Brita Photography » A husband and wife, Atlanta wedding photography team!

A 3-hour drive through Rocky Mountain National Park isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do with kids.  I guess you can say that about a lot of things! We prepared ourselves with bags of goldfish, apple juice, and planned stops throughout the day. Estes Park is about midway from Boulder to Grand Lake, and we planned on eating lunch there and letting everyone burn off some energy. By the time we arrived in Grand Lake, it was nap time. Nick got the beds ready as fast as possible and we put them down! We have a strict bedtime ritual (at home and on vacation) and it’s allowed us to fairly easily put them both down in new places; at least the majority of the time. Knock on wood…

Here’s what we use for their travel, sleeping arrangements: Travel crib for Atlas & toddler air mattress (with rails!!) for Kennedy.

In Grand Lake, we explored and hiked all over. Nick carried Atlas around in the hiking backpack and he loved bouncing around. We went to Chris & Mary’s gorgeous wedding which overlooked beautiful Grand Lake. It was a perfect day and the kids had a blast visiting with family and dancing their hearts out. I did too :)

We drove all over Grand Lake and Rocky Mountain National Park setting up pictures whenever we saw a beautiful backdrop…which was the whole time. Traveling with 2 small kids isn’t the easiest thing to do, but it’s worth it to create these family memories together. 
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Last week, I shared everything we packed in our carryon bags to keep our kids entertained for a 3-hour flight. Today, I’m listing all the items we packed in our checked baggage to the beach for them. From sleeping, entertainment, and dry foods, I researched and made lists (and more lists) for our trip. If this can help at least 1 person, then I’m happy!

*A lot of the items we brought were inflatable. They allowed us to pack more items and be more efficient with the space in our suitcases. Kids already need a lot of stuff! Untitled_8017Untitled_8010

SLEEPING

Air mattress or inflatable crib rails for your toddler  /  Pack & play for your baby (check with the hotel, or place you are staying first. They may actually have one there!)  /  Sound machines (life saver on vacations…or anytime! New places have unfamiliar sounds and sometimes noisy guests; block it all out with a sound machine that has a white noise feature).

FOR PLAYING ON THE BEACH

Huggies disposable swim diapers  /  Nageuret reusable swim diapers (we ended up using these the most)  /  Compact outdoor beach blanket  /  Inflatable (packable!) baby pool (works so well for the beach when you have a baby)  /  Packit freezable lunch bag  /  Beach toys  (Many places had beach toys already for kids. Call ahead to check! We didn’t and I wish we had. /  Swimming tube   /   Inflatable swim vest  /  Kiddie float (great for babies and it has a canopy for shade)  /  Water shoes  /   Sun protective swim hat  /   Babyganics sunscreen & bug spray (lots of it!)  /

FOOD

We designated 1 checked bag for dry foods that wouldn’t go bad en route. We also packed containers of baby food and formula; I wasn’t sure where to find formula or if I could even find the same brand. I wasn’t about to test a new one for my baby’s sensitive tummy either. Everything on the islands is much more expensive, so if you can bring some of your own food you’ll save a lot of money and stress. We packed for snacks, lunch and easy dinners for the kids:

  • Mac & cheese (stove top and microwaveable – you can buy it for $1 here in the US. In the Caribbean, we saw it for $4 a box), squeezable food pouches, juice, cereal, crackers, granola bars, trail mix, baby formula, baby food, and last but definitely not least, Goldfish!!

Anything I missed? Let me know what you brought for your beach vacation! Would love to know what worked or didn’t work for you.

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While we stayed in Boulder, we rented a cozy, family home off Dartmouth street at the foothills of the mountains. We were 5 minutes from Chautauqua Park and from Pearl Street in downtown Boulder. After daytime naps, we always tried a new brewery for lunch or dinner and always completed the day with dessert. It’s a tradition for me (I made it one…) to eat a large chocolate dipped waffle cone with phish food if there’s a Ben & Jerry’s on vacation. So I did just that…every other day. Ice cream was still consumed on the other days, though ;)

With the awesome mini-van from Enterprise, we could fit everything and anything we needed as we road tripped through Colorado. It was so convenient, easy, and gas efficient…I could almost consider driving one permanently.

Red Rocks Amphitheatre, D’Deli in Golden, Eldorado Canyon State Park, and Pearl Street were some of our favorite places we visited while in Boulder. Chautauqua Park is absolutely beautiful and shady!! Even the playground was shaded. With view of the mountains, an entirely shaded playground, and The Dining Hall within walking distance…Chautauqua ranks as one of our favorites. It was perfect for both parents and kids.

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