Family Travel

Tips for a Relaxing Vacation With Your Toddler #MC #Sponsored

“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for Urbini. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and as a thank you for participating. Here are my tips for a relaxing vacation with your toddler.”

When it comes to traveling with toddlers, a vacation tends to be anything but relaxing! Read my tips for a relaxing vacation with toddlers, and see how I plan to make my next trip a little less stressful with the Urbini Stroller that I received for review.

Summer is almost here with all of the fun and excitement of late nights, bbqs, lazy days, pool time and my favorite part…vacations! When you have a little one in tow, vacations can seem a lot less of a time of relaxation, and more of a time for trying to keep everyone happy. I think the term “a vacation from my vacation” was most likely coined by a mom traveling with toddlers! We’re going to turn that around with these tips for a relaxing vacation with your toddler. 

Last year, was our first real “hotel” vacation with my little girl (who was then 18 months). Before leaving, I hadn’t really thought about planning any special accommodations in our trip for her, but quickly learned that some needed to be made! So to help keep everyone happy, and grant you a little more relaxation this vacation, here are a few tips that I learned (mostly from trial and error) about traveling with toddlers:

Not everyone loves the hotel– After a long car ride with 2 kids, and a much later start then we had originally planned, my husband and I both breathed an audible sigh of relief when we showed up at our hotel in Santa Cruz, CA. We quickly checked in and where ready to crash in our room right away. However, as soon as we tried to get our toddler to settled down in bed, it was melt-down time. We realized that she wasn’t used to the room, and didn’t like the idea of sleeping in a bed that was not her own. After our futile attempts to get her to settle down, my husband decided to unload the car while I helped our daughter some more. Luckily, he brought in a few of her books and stuffed animals that I had packed for the car ride. A few comforts from home was just the trick for getting her to feel settled in her new surroundings. She quickly fell asleep and was comfortable for the rest of the trip! So if your toddler is not used to staying in unfamiliar places, you may want to bring a pillow, blanket, books or stuffed animal along to make your hotel room a little more familiar to your little one.

Keep Naptime Schedules– On our first day in Santa Cruz we were so excited to hit the beach! The kids loved it there so much, and had a such a great time exploring the boardwalk and playing in the warm sand and cool surf that we didn’t pay too much attention to the time. Around 3 or 4 we started heading back to our hotel and as soon as we left the beach noticed how tired our little one was. It was too late at that point to put her down for a nap, so she was just grouchy and overtired for the rest of the day. We learned! The next day, despite how much fun we where having at nearby “New Brighton” Beach, we dragged ourselves away and back to our hotel for Naptime. Then my husband took my older son to the go swimming at the hotel pool, while I laid our toddler down for a nap in our room. It was well worth making time for her nap, because then she had the energy for us all to go back to the boardwalk later that night, and see the entire beautifully lit up! Plus, I got to spend a few hours in our room with a bed and my book… Now that’s a vacation!

Find Family Friendly Dining- Quite by accident, we found a fantastic family friendly restaurant, Cafe Lucio on Soquel St, in Santa Cruz. The atmosphere was so friendly and welcoming for kids (yes, even toddlers) that it made the dining experience so much fun for us all. It was a very nice, sit down restaurant with nothing cheesy or “kid-themed”, however their special attention to and patience for the kids, made us all feel at ease! They even put a rush on the kids’ meals and brought them out as soon as they where done to prevent the kids from being hungry too long. It’s been almost a year, and our family still remembers the great time we had there! I absolutely would recommend taking the extra time to look at online reviews when deciding where to eat, to find a family friendly restaurant. Finding the right one makes all the difference between managing through dining out with a toddler, and having an enjoyable evening out as a family! –

Plan some toddler time- We all absolutely love the beach, even my toddler, however on one of our mornings in Santa Cruz, we decided to stray away from the sand and surf and find a little playground for my little girl to enjoy. We found “West Lake Park” which was a lovely little park in a quiet community that had a small play structure and a pond with ducks. Even though we hadn’t planned to come to Santa Cruz to spend a morning at a park, it was one of the highlights of our trip! Our toddler had so much fun enjoying an activity just with her in mind, and we all had so much enjoying it with her and making tons of memories in the process. Wherever you go on vacation, looking for a few activities geared towards your toddler’s interests, can make her feel special and can add some fun to her trip!

Bring a good stroller- We where lucky enough to find a wonderful hotel only about a mile from our hotel, so we where able to walk to the beach everyday. We had decided not to pack our stroller, because it was too big and bulky to fit in the car along with our luggage. We figured that she would be fine walking, and if not, we could carry her! However, after one day of trying to juggle an active toddler along with all of the beach gear, we decided this wasn’t going to work! So we decided to buy a cheap umbrella stroller at one of the beach-side stores. Pushing the stroller, which was had a wheel that always turned the wrong way, wasn’t much better then not having it! That is why I am so excited to find a small, light-weight stroller that can easily fit in a car along with luggage, but has the features and stability of a larger stroller, the Urbini Hummingbird Stroller. The stroller is extremely light-weight and can easily be lifted with one arm. It folds up into a very compact design to make it a perfect size to stow away in the trunk of a car for trips and outings. Urbini Hummingbird Stroller To open up the stroller there is a release button on the top of the handle. Unlike many other strollers that have a twist “release button” that you have to fight with to make work, this stroller has an easy to use slide button that pops the entire stroller open very easily with one hand.The stroller has a very lightweight design that makes you feel like you are using a pop-up umbrella stroller. However it has the comfort and design of a full upright stroller. This is because it has an actual seat for toddlers, rather then the sling design that you might expect from traditional umbrella strollers. This gives you the convenience of an umbrella stroller while giving toddlers the comfort and stability of an upright stroller. This combination makes the Urbini Hummingbird a great little stroller for taking on vacations, day trips and errands around town! Stay up to date with Urbini Baby on Facebook and Twitter. You can also check out my Urbini review at Walmart.

No matter where you go or what you do, take the time to enjoy your trip! Moments like these are when the memories of a lifetime area made!  


Leanne Cox is a guest writer for She is a stay-at-home mom to two kids, and a credentialed preschool teacher. Leanne teaches “mommy-and-me” and “preschool style” music & movement classes through her business “Little Stars Music & Movement Classes” . She is passionate about encouraging early childhood education through hands on learning and exploration

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Emily Buys

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