After returning home from a three week international adventure with the entire Jaffe family I wanted to share some lessons learned, hacks and inspiration for all you moms and parents debating to travel with the kids. The biggest thing to take away from this? DO IT! Stepping into this wild chaotic journey as a mother, wife, travel companion, and individually pushes me to RISE UP to the next version I’m meant to become.
Adventuring and traveling as a family is stressful by nature. But this is how we call in our next up-level and magical magnetic experiences that are already on their way for us. Moving from place to place, unpacking and repacking, figuring out how to create a sense of “home” in a completely different environment, and moving through all the discomforts creates so much growth in such a short time.
Pushing out of my comfort zone, especially as a Taurus sun and moon, is not easy but I am incredibly aware of how important it is for my soul.
So, mamas & papas, don’t let your kids stop you or define you!
We learn SO much about ourselves & the world when we travel and have NEW experiences so this is not something to skip no matter how afraid you are. Book those flights, pack your bags and don’t forget your superfoods. (Hint: I ALWAYS pack my chlorophyll drops and the bottle is PERFECT travel size.)
Here are some of my favorite traveling hacks I used for my family of five.
Put everyone’s things out on the floor in piles before you leave. Every time you walk by the piles, take something out. Less is more! We packed VERSATILE pieces for each of us & encouraged layering light items. For example, I brought one long pretty dress for fancier dinners and nicer occasions. When I add a sweater or tee on top it becomes a long beautiful skirt and a whole new look. I use bathing suit tops as tops and use bathing suit bottoms as underwear.
Use electronic books or audiobooks versus actual books, packing cubes are your best friend, and each person gets a backpack for electronics, snacks, toys, activities, and change of clothes. We tie sneakers to our backpacks so it takes up less space and book an Airbnb with a washer to do laundry or find a laundromat nearby.
Remember - you can ALWAYS buy something while traveling and it’s actually more fun to come back with a few items instead of overpack.
DON’T FORGET YOUR SNACKS AND SUPERFOODS
The minute we get to where we are staying, we figure out where the closest market / farmers market / health food store is and immediately stock up on a few fresh veggies and fruit, almond milk and other necessities (depending on how long we’re staying). I love seeing what's local and fresh wherever we go. It's so fun to introduce the kids to new fruits and veggies! If you're staying in a hotel or condo, request a mini fridge and a blender. Sometimes they will bring it with no extra charge! Start to scope out healthy places to go, juice bars, cafes, yoga studios, etc. on Yelp, and definitely be sure to go where the locals go!
Fueling our bodies with good stuff keeps us feeling nourished and balanced while we trek around the world together. Having a snack can also be a great distraction for the kids when they start getting fidgety on the plane or in the car. When I'm packing the kids stuff for the plane, I also plan our meals and snacks for the plane. I also take superfoods and supplements wherever I go like Sunshine Drops and Hydrating Dream for on-the-go hydration, small bags of Cacao Magic for superfood coffee, and if I’m checking a suitcase you bet I’m bringing ALL our goods.
Try this: Post-Vacation, Anti-Bloat Smoothie
PLAN BUT DON’T WORRY ABOUT THE PLAN
Adjust to a slower pace and be okay with always running behind. I also like to make sure I find something that each of my kids has to look forward to to keep them excited. For example, for Kai it was a historical bookstore in Porto (inspired much of Harry Potter) which kept him excited the entire trip.
Whenever we’re traveling it’s full of a lot of walking/exploring, new energy and lots of closeness so planning an afternoon break of QUIET TIME is imperative daily for sanity. We do a 2-3 hour block of silent activities. It puts everyone in a good mood for dinner and it’s a great time for the afternoon nap for your little ones.
SLEEP, REST, MEDITATE AND DECOMPRESS, OFTEN.
Traveling with kids is intense! Give yourself time to sleep, nap, meditate and decompress whenever you can. Keep reminding yourself of the priorities to EXPAND, to GROW (not always comfy!!) and to have a NEW shared experience with your loved ones.
For jet lag, on the day you arrive, limit naps completely. For little ones, let them sleep in one chunk (to the best of your ability) so it feels like a nap. Keep kids awake as long as possible and get them outside - barefoot in the grass or sand - with lots of water, a good solid meal and then sleep close to when the sun goes down. It’s survival mode for the first night or two and sometimes we supplement with CBD and melatonin. It helps considerably.
GET CREATIVE WITH YOUR SPENDING
Most often, we are booking an Airbnb with one or two rooms (you don’t need all the extra space) or we’re sleeping in one hotel room. Share meals and if we stay somewhere longer we grocery shop and get bread and eggs and fruit to cut down on eating out. ALWAYS pay in the local currency and limit excursions and tourist activities to things that you ABSOLUTELY want to do.
It’s fun to look at airline prices and see what’s on crazy sales. Lots of times there are amazing places at a very low price for whatever reason! And then renting a car and seeing the country that way instead of flying or train tickets.
Every single adventure comes with risk but the reality is that things will always work out and it will always be exciting, and an experience that bonds us and allows us to connect and grow. You only live once, even when you’re a mama. Why not give yourself and your babes an adventure? Why stay in your comfort zone? Everything is figure-out-able.
What would you add? Comment your travel hacks for families below!