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Tips for Traveling with a Baby: Getting Your Child Ready for Summer Vacation

Tips for Traveling with a Baby: Getting Your Child Ready for Summer Vacation

We all know that traveling with a baby isn’t easy. There are so many logistics you have to take care of before you head out on the road or board a plane. After all, with a baby, you can’t just ask them to behave or give them a book to read. They have a schedule for eating, sleeping, and playing and they’re not willing to compromise.

So, how do you make traveling with your baby not just easier, but more enjoyable? We’ve collected some of our favorite travel tips to help you relax this summer.

1. Choose the Right Plane Seat

If you’re flying somewhere for vacation, make sure you get the right seat. For short-haul flights with a baby that means an aisle seat toward the front of the plane. Being on the aisle makes it a lot easier to get up and walk around or change the baby. And the front of the plane is quieter with less bathroom traffic, so your baby has a better chance of sleeping.

 For international flights, there are bassinets! Planes such as British Airways offer a cot-style bassinet that’s usually available on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you can, call ahead and make a request for these seats. If not, arrive early and ask the flight attendant before you board for the bassinet. 

2. Pack Light 

When traveling with a little one, it can be tempting to pack more, more, and more. However, you want to pack your bags with just the essentials. It will make your life a lot easier as you travel around. Mobility is KEY. Some important tips include:

  • Pair every item of clothing and don’t include any outliers. For example, choose the one pair of pajamas your kid will use and don’t bother with an extra “just in case.” There’s always laundry on location.
  • Don’t pack “what if’s”.
  • Purchase incidentals at your destination—that includes diapers and wipes.
  • Pack layers. Instead of packing long sleeves, which can get too hot, pack a jacket or sweater that you can use and take off as needed no matter the outfit.

3. Wear Your Baby 

While strollers are great, they’re not easy to navigate. They’re terrible for stairs, tight spaces, and more. You want to be fast and nimble when you travel, so use a carrier to get around. Carriers are great for being on the go, fitting in restaurants, and more.

4. Rent a Car with a Car Seat

When you can, rent a car with a car seat. This way you don’t have to travel with one. If that’s not an option, take the train or subway instead. In many countries, public transportation is a wonderful and safe way to get around. And when you’re wearing your baby in a carrier, it’s quick and easy.

5. Look Into a Local Nanny

 Just because you’re traveling away from home doesn’t mean you can’t get a night off from watching your baby. No matter where you are, there are many well-vetted and reputable nanny and sitter services that you can use. You can look up agencies in the area where you’re traveling, or if you have friends in the area, ask them to help you find a sitter. Just make sure to follow your own personal judgment in choosing who and what you feel comfortable with. 

6. Know When to Give Up

There will be some days, some activities, and some moments where nothing works. The baby is fussy, mom isn’t happy, and dad is incredibly grumpy. When bad stuff seems to be piling up, don’t try to push through it. Sometimes it’s better to call it and walk out. Stop whatever activity or meal you’re enjoying and go back to the hotel for the day. You can try again tomorrow. 

7. Ask for a Crib

Most hotels and AirBnB’s can provide you with a pack ‘n play or a crib if you ask. So, don’t be afraid to ask. You don’t want to have to lug this vital piece of equipment around if you don’t have to.

8. Find Toys in the Everyday

When you’re traveling with a baby, it can be tempting to bring a ton of toys with you. But honestly, you don’t need to. Bring one favorite toy and their blankie (check out these fabulous options) and then find the rest of their toys on your travels. A child under two doesn’t really pay attention to their toys versus an empty water bottle or a set of keys. Really they’re entertained by it all.

9. Bring Snacks and Fluids

If you’re about to get on a plan or be in the car for a while, make sure you have all the snacks and fluids you need to keep baby happy. Pack non-perishable foods and a sippy cup or bottle. Airplanes can be especially dehydrating, so make sure you have enough to drink.

10. Have the Right Mindset

Most importantly, get in the right mindset when going on vacation and traveling with your little one. Don’t let yourself dread the plane ride or long road trip. Your baby will probably end up being a lot better than you think, so don’t stress. Let yourself get excited to go on vacation and take things as they come. Just relax and enjoy.

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