Happy #BumpDay! It’s the end of the summer, so we’re trying to squeeze in all the last minute vacations we can. However, traveling with a baby sometimes seems more like work than a vacation.

That’s why we’re giving you our best tips for traveling with a toddler:

  • Pick a family-friendly destination: Choose a lazy beach week, family cabin trip or something designed for children. When you’re researching places, look for hotels that provide free meals or let kids stay with their parents for free. At family-friendly resorts and destinations, most of the details will already be worked out for you. Try to avoid tourist destinations that are overcrowded or without shady places for your family to rest.
  • Prepare them ahead of time: If your child will have to sleep in a portable bed while you’re away, set it up at home and have them sleep in it for a few nights before you leave. You can also take shorter day trips to get a better idea of what you’ll need to pack and how they’ll react to being in a car or plane for a long period of time.
  • Bring drinks and snacks: Flights can be especially dehydrating and you won’t want to keep stopping for drinks and snacks on a road trip. Your toddler may also refuse the food offered to them on a plane, leaving you with a cranky child. Some easy snack choices to pack include whole grain cereal, precut fruits and veggies and fruit juice boxes.
  • Plan for long rest stops: If you’re driving to your destination, plan for mini-trips along the way. You should stop frequently to allow everyone to stretch their limbs and allow your toddler to run around and release some energy. Look up parks or points of interest along the way ahead of time so you’ll know exactly how long it’ll take to get to your final destination.
  • Unpack immediately: Your goal should be to make your lodging feel as close to home as possible. Unless your family is overly tired or cranky, unpacking upon arrival will help keep you organized and give some structure to a strange place. Set up a play area, changing area and any other places that will help mainstream your home routine.
  • Be flexible: While on vacation, only plan one large activity a day. This way, if any meltdowns happen it won’t ruin your whole itinerary. You should also make sure to account for the extra time it may take your toddler to adjust to their new surroundings. Plan the most important activities for the middle or end of your stay.

With some careful planning and attention to detail, your trip can feel like an actual vacation!