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Traveling with Kids: Adventure & Approach

June 24, 2017

Molly Bellar is the VP of Creative and Marketing here at FabKids, and for part of last year she traveled the world with her family, including two kids in tow! They packed up and hit the road for six months, taking planes, trains, automobiles and more around Europe, Australia and New Zealand. This week on the blog we’ll be sharing tips from Molly about traveling with kids, to accompany our Summer Road Trip series taking place over on FabKids’ Instagram Stories.

Molly says:

Travel is one of the best ways to learn about yourself, your family and culture.

What types of activities and adventures ended up being the kids favorites? I think we hit every zoo and aquarium in the world! Searching for animals was always a hit. Other than that, we did a lot of arts and crafts and read a ton of books together.

 

Was there anything that was tricky or that you would do differently? The hardest place for us with our kids was Paris and France in general really. As beautiful as that city is and as much as I personally loved the culture, it really has a different way with kids. I would recommend not going with little ones and instead save this special place until they are older.

 

What was it really like to travel the world with two kids in tow? I realized that I really had to let go of what I would normally assume to be the experience and accept that I was on family time. Once your preconceived notions aren’t there, it is a beautiful time. Even if it only lasts five minutes! You can also take turns and communicate with your partner if something is important to you so they can then take care of the kids outside while you get a few more minutes taking in the beauty around you.

You had a special approach to your trip and used the hashtag #traveldeeper. Tell us more!  Well, that hashtag is inspired by one of my favorite magazines – AFAR. I think in general, it’s good to take your time, experience new cultures and really soak it in. To talk to people, to learn about life there and to spend time with your family. It’s taking on that slowness of life, exploration of things off the beaten track, and acceptance of everything around you that really speaks to that hashtag. The world is a wonderful, complicated, beautiful place. To be able to learn about yourself, your family and different cultures in a deeper way is what it’s all about.

Did you have any mantras or reminders to help with morale if it started to dip or kids started to get cranky/nervous/etc.? Kids being cranky or falling apart or nervous is just part of the job. Ride the wave and it will be over soon. Tantrums always end. Sometimes in places you would rather not have to be at that time, but they pass. At which point you can give each other a hug, talk about the emotions, and move on to the next adventure.

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Traveling with Kids: Eating Abroad

June 22, 2017

Molly Bellar is the VP of Creative and Marketing here at FabKids, and for part of last year she traveled the world with her family, including two kids in tow! They packed up and hit the road for six months, taking planes, trains, automobiles and more around Europe, Australia and New Zealand. This week on the blog we’ll be sharing tips from Molly about traveling with kids, to accompany our Summer Road Trip series taking place over on FabKids’ Instagram Stories.

Molly says:

Travel’s biggest adventure? The food. Also the biggest challenge if your kids are picky eaters.

What was your approach to food with the kids? My husband and I like to be more adventurous with the kids, but we made it work mostly. Our rule is, “you can’t say you don’t like something until you try it.” Then it’s ok to say you don’t want to eat it. So they would end up taking lots of small bites instead. If they didn’t like anything, they could fill up on bread or other things. I think that’s a good way to get them to start branching out.

 

Did you eat out a lot or buy groceries or cook or both? Both. Since we stayed in places for a week or more we always went to the market and filled the place up with food we love – you can find fruit, yogurt, pasta, crackers and French fries all over the place! We also went to local restaurants and tried the food.

 Tips for eating abroad without breaking the bank? Go out for one meal a day. Eat all others or at home. Pack lots of picnics. Only go out to a super expensive meal if you are on a date! Then you know you will eat it all 😉

Tips for avoiding hanger? Always carry a backpack that has snacks. Crackers, nuts, bananas, apples. ALWAYS.

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Traveling with Kids: Transportation and Lodging

June 21, 2017

Molly Bellar is the VP of Creative and Marketing here at FabKids, and for part of last year she traveled the world with her family, including two kids in tow! They packed up and hit the road for six months, taking planes, trains, automobiles and more around Europe, Australia and New Zealand. This week on the blog we’ll be sharing tips from Molly about traveling with kids, to accompany our Summer Road Trip series taking place over on FabKids’ Instagram Stories.

Molly says:

How to find your home away from home.

  • Trains, Planes and Automobiles. Exposing your kids to as many modes of transportation will not only help you get from A to Z, but it’ll be fun for the kids! In bigger cities and rural places we rented cars, and in cities known for great transportation like Lisbon and Paris we used the public transportation system. Consider having your kids help you research public transportation before your trip to help decide how to get where.

  • Traveling is the easy part. Many parents worry most about getting to and from. This is going to sound crazy, but our travel days were the easiest. With travel – be it by train or airport – there are set rules. Brief your kids beforehand and emphasize they must take travel rules seriously. This helps instill a sense of responsibility, being trusted to travel like a “big kid.” After that they’ll get the hang of it and be able to follow suit in new situations.  

  • NO RULES IN THE SKY. Speaking of rules, THERE ARE NO RULES IN THE SKY! Want to watch Octonaughts for 8 hours? Great! Go for it. Want to eat goldfish? Awesome, here ya go! Literally, no rules apply. Let the kids do what makes them happy. It will make your life happier too.

  • Home Away from Home. AirBNB is a great option for families. They make it so simple! I always looked for houses or apartments that also had kids living in them so they would be kid-friendly and have toys and things for them to play with.

  • Adapting to Each New Home. Adapting in general was really hard at the beginning of our trip, making sure the homes had toys to play helped. Regardless of where we were staying, literally just adapting to a new pace of life was the biggest challenge. I think we totally underestimated that. It took a solid six weeks for things to feel normal and smooth. But those six weeks were the hardest time ever. What really turned it around was creating behavior charts for both kids – this became an excellent tool for us to talk about their behavior and for the kids to see their progress. We would fill them out two times a day, once in the afternoon and once after dinner. It was so nice to have an ongoing conversation around their behaviors and how they were feeling. This was seriously a game changer.

 

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Traveling with Kids: Packing

June 20, 2017

Molly Bellar is the VP of Creative and Marketing here at FabKids, and for part of last year she traveled the world with her family, including two kids in tow! They packed up and hit the road for six months, taking planes, trains, automobiles and more around Europe, Australia and New Zealand. This week on the blog we’ll be sharing tips from Molly about traveling with kids, to accompany our Summer Road Trip series taking place over on FabKids’ Instagram Stories.

Molly says:

Packing for a family of four may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be!

  • The Big Stuff. You know your family best, so think about the number of items to get you through the length of your trip and go for it. For our trip around the world we only brought two big suitcases with us; one was devoted to clothes and the other to household items (see “Bags, bags, bags” below). It’s funny, to pack for 6 months is really the same as packing for a week – especially if you’re traveling in summer when you don’t need as many layers. I’m so proud of the fact I fit the entire family into 1 suitcase!

  • Fashion: The Kids Have a Say. Kids can be funny about what they wear, especially if they’re attached to that one favorite tee they can’t let go of. I let my kids pick out dresses, bathing suits and shoes and then helped round it out. That way they weren’t caught off guard by what they’d be living in for the next six months.
  • Teaching Responsibility with a Backpack. A good way to not only keep the kids engaged with packing but teach about responsibility is to put them in control of their own backpack. My kids got to pack that with whatever they wanted and they were responsible for carrying it on our travel days. This was great because it gave them a good sense of which toys to bring while also limiting it – since not everything will fit in a backpack!
  • Bags, bags, bags. I came back from travel obsessed with Ziplocs. Keep clean/dry ones on you at all times since they can be used for just about anything… wet bathing suits, snacks, toothbrushes, even a wallet! Literally everything. Also bring a few smaller bags that fold up tiny. We took three extra shopping bags and used those for beach bags, grocery shopping, carry-ons and weekend bags. They were hugely usable.
  • Bags, continued: Technology. In this day and age, what would we do without our technology?! Put together a “tech bag” to hold all chargers, portable speakers, wires, adapters, Chromecast… literally all of your technology. This will make it much easier to find what you need.
  • Leave the kitchen sink at home. Always remember you can buy anything, anywhere. Forget a toothbrush? That’s okay, you can buy another one. Suddenly cold outside? That’s okay, you can buy a sweatshirt. It’s so easy to get hung up on ‘having everything’. But the truth is is you can get most things around the world. So try not to stress too much about your packing being perfect.

