Summer is almost here and I’m so excited for the activities and trips that come with it! We have always loved to go camping, but once we had kids our scheduled trips were few and far between. We made it a priority to put some trips in the calendar this summer and I cannot wait to make memories together as a family. We recently switched our camping set up from a trailer to a motor home and we are also starting to camp again for the first time since our youngest could sleep in a rock n’ play. Both of which makes it totally different for us! We’ve been twice since our change up and I’m gonna share what is working (and what didn’t) for us with a few tips.
Think about your traveling set up. | Both girls were in rear facing car seats regularly in my car. Luckily we have seat belts in the dinette seats so we were able to place their seats facing the correct way while traveling. We did decide to rotate Aubrey’s seat to face forward since she’s over 2, and she LOVED that! It was so fun for her to watch out the window and be able to see us, especially since we were in a new surrounding! One thing I’ll have to figure out next time is something to put up in the middle of them if its sleeping time. It was so cute that they could see each other and touch hands…until they fell asleep, and then one woke up and woke up the other! Maybe I’ll put a poster board between their seats next time, haha! May sound silly, but if it works it will be worth it to get two napping kids!
Bring toys they haven’t seen in a while | I try to rotate their toys and books at home so they feel like they’re getting something new every now and again and don’t always see the same activities. When I was packing things for camping, I choose from the stuff I had put away. Once we had a moment to “play” with the things I brought, Aubrey was so excited to see the toys that she hasn’t played with in a while! Something I was sure to keep consistent was her bed time pals. The blankets she always has in her bed as well as the stuffed animals she loves were sure to be with us!
(loved using my adorable bags from my friend Kelli, you can check out her page here)
Stick to your bedtime routine as much as possible | sleep was my biggest concern. Our toddler has a pretty good routine down now so obviously I didn’t want to disturb it if at all possible. We were already worried about the fact that she normally sleeps in a crib and we would be putting her on the converted dinette bed. Things were different (my husband had to lay with her to fall asleep because she could just climb out, she got up extra early because the windows let in SO MUCH LIGHT at super early hours and her naps were a bit shorter) but I think the fact that we kept her routine the same helped keep it a smooth process. Just like at home, we did baths (super quick wash off no playing camping baths of course) and read books before bedtime. I also was sure to bring the essential oils I use for the girls and (since we had hookups) I was able to run the diffuser as well! Clearly she slept well, look at that bed head!
Prepare for lots of outside time | we spend time outside at home, but I’m definitely not used to entertaining two – 2 and under kids all day mostly outdoors! Hats, sunscreen, bubbles (so many bubbles), and ways to go for lots of walks. I carried Blake, our 10 month old, in the carrier a lot and we also have a compact/cheap umbrella stroller we brought that was perfect for when Aubrey got tired of walking.
Tagging along with the outdoor idea, think of the eating arrangement | Blake normally sits in her highchair and Aubrey is usually in a booster seat at the table. We brought Aubrey’s booster but it wasn’t really safe on the picnic bench. So it was difficult to get her to sit and eat. We finally figured out it worked on one of our folding chairs. We use the Mamas & Papas Snug Seat as a traveling high chair for Blake. Works great on the floor, or in the middle of a table. We call her our centerpiece! (you can see ours with the tray off in the background of the photos below)
Prepare for snacks | somehow everything takes longer to prepare while camping! I felt like we were eating breakfast later and the process of getting dinner ready was almost too much to bear for Aubrey since she didn’t have much to do on her own while we were cooking. Hungry kids = cranky kids! A banana in the morning while waiting for breakfast or grapes or crackers or something while waiting for dinner would have been a great idea!
What are your favorite tips or hacks for traveling with kids, camping or otherwise? I’d love to hear! Hope you have a fun summer with your littles!