Get tips from the trenches with this information-packed blog from the authors of The Rookie Mom’s Handbook and Stuff Every Mom Should Know, Heather Flett and Whitney Moss.

3 Ways to Prep Like a Pro for Your Family Vacation

Prepping for Family Vacation

The good news is, summer travel with kids is easier than winter travel for one important reason: less to pack! Hooray, for swapping out snowsuits and fuzzy buntings for swim diapers and sunscreen.

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The primary rule for traveling with babies and small children is to bring as little as you possibly can while still having everything you could need. And have realistic expectations. Simple, right? Ha! Let me give you the breakdown:

  1. Be realistic about scheduling. No matter where you are going, you will NOT be able to hit every attraction that you might have pre-kid. Accept that. Enjoy the new rhythm of travel, one that includes siestas and (literally) stopping to smell the roses. Try to tackle one big outing each day and fill the rest of your day on the baby clock so you won’t need the famous (for a reason) vacation from your vacation.
    Ikea wall clockikea
  2. Pack toys that are worth their weight (and work for waits!). Finger puppets are funny and can squish into your pocket without setting off a metal detector. They’re also great for continuing a story over the duration of your trip. If you lose one or more, here’s a great way to improvise: make your fingers into puppets.
    Finger puppets

    The Manhattan Toy silly shape sorter can pack flat in your suitcase and entertain your bambino when you’re at your destination.

    Manhattan Toy Silly Sorter
  3. Remember sun protection. Babies have ultra-sensitive skin that needs over-the-top coverage — especially in those first few months. So in the summertime, I want to see your baby wearing a supersuit, donning a sun hat,and slathered in sunscreen while sitting beneath a protective tent or awning. Lucky for you, all that stuff packs up tiny except for the umbrella, which you should be able to borrow when you arrive.

Wishing you lots of fun in the summer wherever you’re going!

Related: How to travel with a toddler and stay sane.

About Heather

Heather Gibbs Flett co-founded to inspire moms to have more fun after her own challenges with rookie motherhood. Together with her BFF Whitney Moss, she also wrote "The Rookie Moms Handbook" and created a local site for parents in the Bay Area (

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