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Many people don’t take vacations when their children are still infants. It’s understandable because just making a trip to the grocery store can mean lugging half your house with you. However, it is possible to simplify and save money when taking your baby or toddler on vacation. Here are some tips for doing so from flight to hotels and everything in between.
Tips for Easy Travel with Baby
Try to book your flight when your baby is most likely to sleep through most of it. This can be late flights around bedtime or ones during the afternoon around naptime. If your child is not really on a schedule, try to get them on one to meet the flight times at least a month before flying.
Skip long layovers. They can be really hard on babies and very stressful for you. Non-stop flights are best if you can get one. If you have to have a layover skip the 30-minute layovers and go for the hour ones. 30 minutes leaves you rushing for baby snacks and diaper changes while trying to get to your connecting flight. That will put everyone in a bad mood.
Make a checklist of things you would possibly need for the flight such as bottles, diapers, wipes, blankets, pacifiers, soft toys and even snacks. Check to make sure everything is there before you take off and head to the airport. If possible, pack the bag the night before.
Bring something to soothe the baby when takeoff happens such as a pacifier or be ready to nurse.
Speaking of nursing, it is legal to do so but to ease your mind, call the airline to make sure of any regulations they have.
Don’t rent a crib. Instead, plan on sleeping with your infant or bring a small pack-n-play for night time. If you are flying and lugging a crib is too much, try to find a hotel that offers free use of them.
When booking a hotel try to request a room that is in a quiet corner away from any area that gets high traffic such as the pool or near the vending machines. This way, you won’t have to worry about your baby being woken up due to unfamiliar sounds to him or her.
Try to stay in a hotel with a mini-fridge, so you have somewhere to store pumped breast milk or formula and bring (or buy) a little bit of dish soap to wash equipment.
Set up your hotel room right away. This will make your life and baby’s life much easier. Set up your child’s sleeping area and area for toys and a changing area. This will help your child feel more at home to being able to see things he/she recognizes.
Think about skipping the hotel altogether and going with HomeAway. In general, I find for the 6 of use we can get a place for a little cheaper than a hotel, and we have 2 or more rooms, a kitchen which saves us from eating out and
Wearing your baby can be a great option if he or she likes that. This way, you will be free from pushing a stroller, and it’s one less thing to pack.
Do stuff that you can do while your baby naps. For instance, this is the perfect time to check out the scenery in the area or to go shopping. Making sure not to upset your child’s sleep schedule will leave everyone happier.
Don’t try to do too much in one day. Babies and toddlers get over-stimulated pretty quickly. Make sure to schedule down time.
Plan along the way to stop for breaks. This is especially true if you are traveling with toddlers who may be potty training. If you have planned stops, you will be able to better monitor your child’s bathroom habits and give them some time to stretch.
Speaking of potty breaks, skip gas stations. Instead, head to a hotel near the freeway. They will be more likely to have clean and accommodating restrooms.
Don’t let your baby get bored. Make sure you have age appropriate toys available and if possible, have another adult or older child ride in the back to tend to your infant.
Travel at night if you can. Travel when your little ones would be sleeping. You can nap during the day and make the long stretches of the drive during the night.
Pack the lightweight stroller over the heavy one. It’s easier to tote around a fold up if you have to take a tram, taxi, subway, etc. around you don’t want to waste a bunch of time folding and unfolding the stroller.
Bring a blanket. Something quite sized to allow for floor play at the airport, picnics if you choose or they make great pillows or ways to get comfortable on a plane or in the car for mom and dad!
Bring a noise machine. The noises will be different than at home. Having white noise machine will help drown out any unfamiliar sounds and help baby (and mommy and daddy sleep!)
What tips do you have for traveling with your baby?