020: Making Family Travel Easier With Young Kids- Jenna of There’s A Shoe For That
Traveling with young kids, especially young kids who are potty training, can be tough. Many aren’t sure how well their children will do on long trips and don’t want to spend the money if it ends up being a disaster! So today I have Jenna of There’s A Shoe For That giving us tips on how to make family travel easier!
I really enjoyed having Jenna on the podcast! Not only did she share her experiences and tips on traveling and potty training her toddler, but she and I had many great laughs during the show! She is well traveled and has lots of great advice here and on her blog! I hope to see her once we hit the road too (if you don’t know what I’m talking about go check out our announcement!)
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Who is Jenna of ‘There’s A Shoe For That’?
Jenna is a marketing and communications professional in the transportation and logistics industry. Her professional experience carries over into her personal life and certainly is an asset when it comes to planning family vacations, day trips and more.
Jenna has two young children; they live together with her husband on the east coast of Canada. One of the most beautiful parts of the world boasting it’s hospitality, ocean vistas, and seafood.
You can find Jenna planning her family’s next adventure, talking about being a mom and writing
about everything family/travel related on her blog “There’s a Shoe for That”.
Prefer to watch the interview?
In This Interview With Jenna, We Cover Tips On Making Family Travel Easier.
What started as traveling for her job to different seaports around the world, has become a family culture of traveling together! Jenna travels far for work, but actually enjoys the more accessible and shorter trips with her family.
She reminds me a bit of Brandi of The Cultured Baby that I interviewed here!
Making Family Travel More Accessible with Staycations!
Jenna defines a staycation as going somewhere within an hour or so of your home and staying overnight. This could even be camping in a tent in your backyard! It’s about getting out of your routine and becoming tourists in your hometown. When we live somewhere we often completely miss out on all our area has to offer because we get caught up in the grind of day to day life.
With a staycation, you get to experience something new and be in “vacation mode” without having to take time off work or make extensive plans. All you need is a weekend! It’s also the perfect way to test the waters and see how well your kids do while traveling and help you work through the kinks. Don’t give up if it doesn’t go well though, use it as training and practice so you can learn to adapt before you spend money on big trips!
Wednesday Date Night for Consistent Family Adventures
In order to provide a sense of adventure and make sure everyone is getting the one on one and family time they need, Jenna’s family have created a Wednesday Date Night tradition! They work on a rotation so everyone gets that special time together.
So week one is Jenna and her son. Week 2 is Jenna and her daughter. Then week 3 is a date night with the hubby. And week 4 is the whole family together! And when Jenna has one child, her hubby has the other so everyone is getting to enjoy the quality time together.
And you don’t need to make the activities expensive! She took her toddler bowling and that was the most expensive activity they had done this year!
Tips for Making Traveling with a Toddler Easier
Last year Jenna was potty training her son when it was time for their big road trip. Not wanting to lose traction or stop every 10-20 minutes she came up with a plan to help smooth the potty-training journey. And she’s giving us those tips!
1. Make a potty package for the car.
Include a portable potty for inside the car, buy poop baggies (like for diapers or for picking up your dog’s poop), disinfectant wipes, and toilet paper.
This allows you to stop anywhere and let your child go when they need to. It’s also an exciting experience for your toddler that makes them more eager to try!
She also included a portable kid’s toilet seat for public bathrooms to keep it more sanitary, but to also make it easier for her son to balance, especially while pooping.
2. Use Pull-ups
While she doesn’t advise using them for day-to-day potty training, she did use them to prevent problems with the car seat so they didn’t have to take it apart on the side of the highway.
3. Spend a bit more on a hotel room with a kitchen
You’ll not only save money on restaurants but you can rest more. Having the ability to cook and prepare food for the day ahead meant less stress, but also fewer tantrums. She was able to hand out snacks when he got hungry without having to wait on a place to stop (which in some areas meant over an hour drive) or have picnic lunches at a park!
4. Manage the Water Intake
As her son loves water, she has learned to limit his water a bit to prevent accidents. He still gets plenty of water, but she’s just made it so he doesn’t mindlessly drink and need to use the bathroom more often.
5. Leave Right Before A Nap or Bedtime
One trick Jenna uses to make sure the kids arrive in a good mood (mostly) is to travel while they’re sleeping. This helps shorten the drive, limit stops, and limit tantrums!
6. Manage Your Expectations.
Before kids, you may have been used to filling your itinerary with many stops and experiences. But when you have young kids you should focus on one to two goals per day and arrange playgrounds and park visits in between.
For more tips on road tripping with young kids, make sure to check out Sheila’s interview on how she’s created a 13-year road trip tradition!
And the shoe she recommends is:
Places she mentioned to visit with your family:
Where To Connect With Jenna of ‘There’s A Shoe For That’: