3 essential tips for traveling with kids

Family-vacation-travel-tips-baby

Traveling with children can be a scary thought. But trust me when I say this: It can be done, and your family will benefit from it. My family has traveled all over the world, and the six of us are headed to Costa Rica this summer. Traveling opens up your children’s eyes to new cultures, new foods and different languages. It gives them a sense of adventure while building curiosity. Your family will bond even more as you navigate through new places, deal with the unexpected and have some fun without the comforts of home.

Here are three tips to help you prepare and pack for traveling with kids.

1. Stay at a place with laundry machines or services. Washing machines are a huge help for two reasons. First, you can pack fewer clothes. (Five outfits per kid/per week is a good rule of thumb.) Second, you can do a load before you leave, so you return home with clean clothes, and don’t have to face that ugly chore after your wonderful vacation.

2. Bring only what you need. I have a tendency to bring EVERYTHING I could possibly need…and more! If you are traveling with a baby, most places sell formula, diapers and wipes. Unless you have a baby with specific needs when it comes to these, bring just enough for the first couple of days, and buy the rest of your supplies when you get there. You can find sunscreen, bug spray, shampoo and other toiletries just about anywhere!

3. Pack an awesome travel first aid kit. I have a mesh zip pouch that is stocked with everything I might need should a small emergency arise. It is the envy of my mommy friends, and they’ve even asked me if I could make them one for the next time they travel with children. Here is a list of what’s in my first aid kit for kids:

This first aid kit for kids goes with me everywhere and has saved the day on multiple occasions.

A little bit of preparation will go a long way in a successful family vacation. And don’t forget to pack your sense of adventure when traveling with kids — it’ll come in handy when things don’t go exactly as planned. Happy travels!

Share your family vacation travel photos with baby! Post pics of your little one on the road or in the air on Twitter or Instagram with hashtag #WalmartBaby.

4 maternity wear must-haves

New mom in maternity top

Shopping for maternity clothes is a nightmare. I don’t believe anyone has ever gone maternity shopping and gotten that giddy, excited “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe how many cute things I just bought!” feeling. Your body changes so quickly, and the choices out there are extremely limited. Then there is the sticker shock. Maternity clothes are generally 30% more expensive than the non-maternity version. Add the fact that you only need them for 6–9 months, and you can blow through a clothing budget before know it.

I have four kids and bought a new maternity wardrobe with each pregnancy. How? I wore the same few things over and over again. (And I wanted to burn every piece as soon as I got back into my pre-pregnancy clothes!) So after four rounds of this, here are some absolute must-haves to make it through your nine months.

1. A ponytail holder or rubberband is the best tool you have. It’s a cheap, MacGyver-ish way to get some breathing room as you gain those first few pounds. I recall one afternoon when my pants felt so much tighter than they were that morning. I pulled off my ponytail, looped it through the buttonhole, wrapped it around the button—and voila!—I could breathe again.

2. Loose, blousy tops were a great investment, because they hid my bump in my first trimester and lasted all the way to the third.

3. Full-panel maternity leggings. You will never want to take these off. Enough said. Definitely check these comfy leggings out, and stock up.

4. A top or a dress that makes you feel pretty. Sometimes you just need to look good even when you don’t feel good. So I bought a beautiful, printed dress that showed off my bump and garnered tons of compliments. On those days where I was suffering from complete exhaustion, bad heartburn or morning sickness, that dress was a miracle worker. This sleeveless dress is one that just might do the trick for you!

Share your magical maternity photos with us! Tag your baby bump pics on Twitter or Instagram with #WalmartBaby.