Moving & Long-Term Transition Tips from Military Families

Moving, with or without kids, can be exhausting.
Oftentimes when you arrive at your destination, you don’t have any of your household goods with you – the comfort of your home is missing. For kids, this transition can be even harder. Children thrive on routine and structure, so taking them out of their element can be daunting for both parents and kids. 

When you are making the transition from one home to another, it is in everyone’s best interest to have a few things in your arsenal to help make everyone feel a little more comfortable while you’re on the move and at your destination. 

Military families are all too familiar with traveling and moving; often times being stuck in hotels or temporary quarters for months without access to their belongings. As a result, they are quite experienced in keeping kids happy in unique situations to say the least! And that is why they are the experts.

With that in mind, today we offer some of our top moving and long-term transition tips for getting there, settling in and keeping everyone happy including our favorite gear, gadgets and activities! 

Getting There

Long gone are the days where you can grab a coffee in the terminal, find your seat, and settle in with some work and a book, or on a road trip just drive without stopping twelve times in an hour.

With kids it seems like you have to pack your entire house just to get where you need to go, and accommodate for extra time. iPads, snacks, change of clothes, carseats, strollers – all these things are essential to travel, but what are some lesser known things you should consider when traveling with kids?

  • “We use this Fold n’ Go Travel Bassinet! It’s small and compact for when they are babies. You can use it at the airport as well, anywhere!”- Chantal L. 
  • “A Trunki! My daughter loves to play with it and drag it along, and she can ride on it.”- Chantal L. 
  • “The best thing for our long drive across country was the Nuby Travel Tray. It was awesome for him to have something that kept toys and snacks contained!”- Jennifer P. 

Settling In

So, you’ve arrived at your destination. Now what? It’s time to get yourself comfortable in your new temporary living situation. Whether you will be there for just a week or a few months, things will be a little less stressful if you have some of the following items with you.

  • Lobster clip-on high chairs are great for travel, and to use while dining out and about. High chairs aren’t usually available inside rooms in temporary lodging”- Jay P.
  • “This may seem obvious, but bring a sheet from their crib or bed to put in the hotel’s pack n’ play. It brings the smell and comfort of their bed from home with you. Plus, it’s cleaner!”- Mary L. 
  • “White noise! We travel with the Marpac Dohm sound machine. You never know what kind of noise you’ll encounter at the hotel!”- MK M. 

Keeping Them Happy

If you’re on vacation, there are probably plenty of things you have planned to keep everyone entertained. But if you’re in an extended temporary living situation, things can get boring and tense if everyone is cramped inside a small space. Here are a list of things that you can find in most any city or things you can do in a hotel room to keep everyone out of each other’s hair!

  • “We made busy bags before we moved. Everyone had their own binder with a zipper pouch for each different activity.” – Chantal L.
  • “Anytime we finished a disposable water bottle we would save it. Within a few days we had enough to play bowling! We used a ball we brought and had a great time!”- Lourdes S. 
  • “I’m not sure if this is available everywhere, but in our last temporary lodging the local library rented out toys. We would go once a week and switch them out!”- Evelyn L. 
  • “Every day we would go out and take pictures in a different part of our new town. When we got back to the room, we sat down together at the computer and added it to a photo book we were making online. It was fun to have a daily project to look forward to, and it helped make some fun memories!”- Anna K. 

Moving can be emotionally difficult on your child, but hopefully having some things that make the experience fun and more comfortable can help your whole family enjoy the transition. Have you had to stay in temporary lodging with your kids? What kind of things did you do that helped you keep everyone happy? Comment below! 

Are you ready to make a big trip with your kids? Check out 15 Tips for Traveling with Preschoolers!

Photo Credits: Lauren Lomsdale, Harsha K R, Seth BaurSydney Treasures Photography

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Lauren Lomsdale

Lauren is a full-time mom of three girls and a military spouse. She loves to write, run, yoga-it-out, and keep fit. She runs her own business for busy entrepreneurs to help them manage their business and create their brand at Lauren Lomsdale Creative Studios. She also is one half of the YouTube channel, The Dependas, where the craziness of military life is discussed in a funny way.

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