Traveling with Baby, Dog and Cat - What I Learned, Plus Lily Jade Lifestyle Bags Review
Yes, you read that right. We have completely lost our minds and thought it would be a great idea to take our dog, cat AND baby on a trip. For my 30th birthday, we decided to visit Galveston Texas for our first "whole family adventure". Sure, take a cat to the beach, what a fantastic thought! Since our cat Atlas tolerates car rides, we figured, why not being him along! Luckily the road trip down to Galveston from Houston was only a little over an hour. Amongst the chaos, we managed to make it through the weekend with full hearts and new experiences. Kai is still talking about her trip to the "theme park" aka Galveston Pleasure Pier. Here are a few things we learned along the way and toddler friendly activities in Galveston!
The Art of Packing:
The key to traveling with a toddler and animals was all in the preparation for us. For the animals, packing a separate bag ahead of time with foldable water bowls, treats and comfort blanket items make them feel more at easy. Each animal got their own "snuggle blanket" or comfort toy that reminded them of home for the car ride. I actually ended up wrapping Atlas in a big blanket that he normally sleeps on while we where in the car. This made him more at ease. Our dog Olie is some what used to traveling and car rides now. The trip was a breeze for him. I think actually having both animals together allowed them to comfort each other. Biggest tip for traveling with cats: disposable litter box and crystal littler. We bought a $5 small disposable litter box (because you can pack a clean compact one away) and a 5lb bag of crystal litter (so much lighter than regular litter and a tiny bag). Clean up for a breeze, we just tossed everything at the end of the trip.
Now moving on to our human baby. For longer road trips, I usually pack an activity box for in car entertainment. Screen time is my last resort because for Kai, there is no de-escalating from that. To see what I put in my fun toddler road trip activity box, refer back to this blog. This trip, I got to take my new Lily Jade Blush collection out for a spin. I was super excited when they announced a line of Lifestyle and Travel Totes. I have always loved their diaper bags for the amazing quality leather, the functional designs and backpack conversion. My biggest challenge with using any diaper bag is that I tend to carry so much, it sometimes can feel like I am lugging my whole life around. If I am running quickly into a store or stopping for brunch, I would much rather carry something more compact and leave the bulky diaper items in the car. To address this need, Lily Jade recently launched the Danielle and Lori bags. They two work together to give every mama the perfect balance of feature and function. The Lori is Lily Jade's first crossover tote without an organizer. She is large enough for travel and even makes for a great carry on for plane rides. The Lori converts to shoulder carry or backpack carry (aka my favorite). The best part about the Lori is that it's designed to fit it's companion bag, the Danielle, inside. The Dannielle is my everyday go to bag. It fits my 13 inch Mac Book Pro for work or my Cannon T7i for play with room to spare for essentials. The messenger strap can be shortened to shoulder carry or removed all together. The Danielle comes with petite handles for forearm carry too! I am able to fit all my bulky trip items in the Lori (extra diapers, a book, a small blanket) and my essentials in the Danielle. Together, they make me feel light but prepared at the same time! Lily Jade was really thoughtful in designing the Lifestyle and Travel line!
Want a chance to win one of these heirloom quality bags for yourself? Head over to my Instagram page where I am hosting a giveaway for $350 credit to Lily Jade!
Galveston Activity Recommendations:
Beside the beach, Galveston had so much to offer and I got to see it through fresh eyes again this trip. We have been to the island a hundred times before but exploring with a toddler brought us to new places! Here are some of the highlights that stood out:
Brunch at the Hotel Galvez and Spa:
This is a scenic stop wether traveling with family or just a girls trip. The setting of historic Hotel Galvez and Spa is breathtaking. The decor is elegant, classic and luxurious. The Galvez Bar & Grill is possibly one of my favorite rooms on the entire island. The huge floor to ceiling windows, the intricate molding and the coastal pink color instantly puts you in a great mood. Their famous brunch caters to everyone in the family. From fancy eggs Benedict to waffles for Kai, it's bound to be a huge hit. Take the opportunity to walk the grounds of the Galvez if you are in the area. The courtyard is kept in pristine condition and there is much Texas history to be discovered. We frolicked around at the beach across the street after a fun morning at the Galvez. The location just couldn't be more ideal!
The Pleasure Pier:
This was our first time visiting the Galveston Historic Pleasure Pier since it's completion. I initially thought the rides were too big to bring a toddler but found that Kai was just mesmerized by the experience. At a whopping 32 inches, she could only ride the teacups, the car merry go around, the carousel and the ferris wheel. She was able to get entry for free so that was a plus. She could ride each as many times as she wanted, you only pay for the adult entrance fee. The experience turned out to the highlight of our trip. She LOVED her first ferris wheel experience and is still talking about it a month later. I would recommend going in the off times or before school lets out. Bring plenty of water since there is not much shaded areas. We spent a solid 2-3 hours there.
The Beach was a Hit and Miss
Last year, Kai has so much fun playing in the sand. This time around, it seems like she forgot about it all. It was all brand new to her. She was even disinterested in her sand toys. It turns out she developed a new dislike for sand. When I shared this on Instagram stories, it seemed to be not all to uncommon. Many of you guys messaged me and said your kids were the same way. I am not here to provide any permanent solutions as we still are figuring this one out. The only smart thing we happen to bring with us was her rain boots. She would only touch the ground when she was wearing her boots. Go figure!
Hope you guys enjoyed this post and happy travels!