Top 10 Travel Tips

For the past 30 some years, Adam and I have both had the opportunity to travel many places, all over the world. 
We are almost travel pros.   
For some, traveling can be extremely stressful… especially with kids.  The thought of traveling with small children is close to having a root canal. 
BUT. You should GO!
Kids shouldn’t hold you back from traveling…Even as we were backpacking in Europe before we had our wee babs, we spent much of our time dreaming about one day traveling with our children.

Now, it is time to share our “Top 10 Travel Tips” for successful travel with children and adults, taken from our trip to Oregon last month.

1. Be prepared to wear a diaper.  
Ladies – sometimes you won’t know when “aunt flow” is gonna visit… if it happens at 10:30pm in a small Oregonian town with every store closed and no 24-hour Walmart handy, you’re gonna need an alternative… thankfully, I had a diaper handy when ‘flow’ visited me…and a wonderful husband who went out the next morning to buy me some necessities. Until then, the diaper worked brilliantly. and… they were pretty much the same size as the pads my hubby came home with. 
2. Be prepared for temper tantrums. from your children. and from yourselves. be prepared to handle them creatively.

Travel isn’t always easy.  Sometimes children and adults can get irritable.  Selah was throwing a fit on our way to Portland and nothing was settling her down…until she discovered mommy’s vaseline tube. she squirted it all over herself. I let her go with it. my brilliant idea worked.

3. Be prepared to take a nap. whenever. wherever. 
Sometimes tantrums break out as a result of being tired.  and when your child finally falls asleep, don’t move them.  even if they look uncomfortable.  it will be better for everyone involved, especially the old lady squished up next to you like a sardine on the airplane… trust me. let them sleep in whatever position they fall asleep in. and *bonus* if you get a nap in too. 

4. Be prepared to eat the same thing almost every day.
it’s easier. it’s cheaper. it takes up less brain space not thinking about what you’re going to eat. if you have a refrigerator handy, buy your food at the local market and pack it. 
we packed lunches nearly every day. sandwiches. fruit. veggies. chips. water.
it’s better for your body and for your kids if you have homemade food handy that everyone enjoys.  some restaurants can be nasty.
and don’t spend your whole travel experience at restaurants. be adventurous. 
discover an unexpected picnic spot.
Silver Falls State Park
Sitting outside of Whole Foods

5. Be prepared to find restaurants with toys.
When you do need to eat out, be prepared to find restaurants with toys. or places that are family friendly.  we prefer non-fast-food places which takes a little extra work on our part. with the help of the app Yelp it usually works out just fine.

We had a nice time when Grandma took the girls out to lunch at a tea shop, complete with gummy worms for the kids.
We also went to The Laughing Planet cafe. complete with dinosaurs on every table to enjoy.
lots of laughter at the Laughing Planet Cafe
After we finished eating, we used Yelp to help us find a nearby park
6. Be Prepared to embrace both the similarities and differences of each traveller. 
Our family enjoys most of the same things. playing. being outdoors. being silly. being together. eating the same things…
our kids are not picky about what they eat. they are pretty good at sharing too – a chicken salad with chips & salsa.
We are also very unique personalities. we need a break from one another. all of us need space at some point during travel. space while traveling with others can be hard to find – sometimes that “alone” time is available during a car ride… 
Salem asleep. Soleil “talking” to her friend on a toy cell phone.  Selah getting over a tantrum. 
7. Be prepared to embrace other cultures. and their ice cream. 
We went to Woodburn, Oregon and ate at a well known family owned Mexican restaurant one evening.  Woodburn has a large Hispanic population and is a very family friendly area.  We enjoyed and embraced every moment at the restaurant and the ice cream shop.

We also enjoyed the smiles we got from the window shopping we did.  In all my life and travels and shopping, I have never seen boots such as these… these boots were definitely made for walkin’.
8. Be prepared to wear the same thing during your travels and live out of your suitcase.
I don’t have any specific pictures to capture this point.  But if you look back at the pictures from the last few [Oregon travel] blog posts, you will see we pretty much wore the same outfits on our trip.
it’s easier to pack. it’s very freeing. just bring your 5 fav outfits. and a scarf! just do laundry.
it’s totally worth the less crap you have to cart around. especially when you also are carting 3 small children around.
9. Be prepared for all things random.
Life is too short to not. have. fun. Sometimes the random things you end up doing while traveling, end up making some of the most precious memories. 
You let your kids play on Grandpa’s treadmill with their cousins.

You take lots of pictures…of random things you find hilarious.
we told the kids these were “marsh-mellow farms”

You give your kids the extra leg room… they deserve it.
10. Be prepared to be thankful… in all circumstances. 
even in an hour of traffic because of the beauty around you.

even in the difficult moments flying home… remain thankful. 
home sweet home. with a monkey in the background.
Don’t expect perfection. just be prepared to be Thankful
Take your kids [or just yourselves] and Go.

We have taken our kids pretty much everywhere we go.  Here we are on our mission trip to India in 2007.  Since having the wee babs, we have been on the road, in airplanes, biking, boating, running, and walking everywhere with Soleil, Salem & Selah.  Soleil (8) has been flying since she was 6 weeks old.  She has flown several times and been on countless road trips in her short life.
This picture is from their first nap in India-Soleil (3) & Salem 9 mos).

Live out of your suitcase. 
Eat the same thing everyday. 
Let yourself have a tantrum. and a nap. and be prepared…

Be prepared to Embrace. Experience. and Enjoy. every. crazy. pointless. ridiculous. random. silly. moment.


4 thoughts on “Top 10 Travel Tips

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