* The Inevitable Nap Time
Nap time can be a travel time crusher. And yet, if your kiddos miss out on those precious z’s, toting them around becomes a nightmare. You have two options when it comes to nap time: Go back to the hotel and wait it out OR teach them to sleep on the go. We opt for the latter as much as possible. Start them early. As much as you want to teach them to sleep in their crib, if they learn that they can ONLY sleep in their crib… you’re done for! Help the little ones learn to nap when and where they can.
Driving – Try to plan long drives from destination to destination around nap time. The distance from L.A. to San Diego is about 1 hour. Traveling is full of these little gems and a car seat can make a rather cozy cradle. The gentle rumble of the car has lulled children to sleep for decades. This is a gift to you from the travel gods; use it wisely. If your children tend to get distracted in the car, you can bring a few safety pins to pin-up sheets or blankets to make them a more secluded napping space (this trick works on planes and other means of transport as well).
Take Advantage of Quiet Time – Not all of travel is running around. You will have some natural down time. Let the kids fall asleep where they can. They don’t need a crib to have a nap. Say it with me… “They don’t need a crib to have a nap”. Find some shade and lay down a blanket at the park or a towel at the beach.(*Warning, do not leave your child unattended*) If they fall asleep in the stroller or the travel backpack…great! As they get used to traveling, they will get better at sleeping on the go. Don’t get discouraged, they’ll get the hang of it.
Go with the Flow – With children, you just have to go with it. As fun as it would have been to see one more museum – they may have just hit their limit. So, you just pack it in for the day. That’s ok. You cannot spend your energy stressing about the things you missed out on. When you travel with kids, just know before hand that plans will change. Try to center your travel on their experience as well as yours. That way you won’t be so disappointed if you miss out on what YOU wanted to do. As a parent, you sacrifice for your kids everyday… you’ll never get a vacation from that. We all know they make it worth it!