. :) Lugging a pack and play across the US only to find the hotel where we were staying had one was a bit disappointing. :)

    Also, ALWAYS make sure you have everything before you leave…we left our daughter’s favorite animal in a hotel once… sad day.

    peace.

  139. Megan says:

    As a military family, we’ve done a lot of traveling with our kids. On the airplane, we bring one carry on of games, books and little toys. Rather than get new stuff, we “lose” some of our son’s favorites about a week before the big trip. Then we suddenly find them in the suitcase on the plane and he’s all excited. His favorite is a mini dry erase board with markers and eraser. Hours of fun for everyone.

  140. Whitney says:

    My tip that we use with our four little ones: always eat while driving. That gives them something to do in their carseat, and when you do stop, you can use the free time to let them get out and run off some energy, NOT sit – again – and eat.

  141. Always be prepared for the fact that things won’t go according to schedule. Flexibility is key. And don’t forget to pack your sense of humor.

  142. Jen V says:

    We pack snacks, iTouch with headphones and books.

  143. Nicole says:

    Because traveling means eating out, we like to look at menus online ahead of time and decide what to order so that we can do so as soon as we sit down. Decreases some of that dreaded wait time trying to keep little ones happy before the food arrives. Also helps us to make good choices since we’re not rushed or distracted by a screaming or fidgety kid!

  144. Lauren P says:

    Lot’s of snacks! And we pack and iTouch with a few movies loaded on it. Small enough to fit in your pocket or purse, but can give you hours of sanity!

  145. Meg says:

    How nice!
    Here is a tip I just heard from a friend (her mom used it growing up): For every hour they were good in the car, they’d each get a new gift (something small from the dollar store). It gave them something to look forward to each hour and offered incentive for excellent behavior.

  146. Jennie says:

    I always hit garage sales in the weeks before a trip to gather some new toys for my girls. They always love to find the new stuff once we arrive at the destination. It keeps them busy while we unpack and get things organized just looking at the new things … and then playing with them during the whole vacation.
    And I always keep something seperate for restuarants, that is the most difficult part of travelling with little ones.

  147. Laura J says:

    Our best tip is to take lots of breaks, especially on long car trips. Kids need to get out and stretch and run around!

  148. Julie says:

    Our portable DVD player is a lifesaver when we travel. We’ve discovered many of the kids DVD’s have games on them and we’ve taught our oldest how to play them by himself. This is great to keep him occupied in the car or a hotel.

  149. Andrea H says:

    My tip is to pack lots of extra wipes to clean up all those toddler messes. I also always pack toys and books to keep the littles occupied on road trips.

  150. Amie says:

    A toy bag for the car is a must!

  151. Holly says:

    I always make a trip to the consignment store & dollar store and pick up some new things and keep them put away until we arrive at our destination. And lots of snacks in the car…again new and interesting snacks!!!

    When all else fails we resort to the DVD in the van. Hey, can’t be perfect!

  152. We travel with the portable DVD player in the car, and their favorite CD’s in the CD player, lots of snacks, and always bring their favorite bedtime books from home so we can keep the routine as routine as possible!

  153. leah says:

    our advice?? travel with the GRANDPARENTS!!!

  154. Catherine says:

    I always make sure to take their noisemakers…they need the familiar white noise sound to sleep and it blocks out hallway noise.

  155. Rebecca says:

    We have 4 kids (3-8). We let each kid chose 2 special things (usually to sleep with), then 2 toys to play with. We put the toys in a container, so we know exactly where they are (and where to put them away). Also each child chooses 2 movies. Lots of snacks, and several stops along the way also help with being in the car. And the new best thing is the iphone. All the kids love the games and movies that are on them. :)

  156. Colleen says:

    LOTS AND LOTS OF SNACKS!

  157. Veronica says:

    Snacks, crayons and drawing tablet, dvd player, toys. Extra wipes and set of clothes, extra diapers, leak proof sippy cup.

    Most importantly, a laid back attitude!

  158. Kendra says:

    I like to get a special toy or book and save it for our trip. Also a variety of snacks in a must for my son!

  159. Jackie Green says:

    Get a king-sized bed… that way if our son won’t sleep in his pack-n-play, there’s still lots of room for him in our bed.

  160. audrea says:

    For a “one-night layover,” pack a bag of just the things you’ll need for that night and the next morning to avoid unpacking the whole car!

  161. Drew's Mom says:

    We always travel with plenty of snacks – for the car rides, but also for in the hotel room. Nothing worse than having a hungry 3 year old an resorting to the vending machines.

    I also check out the $1 spot in Target and get some new toys/activities for the kids. Things they’ve never seen before, so they are more interested in them.

    We also try to bring with us as much food/water/etc. that we can, because it’s more expensive in your desitination locations. And since kids need lots of snacks to get through a week, it saves lots of money.

    At the hotel, we usually choose a place with breakfast. It’s amazing how much that can save our little family of four – eating out for breakfast can really add up.

    Hope I win! :)

  162. Julie says:

    I like to go to the dollar store and get some fun/cheap toys. Also, ziplock bags and lots of them! They are great for everything

  163. Helen says:

    My tip is travel when your kids are freshest — for us this would be leaving early. We try to book early flights. Yes it is a hassle to get up early with all the last minute things that have to be done the night before, but it makes things so much easier to do it before they get tired. Usually we arrive at our destination by midday, in time for a much needed nap for the whole family. Taking early flights also means you have a better chance get on a later flight if your flight were to be cancelled or delayed.

  164. Laura says:

    Bring along children’s medicine and thermometer. I have had many a sick child on vacation and it is so much easier with that stuff easy access and less expensive.

    Car travel is awesome with Crayola Color wonder coloring books. It keeps my girls happy all day with no mess!

  165. We always travel with a “sound machine.” It creates “white noise” that makes for a good night’s sleep in a noisy hotel and it’s also familiar since our twins have had one in their room since they were infants. LIFESAVER! :)

  166. Bethel Randall says:

    We travel with “Little Red” as my triplets plus one affectionaly named a large wheely backpack. “Little Red” is packed with small paperback books; magazines like Zootles, Ladybug, Highlights; hand held games; doodle pro’s; snacks (especially lollypops and sweet things for little ears on airplane presurization changes), a change of clothes, underwear for the whole family and the all important lovie of each child’s choice.

  167. Sonja says:

    We travel at night while they sleep. Once we drove on a “great west” road trip (6210 miles). Before we left we showed our two kids the map of the US and compared a typical 1hr trip to Gradmas to our trip out west. They quickly saw it was going to be an adventure.

  168. melissa says:

    when going on a long trip (lets say 10 hours) prior to the trip buy 10 gifts that they can use in the car. every hour let them open one gift.

  169. Ashley says:

    DVD player. New toys (small ones that we can break out at different points in the trip). We also do a ISpy type game with our two year old daughter (do you see the bird? What noise does a bird make?). Our trips don’t usually go over 3 hours yet…so we spend time also singing songs! I haven’t gone crazy yet!

  170. Annie says:

    I have an infant, so we haven’t had to deal with the toddler problems yet, but we travel through the night so he sleeps the whole way!

  171. We actually packed small a bin of small stuffed animals in the car for the Eldest Princess when she was a toddler because she got car sick when watching tv or reading books. That way, she could play pretend and have a variety of “friends” and not get the blahs. :)

  172. Amanda says:

    I hit up the dollar bin at Target, or the clearance section and get the kids some new toys for the plane ride. It keeps them occupied and if all else fails there’s a box of 25 cent crayons and a pad of paper that will do the trick!

  173. Stefanie says:

    I pack lots of snacks and activities.

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