Traveling with kids is a blast. No really, I just love it. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not that we have perfect vacations, but well…that’s just it. We don’t expect things to go perfectly! We do our best to plan, and then we remember to plan for things to go wrong, because something always goes wrong! Ha ha!
Traveling is so exciting for kids. I just love seeing the excitement through their eyes. But that excitement works against you when it comes to getting the kids to sleep. They are just too excited and everything is new. Here are a few things we do to help the night time routines go smoothly.
1. Keep the kids awake in the car on the first day. I know this is not realistic with very small children. With toddlers I would say take measures to have children take their naps early in the day so that they don’t hold out and then fall asleep in the late afternoon or evening. Some things we do:
- Play games
- Sing songs.
- Listen to audio books.
- Watch movies.
- Plan stops they will look forward to.
2. Wear them out right before bed! Our favorite thing to do is take them swimming. They splash and play and get lots of that energy out.
3. Plan the first night to take more time than usual even though you will probably be tired. The first night is always the toughest. If you manage to keep the kids awake all day long, chances are they still won’t go right to sleep the first night in a hotel.
4. Communicate your expectations to the children and then help them follow your instructions. It takes a while to take turns in the bathroom and have everyone ready for bed. Establishing a good routine the first night helps the rest of the vacation run smoothly.
5. Read to them. Just telling your kids to lie down and go to sleep when they are so wound up is like torture. To help them relax and get sleepy we read to them. I love making use of audio books during this time. With an audio book I can begin the book while I may still be getting things done. Once the kids turn their mind to the story each little movement in the room is no longer of any interest and they usually relax and fall asleep right away.
One of our favorite audio books is Where the Red Fern Grows. I still associate the story with one of our family vacations. Need ideas? Scholastic has a list of best audio books for kids by age.
In fact, if you’ll be traveling with kids, Scholastic has lots of great tips! From fun ways to announce you’re going on a trip to the best educational attractions at Disney parks around the world. If you’re looking for inspiration, Scholastic has you covered!
How do you get your kids to sleep at night when you’re traveling? I’d love to hear your tips too!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Disney. The opinions and text are all mine.