I can’t say that I’m much for vacations. I love getting away, but with my newly-growing family, I haven’t had much chance to get out on a long vacation. The idea of taking very little ones on a long excursion makes me slightly nervous. I feel a little stressed out when I’m just packing us up for a weekend trip to see my folks! Let alone, a week-long planned out trip!
Some friends of mine I’d consider extremely brave, because they are taking their infants on plane rides and long vacations. Maybe I’m just a pansy. I’ll tell you this, I’m not exactly comfortable with doing that myself. (although, I do remember taking Kaylee to my little brother’s wedding when she was only 2 weeks old…it was only about 2 hours drive, but people expressed their concerns to us…to each his own)
I’ve begun to accumulate a list of things that we take with us if we are staying the night anywhere: sound machine, pack-in-play, baby monitor, extra diapers and wipes..although I do happen to forget at least one of these items. Blame the baby brain.
In time, I try to create different hacks that make it easier for me to prepare for these excursions. They can be applied to long vacations, or they can be used for simple weekend visits to the grandparents. Here are some of my tips:
Diffuse While You Pack
You can choose many oils to have in the air while you’re racking your brain around the list of things you need while you’re preparing for a “relaxing” time with your family. For the ones that need a calming mind about them during this planning stage, you can always run to our good friends from Young Living, Stress Away or Peace & Calming. Lavender is another option for diffusing, or you can place this on your feet and wrists as well. The Clarity blend from Young Living is great for those that want to get their brains alert and in thinking mode while they are planning. I personally also like Joy, mainly cause it helps keep me “happy” while I’m trying to multitask packing and playing with a toddler.
I have a bag that keeps my oils, frequently-used products, and even business-sharing items together and organized so it’s with me whenever the opportunity arises for me to use it. It’s super handy, and you can organize this bag to fit your specific needs! You can keep it in your purse, or have it packed up and ready for you to grab on the go when it’s time to pack for the long-haul! It’s only about $20 on Amazon, and you can find it here!
Here’s a peak at what my travel bag looks like! Love the fact that it still fits in my purse (barely…but look! There’s still a little wiggle room!)
Store Extras for Trips
We got quite a few nice things on our baby registry, and some things were doubled up. We got two baby monitors, so we use one regularly and store the other one to grab and go for over-night trips. A sound machine is something that I think is really helpful for Kaylee, because it helps to block out sounds of new places that Kaylee isn’t quite used to. Sadly, we don’t have an extra of this one, and it’s the thing that usually gets left behind. I usually have to use my phone and download an app for this.
My current solution for “doubling up” this item happened when I upgraded my iPhone to a Samsung. I had a sound machine app on the iPhone. I tried to download the same app on my Samsung, but then I had a light-bulb moment. I can still use my iPhone. I can store it up as my “sound machine” for trips. That way my current phone isn’t occupied when Kaylee’s sleeping, and I have a peace of mind that we have SOMETHING, just in case growing baby decides to interfere with brain-storming phase of packing!
Keep It In One Place
Kaylee is still young enough that her closet is more for storage space that we need instead of space that she uses. We keep her pack-in-play, extra baby monitor, and any other items that we don’t need to use regularly in that closet. It’s in a place that whenever we are preparing to travel, I open the closet and see everything right in front of me. That way it’s not out of sight, out of mind. I’m more likely to remember it if I can see it!
I have had many times where I’ve forgotten at least one of the above things. That itself has helped to drill in my head a plan for not making that mistake again. I know some of you moms out there made due with a lot less and survived trips. I tip my hat to you! You certainly don’t “need” a baby monitor or sound machine, or even a diffuser for night-time. I’ll tell you why I try to keep these things with me for every over-night trip we take: because it keeps me sane and relaxed.
Sometimes we got on trips with other family members, and can have more than one hotel room to chill in. Kaylee sleeps in ours, I can take the baby monitor to the other. Gives me space, and I can still hear Kaylee sleeping soundly.
The sound machine and even diffuser were two things that I chose to do as a routine in her room, so that it could be a familiar sound, smell, and sight for her when we slept somewhere else. It defeats the purpose for me to not bring those things as we travel. It helps her to find security in new places, knowing that she can still pick out something familiar that reminds her of her own room at home.
Also, the diffuser is just calming in general. It can make a nice little night light if one isn’t available, and a smell like Lavender, Cedarwood, or Peace & Calming are great oils to put in the air to help little one (and the bigger ones as well) find restful sleep.
We pack extra diapers, because….well, poop happens.
I’d like to hear some of your packing tips! I love hearing how other peoples’ experiences have caused them to do things the way that they do them. I might have to steal some of your ideas as well! For those that are going to be leaving for vacation soon, safe travels! May you find good rest and create great memories! And as always, keep striving and thriving!