Traveling with your baby and/or small children may seem like way too daunting of a task, but know that with a little bit of prep work, it is totally worth it! There are so many memories to be made through traveling to a new place as a family and we think that the extra work is always worth the reward. Read on for our tried-and-true tips for making your travels as smooth as possible:
If you plan to fly on an airplane, we recommend baby wearing any small babies and young toddlers as a way to keep them close while keeping your hands free to carry any must-haves for the plane ride. Bringing along a lightweight umbrella stroller (or foldable wagon for multiple small children) is also a great idea as it will allow you to keep your small child contained while making your way through the airport! Also, decide on whether you will need to bring along your own car seat or if you will be able to rent one in the place you are visiting. There are companies that allow you to rent a car seat if you are visiting from out of town so this may be an easier option than lugging a great big seat through the airport! If you will be traveling by car, plan to bring along items such as a few small toys they can play with in the car and plenty of snacks to keep them occupied! Map out some parks or areas where you could stop along your road trip as well to give them a break from their car seat every so often.
Deciding on where you will stay is a key step to planning a successful trip with young children! Hotels can be a great option with a baby due to their amenities such as continental breakfast, room service and perhaps laundry and other convenient services at your fingertips. However, sharing a hotel room or small suite with multiple children can leave you feeling cramped, so you will need to consider how much space would realistically feel comfortable for your family. A vacation home rental is also a great option, especially if you have multiple children, as this option allows your family some extra space to spread out! If you will be staying with family or friends at their home while you travel, be sure to communicate your family’s needs as a way to ensure you all will be prepared. Does your toddler wake up super early in the morning or do you have a baby that often wakes and cries through the night? Communicate those things to the ones you will be staying with to be sure everyone’s needs can be met without it feeling uncomfortable!
Many hotels and even some vacation home rentals offer sleep spaces such as a crib or pack-n-play for your baby. If they don’t, be sure to pack one of your own and bring along a familiar swaddle, blanket or pillow that your baby or young child is used to sleeping with so that they can have a little comfort of home while on the go! Sound machines are also a great idea as a way to help quiet any unfamiliar background noises through the night. Bringing along familiar snacks, plenty of diapers/wipes and extra outfits for different types of weather are also very helpful! Remember to pack things you will need to prepare formula as well. In case you forget this one or prefer to travel lightly, keep in mind that Organic Baby Food Shop can ship straight to your hotel or the place you will be staying! You can place your order right here: Best European Baby Formula | Top-Rated Organic Infant Formula Online (organicbabyfood.shop)
Depending on your destination, you will want to have some sort of a plan as to the things your family would like to do while vacationing. That may be a beach, a certain restaurant, a theme park, zoo or other child-friendly attractions. While it is not necessary to plan your itinerary minute by minute, do outline a few of your top preferred activities and be sure to check on whether you will need reservations, hours of service and so on so that you can arrange your days accordingly!
As you plan out all of the things you would like to experience while on vacation, do be sure to plan for some downtime as well! Traveling with a baby or small children is a lot of work and carving out regular times each day for a nap and some relaxation will be well worth it to keep everybody happy. You can plan downtime around your child’s regular nap time, especially if you are working around time changes for the location you will be visiting. Also, sticking to a semi-regular bedtime routine while traveling can help eliminate the feelings of being over-tired as well as crankiness.
Set realistic expectations and know ahead of time that changes in sleep patterns, fussiness and tantrums can occur along the way among even the most well planned out trips! That is totally ok and to be expected when traveling as a family. Do however take the opportunity to soak up your time away as a family and try to work in some extra special experiences! Go out for ice, try new foods, dress like a local and be sure to take lots of pictures! It may feel like a whole lot of work but we promise, the memories you will make together will be worth it.
Here are a few more posts that may help you as you embark on a new travel adventure as a family. If you have any tips of your own, please share them in the comments section!
While implementing the above tips will not guarantee a completely fuss-free experience, we do hope they will help address common questions and struggles in regards to traveling with a baby. After your vacation is through, we encourage you to put together a little photo album with pictures and small items that will remind you of your adventures. When a year goes by and you look back at photos and you see how much your little ones have grown in a short amount of time…it may just make you want to plan another trip with them!
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