I can’t wait until my kids are big enough to walk and carry their own stuff for an extended period of time, let me start with that, ha ha! I remember the days of carefree traveling and “carry on” only packing. Those were the good ole’ days… Now our lives are riddled with car seats, diapers, suitcases and the ever necessary stuffed panda bear.

This past week we were lucky enough to travel to Colombia to visit my family and I learned a lot about traveling with my kiddos. Here are some tips we picked up along the way:

1. Babywearing to the Rescue

Have you tried to push a stroller and carry your diaper bag and wheel your luggage around at the same time, and then your toddler decides she hates the stroller and wants to be carried? One only has so many hands! We have been wearing our babies in carriers basically since they were born and the little ones do great near us and it frees up our hands! Win-win.

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Starr Lily’s backpack is bigger than her!! 🙂

2. Pack Nothing and yet Pack Everything

You’ll want your luggage to be on the lighter side, obviously, but you still want to be prepared for any situation. Find mini, travel-sized, toiletry bottles for everything possible. Keep a separate travel bag with all these items so you can just throw it in your suitcase and not have to worry about packing them last minute (like I always do). And you might want to skip on taking three different types of pumps, just in case you might use them.

3. Make a list

A while back my sister told me she and her hubby have an excel sheet they use to help them remember what they need to pack. So many times I have packed everything and boarded the plane only to remember I didn’t pack my pj’s, or my toothbrush! I have since adopted her list and added a few things. There is a section of essentials: shampoo, soap, glasses… and I also have separate sections for the type of vacation. If we’re going somewhere snowy, pack gloves, boots, etc; if it’s a summer trip, pack bathing suits, sunblock, etc.

4. Laundry

We were going to be gone for two weeks and packing clothes for all of that time would be impossible. So instead, I packed clothes for 5 days for each of us. This seriously reduced the bulk in our suitcases and we just needed access to a laundry machine at my aunt’s house.

5. Check the Weather

The first time we went to Colombia, the hubs packed t-shirts and shorts thinking it would be tropical, warm weather (even though I told him it would be cold in Bogota). Now he knows, jeans and a few sweaters will serve him better. We also packed some warm weather clothes in case there is an impromptu trip to warmer climates. Now that we are here I’ll have to add a mini umbrella or poncho to our list.

6. Take your car seat

This is the first time we took the car seat on the plane and now I wish we had always done it! Starr Lily was well contained, I felt safe and she passed out comfortably for a couple hours. It was magnificent! Baby Stone is still tiny and happy to nurse and sleep through the flight.

sla sleeping in car seat on plane

so peaceful

7. Toddler Backpacks are Amazing

The week before we left I went to Target looking for coloring books and new little toys that could keep Starr Lily entertained during the flight. I lucked out with their $1 bins! I found mini 24 piece puzzles, markers and coloring books, super cute memory game cards, and adorable mini wood cars. I didn’t want to add that to my luggage, so I put it all in her little backpack and she carried it (for the most part)! I also packed some snacks. A hungry kiddo is never a happy kiddo, so I made sure to pack some of her favorite snacks: popcorn, carrots, apples, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. We also took a bottle of water and bought some OJ at the airport. The best part is that none of that took up space in my carry on, which left space for all the diapers I had to lug around.

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Hola! International travel with two 2 and under…props to Drea!

So far it has been a great trip and we are enjoying some special time with the family! What tricks have you learned in your travels?

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