Mommy being away on a trip- whether work or pleasure- is never easy on little ones! Especially a ten day trip! I’m heading to India to do some training for work and I know it’s going to be tough for my 3 and 5 year olds (tbh it’ll be pretty tough on my husband too!) Since they don’t fully understand the concept of “work” they don’t fully understand why it’s taking me away from them for so long (and why they can’t come for that matter!)
When I first told them, my Kindergartner cried every time she thought about it. I wracked my brain for a way to make it a more fun and positive experience for them (and for Dad!) At their ages right now, there is nothing they love more than little trinket toys…they might only play with them for a day or so- but they get so excited to get these! I decided to make a small box with a different toy for each of them for every day I’m gone. I ordered 10 white 4”x8” kraft boxes from Amazon. I looked at Michael’s, but they didn’t have anything like this in the amount I needed and the premade boxes they did have were too $$ to buy 10 of them! The Michael’s ones would be perfect if you’re only making a few though and can use a coupon :)
Each box also contains a hand-written “Love Note” from me that they’ll read each night before they open the gifts. The notes describe what I’ll be doing that day on my trip, how much I love them and most have a funny PS note for them to remember (ex. PS- don’t let Dad forget to brush your teeth, PS- don’t forget to wiggle your front teeth Avery, etc!)
I found the toys at Michael’s Arts & Crafts (they have GREAT deals on these little toys) and Target. I tried to keep each boxes’ contents under $10…but some of them were probably more around $20 and others were definitely under $10 (to even out the more $$ ones)! I wanted to stay under $100 but probably ended up spending about $150 total on them- but you can (& probably should) definitely do these cheaper especially if you won’t be traveling for 10 days! If I had more time I would have hit up the Dollar Store & Five Below! I also told them that their present on the last (tenth day) was ME…so they don’t get a box on that day :)
The girls know they have to be good for their Daddy to get these each night- so he’ll be able to use these for a little leverage too ;) I numbered each box (with clearance stickers I found at Target) so the girls will know which one to get and when! I then tied them off with different colored pastel ribbon so they won’t peak ahead of time- and believe me, they’ve already tried ;)
One other thing I do before I travel (for any amount of time) is label quart size plastic ziplock bags for each girl for each day I’m gone containing their outfits (including panties and socks) for each day. This makes mornings so much easier for Dad! My kindergartener picks out the outfits in her bag, so she doesn’t put up a fight later.
Anyways, those are my two big traveling mom “pro” tips for now- I’d love to hear yours!!