Episode 85: Hot Tips to Keep Family Travel Fun

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In this episode, I talk to Brian Noggle, co-founder of Frankie Dean® Dream Blankets™. We are going to be talking about traveling with family – as y’all know, I’m single with no kids, so I invited Brian to share his tips for keeping family travel fun for those of you who want to get into travel with your kids.

Let’s go:

[02:03] A bit about Brian.

Brian is a psychologist, registered nurse, husband to Jenavie, and father to two kids under the age of 5. Jenavie was a Children’s Special Needs Counsellor.

When their second-born was in the NICU for two months, they found that giving him an object with Jenavie’s scent on it, he started thriving when they weren’t with him. This is what led to Frankie Dean Dream Blankets.

[06:44] Transitioning into traveling with kids.

Brian’s passion for travel started in his 20s when he saved up $5,000, bought a one-way ticket to Dublin, and spent three months backpacking in Europe, visiting 17 countries.

Since meeting Jenavie, his passion for travel has remained, with the added responsibility of taking care of a family.

When their kids were only a few months old, they travelled to visit family in different parts of the US.

[08:31] Travel lifestyle before and after kids.

Many people who travel before having kids are concerned about how their lifestyles will change once they have kids.

Brian’s solo travels often revolved around surfing, especially to Indonesia, Panama, Japan, and Central America. Since starting his family, his travels have a different dynamic, with more excitement around sharing it with the family.

[12:33] Road travel with kids.

Taking road trips with kids may sound like a terrible time to some, but Brian has some useful tips for those long roads:

For one, planning is the best thing you can do. To keep them entertained, fill the car with as many things as you can.

Communication is great for keeping trips fun and engaging, especially when your kids reach the age where they’re no longer just sleeping all the time. 

[15:29] Packing a car vs packing for a flight.

When packing for a car, it’s more convenient than having to take all the things through the process of getting into a plane.

For entertainment, packing the kids’ favourite toys would be reserved for car trips. Visiting a dollar store to buy a few toys before taking a flight is a great way to ensure your kids stay entertained without the added stress around keeping track of all the toys on a plane or in the airport.

On a road trip, playing games like “I Spy” in the car is another way to keep kids entertained and is also a great educational game in different places.

[17:44] Making a schedule.

Having a rough schedule is great, especially for knowing what to pack.

We’ve all had those trips where we either didn’t pack something that we later needed or packed things that we never used, so having a rough plan will make trips more efficient.

Traveling with kids will look different for each family, but having a plan will make the trips less stressful and more easily adaptable.

Booking red-eye flights with kids is easier for helping them sleep, and there are some medications and remedies that parents can buy to help their kids relax if needed.

Do note that if you are going to take medications to help you sleep, take them when you board the flight. You do not want to be taking them in the airport only to find out your flight has been delayed. That is not a fun experience.

[21:08] Natural remedies for kids and adults.

For relaxation, L-Theanine and Magnesium are great, naturally occuring, and safe to take. There’s also GABA that you can find as a supplement.

For parents, being in the right mental space can help tremendously for handling stressful situations and maintaining calmness.

Security objects are great for making travel easier for kids, and they’re convenient to carry around for parents.

[25:06] Self-care for adults.

Traveling with kids can complicate alone time as parents.

In Brian’s experience, the kids aren’t at the age yet where they can be left alone or one looking after the other.

When staying at hotels, the kids will often have dinner and bedtime early in the evening, and then Brian and Jenavie could order room service with a movie later in the evening.

When staying with family, it’s easier to plan regular date nights or couple’s outings.

[26:25] Experiencing new things.

Many people travel and expect to have the comforts of being home.

The essence and wonder of travel, especially with kids, is to experience new things, navigate complicated situations, and find solutions to the discomfort.

This has been an eye-opening, fun, and interesting episode with Brian. I certainly learned a lot, and I hope these tips are helpful to all of you who have been wanting to travel with your kids.

Follow Frankie Dean Kids on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest. Head over to their website to find out more about their books, blankets, their story, their charity work, and so much more.

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