Wednesday, June 24, 2015

How to Travel with a Baby or Toddler and Enjoy It


I know a relaxing getaway and baby don’t often fit into the same sentence. But I am here to tell you it is possible.Here are a few tips for making traveling with babies or toddlers not just easier, but even enjoyable.  We will look at traveling in three different sections: flights, road trips, and when you’re at your destination.


Flights

Our son's first flight was at the age of 3 months old. From there his traveling has sprouted into endless adventures. We started small, his first flight was from Oahu to Lanai (less than an hour flight). He did great so we kept building up. By the age of one he had visited all the Hawaiian islands and three states on the mainland. Now he’s a toddler and travels monthly.



I suggest a trial getaway as your first trip. Start with a short flight.

The less you pack, the less you have to lug around. This includes your carry on and checked bags. We travel with one bag for the 3 of us, this makes us more aware of bringing what we really need.

Babies can travel as a “lap baby” until the age of 2. Make sure you have a birth certificate with you when you check in. Some airlines will ask for proof.

I have a travel bag that holds my car seat. I pack it up and check it with my bag. An extra bonus is you can put in some extra diapers and wipes in if you need extra space. I’ve never carried the car seat on with me or gated checked it - the less you have to carry, the easier it is to navigate the airport.

We baby wear and leave the stroller at home. We’ve never taken our stroller on a trip. We choose this because we would rather not have to juggle getting our jog stroller into the travel bag, check it, juggle multiple bags at baggage claim to the rental car, and our son is happier being close to us in busy, chaotic places. At security if your stroller does not fit through you are required to take it apart!

At security, if you baby wear you are not required to take the baby out. They will have you go through the old school metal detector and have your hands swiped.

Most airports now let families with young children go through pre-check screening. At pre-check you do not have to take out liquids or take your shoes off. Pre-check and baby wearing make security a breeze! Check your airport's regulations - most allow water, pumped breast milk, and baby food through security.

Yay you're through, now to your gate. When our son began walking we spent our time before boarding letting him burn his energy off. We have our one carry on bag with us and let him roam the airport with us by his side.

I always try to plan our flight and his nap time together.

In our carry-on we have a pen, snacks, water, small toys, and an iPad for the last resort. We bring a pen because there’s always paper around you can draw on (your boarding pass). I pack snacks I know our son will be excited to eat (no need for a h-angry baby).

I think space when packing toys, what can I get the most variety of with the smallest space. If he’s bored of everything and nap time didn’t line up we pull out the iPad and watch shows or play games together.

On take off and landing I have always nurse. Another great option is a water bottle. This helps their ears with the pressure.

If your child is unhappy don’t worry about everyone else around you. If they are annoyed that’s their problem (they probably haven’t had kids). Take a few deep breaths and find your zen place. If you stay calm, you'll have a better chance of calming your child.

Road Trips

Again start with a short trip and building up.

We plan to head out about 30 minutes before it’s nap time. Our son gets to look around a bit, play some and then falls asleep with the motion of the car. Sometimes we get lucky and he sleeps the entire way depending on the distance.

If our son is not sleeping we start with snacks if he is hungry (don’t worry you can always vacuum the car out.)

Then we move onto books. I pack 2-3 books that are new to him or haven’t been looked at recently.
Next are trucks and small toys that he can pretend with.

Once the boredom starts to sink in I move to the back with him and engage in the books and toys with him.

We when are almost there and he’s ready to run, I pull out the iPad and let him watch a show. Because, let’s face it - an unhappy baby won’t make us get there any faster.

Experiment to see what time of day is better to travel, if stopping to run and play helps, or if it’s best to push through and get there.

When You’re at Your Destination

I always have essential oils in our diaper bag. My travel oils are doTerra’s OnGuard, DigestZen, Breathe, Balance, and Lavender. With these I can fight off germs, treat stomach bugs, colds, diaper rash and calm the baby.



My intention on getaways is to see new things and wear the toddler out so I can relax some. When we go check places out we let him walk/run around to expend his energy.

I always try to find one of these 3 each day to give him a good energy release: a children’s museum, pool or ocean and play park. The more tired they are the more a parent gets to relax right?



My biggest secret to traveling is babywearing. I won't go down the street or out of town without our carrier.

Travel, explore, have fun, and when there’s a road bump, pause and ask is this really a big deal? Laugh it off because it is not worth being upset if something goes wrong.

When something goes differently than planned, do what you can and move to the next moment where your destination is inner frustration or inner peace.

I'd love to hear your tips for traveling with little ones - what have you found to work for you?


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Bes of Baby



26 comments:

  1. Thank you for the good tips! I am traveling with my 4 kids 6 and under in a few weeks, feeling nervous I know I can do it!

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    1. You're welcome :) glad you enjoyed them. I love to travel. The thing I always remind myself is the more calm I am the more calm my son is.

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  2. Great tips! Looks like your son will be a seasoned traveler before he hits double digits! Thanks for sharing your outdoor post on The Maple Hill Hop!

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    1. I love that he gets to see everything at such a young age (even though he won't remember a lot of it).

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  3. Its all about planning and it is great that you are enjoying travelling even after parenthood. Thank you so much for sharing with us at #WednesdaysWisdom

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    1. I'm always looking forward to the next trip :) we are about to start a 16 day road trip next.

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  4. I've travelled often with my kids from the age of 6 months, and all your tips are true. It's definitely worthwhile to babywear them through the airport and to check the carseat. Better yet, I've found, is to try to get someone in your final destination to lend you a seat so you can leave yours at home. Thanks for sharing your tips!

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    1. That is a great tip if you can have a car seat at the final destination for you waiting :) it's never matched up for us but the travel bag makes it so much easier!

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    2. I also can't imagine not Babywearing! It's made it all so much easier.

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  5. This makes me feel a little more hope, since I'm afraid our traveling days will come to an end when we have babies. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I honestly travel more now since having our son. I'm a stay at home mom/work at home mom now so I have more time to travel :)

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  6. Great tips! Thanks so much for sharing at #HomeMattersParty. Hope you'll join us again.

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  7. Great tips Vanessa! Preparation is the key. Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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    1. Thank you :) we are a minimalist family so packing and un packing is a breeze!

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  8. Great Post!! Thanks for sharing on My 2 Favorite Things on Thursday!! Hope to see you again tomorrow!! Pinned!

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  9. You both are so brave. My husband and I have taken our grand kids to a few places without their parents, and we both end up defeated. Still, we do it. Thanks for linking up and sharing with us at Funtastic Friday. Please join us again this week.

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    1. We love to travel! Currently we are on a 16 day road trip :) it's going great!

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  10. Great tips, I have two kids but they 6 and 3 year old travelling with kids is always scary, but your post made it so easy. Thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop.

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  11. Thank you for the great tips! We are firm believers in traveling with our kiddos! Thank you for sharing at Waiting on...Wednesday! Hope to see you back tomorrow!

    Holly @ www.iwillservewhileiwait.blogspot.com

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    1. It's so fun to see my son experience traveling :)

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  12. Great tips. We are taking our first trip soon.

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  13. Great tips. We are taking our first trip soon.

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  14. These are great tips! I didn't know about some of them and I have 4 kiddos! Thank you so much :0)

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