 

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Traveling with Kids: Planning

June 19, 2017

Molly Bellar is the VP of Creative and Marketing here at FabKids, and for part of last year she traveled the world with her family, including two kids in tow! They packed up and hit the road for six months, taking planes, trains, automobiles and more around Europe, Australia and New Zealand. 

This week on the blog we’ll be sharing tips from Molly about traveling with kids, to accompany our Summer Road Trip series taking place over on FabKids’ Instagram Stories. Molly says:

They say anticipation is half the fun, so get your kids involved during the planning phase!

  • Picking the destination. If you have flexibility on where to take the family, get the kids involved by compiling a list of places together, writing them on slips of paper and picking them out of a hat. You can even print a map and color in the destinations you all agree upon and have them “pin the tail on the vacation.” Either way, having the kids involved will build up excitement and you’ll still be able to have say in the outcome so the destination is within reason. Even if you’re going on an annual trip to see the family in the same city you visit every year, you can plan a day-trip to one of the nearby towns using the same type of process to keep things fresh and exciting.  
  • Adventure time! Once a bulk of the planning is underway and big ticket purchases are complete, tell the kids you’re going on an ADVENTURE. Not a trip, not a vacation, but an ADVENTURE. This will help them understand what you’re going to do, spark imagination and get them really excited to explore.
  • Explorers of the World! Come up with your plan as far as cities and sites that are must-sees early on, and then ask your kids what they want to explore. When we were planning our ‘adventure,’ my son Charlie said he wanted to see lots of animals so we planned that for our second half of the trip in Australia and New Zealand. Lucy, being three, didn’t really understand everything, but we got her excited about the idea of seeing new lands.

Happy planning! Come back tomorrow for tips and tricks about packing with kids.

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Summer Survival for Moms

June 16, 2017

It’s that time of year again – ­school’s out for the summer! With summer break comes adventures and fun in the sun. But as moms we also know that transitioning from the comfort of school schedules to long summer days can actually be a challenge… for mom more so than the kids!

Suddenly the kids are always around. They have 10 times more energy than normal. Yet they’re also feeling a little lazy from the lack of structure school provides. Their sleep schedules are thrown off. They don’t have homework, instead they have more time to ask you endless questions. They have camps and workshops and play dates and a million other activities you have to work into your busy calendar.

Whatever it is…we know you’ve got this, Mom. And we’re here to help. We asked some real moms from the FabKids team how they survive summer break. Read on for their tips!

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Trends Girls Love for Summer

June 9, 2017

After a busy school year, we’re ready for a laid-back summer, and the clothes that come along with it. We’ve been excited about this season’s trends for months as we’ve counted down to sunnier days, and we’ve turned them into totally comfy, kid-friendly styles. Here are our three favorites you can expect to see this season.

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Words of Wisdom from Moms We Love

June 1, 2017

When it comes to raising kids, they say it takes a village. The team at FabKids completely agrees. We’re moms too! That’s why we’re all about making mom’s life easier, not only when it comes to shopping for her kids clothes, but any chance we can share parenting advice or time-saving hacks.

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Moms We Love

May 5, 2017

At FabKids, we know a mother’s work is never done, and we believe she deserves more than one day of celebration. That’s why we’re excited to celebrate moms all month long. We’re featuring Moms We Love, six women we admire for their approach to motherhood, life and, of course, fashion. The best part? Each mom shared her favorite styles from our May collection and why she loves the look.

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Alyson Hannigan & FabKids Partner Up For Kids In Need

January 27, 2017

The FabKids team believes that now more than ever is the time to give back. We partnered with Alyson Hannigan to donate to deserving kids in Mexico. With a little help from our team, Aly picked out over 45,000 pieces of clothing, shoes, and accessories for kids who could use a little extra love and care.

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