5 survival tips for traveling with kids from a modern day nomad mama.

(This week's guest post is written by Nomad Mama Angela Tsai, or "Supermama", as I like to call her)
      
Our annual Europe trip is just around the corner. My whole family lives in Sweden while my husband's family is spread across the world; England, New Zealand, Philippines, Spain and the US. On top of that, we are travelers, we get itchy feet and constantly want to see new places and learn new things. A lot has changed since Milou was born for sure but with family spread out across the world, we still do our fair share of traveling.
  
Looking back on our first trip with Milou now cracks me up. We were terrified! We had an entire suitcase of toys for the plane, blankets for diaper changes, blankets to wrap her in while sleeping, 4 sets of change of clothing for any accidents, diaper stash big enough for 6 months away from home, hand sanitizer, cleaning products, pillows, the list goes on and on. This was our packing for two weeks away with a 10-month old baby:
    
(Clean, organized, groomed, ready for an adventure...)
  
(24 hours later.......jetlagged, sleep deprived, delusional, refused to put diaper on so yes, that's wee on my jeans...at least she's eating!)
  
Often traveling doesn't just entail the actual flight though (which we were well prepared for!), it's the driving to the airport or changing trains and/or buses, the 7 hour layover at an undisclosed airport, that last stretch of having to change four trains to get from the airport to my sister's house after 24 hours of traveling. That's what we never prepare for and that's usually when things get rough as we, the parents, are exhausted beyond words by then. So I thought I'd turn to my friend and traveling expert Angela Tsai, founder of the Mamachic who's nomad lifestyle actually inspired her to create the Mamachic, a versatile scarf that does it all.
           
                
Angela was looking for one piece of clothing that could be easily packed and could be used to fill all her needs; nursing cover, burp cloth, head scarf, swaddling blanket, infinity scarf, skirt, the list goes on. Angela travels, no actually she MOVES every two to four weeks with her husband who tours with the Lion King musical, their four-year-old, one-year-old and their cat. If anyone has got this whole traveling with kids down, it's Angela (or Supermama as I usually call her). Here are her survival tips for traveling with kids:
                         
"Planning a trip with your small children shouldn't leave you in a cold sweat — one of the best things to do as a family is journey to new places and cultures, no matter the age. However, going a bit of the extra mile in preparation can make the travel less stressful and more enjoyable for all.   Here are 5 simple reminders that can make all the difference.

1) Keep space between meals consistent on travel days — for everyone's sake.  Leaping across time zones is difficult any way you spin it, no matter what your age, whether you're driving from San Antonio to San Francisco, or flying from LGA to the UK. Track the hours between meals while you're en route and stick to a regular meal schedule — no matter what your time zone may dictate. When it's time to feed the beasts, do it. It's easy to think, "Our kids can hold out one more hour for dinner until we get to the hotel," but there may be hell to pay once you've arrived and find yourself tasked with an over-tired toddler. So stop at that rest stop — it's not ideal, but it's way better than dealing with collective family hangry-ness.

2) Bring along  rarely-used toys or newly borrowed library books. Though it may be tempting to pack the tried and true favorites from home, the newness of the stories and toys will keep your kids engaged way longer during your journey.

3) Choose versatile products that travel compactly:

- The Sit Seat Baby Travel Harness is a baby strap-in system that not only attaches to chairs but also anchors a lap infant to you on a plane.

- Handy packing cubes help to keep items organized and easily found within your larger duffels and suitcases.

- The beautiful Mamachic gives mothers the freedom of using just one garment as a nursing cover, burp cloth and swaddle blanket; it also converts easily to a head scarf, wrap, top, skirt and scarf.


4) Keep updated, quality photo(s) of your child on your phone in case you get separated.  And you'll be the coolest parent on the block by giving your kid this arm Safety Tat; Junior will love these temprary tattoos that also serve as identification if lost! http://www.safetytat.com/

5) Skip the hotel! Book a home swap (https://www.homebase-hols.com/) with a family with similarly ages kids, or a kid-friendly vacation rental (http://vrbo.com). It's a way better value than a hotel, with more space to play, a kitchen to prepare some meals and a washer/dryer at your disposal. Many properties will supply a pack and play and high chair! And the house or apartment will be far more comfortable and safety-proofed than a hotel would be, and your giddy child(ren) might even have new toys to play with. It allows you to travel as light as possible!
    
Thank you Angela! 
    
To learn more about the incredible Made in the USA bamboo Mamachic scarf, check out their Kickstarter Campaign, which is LIVE now!
    

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