Who Loves traveling with their Baby/Toddler??? Well, I love the destination but the travel from point A to B is the part that gets me ALL worked up. I think it is because my heart just hurts when my Baby is upset. I shouldn’t care what stranger thinks when my little one is loosing her crap but I do. This post is all about the preparation for the destination.
CLOTHING. So my rule is an extra two sets of clothes. If we are gone for five nights I bring seven changes of clothes. Seven changes of clothes is my max regardless of how long the trip is. Keep in mind when you are with family you can always do a load of laundry there. Many hotels have laundry service available on site. When packing I roll my complete outfits together. I know, I know, but it works for me. I’m not searching for socks, a clean shirt, you get the idea. Yes, I pack myself and my husband this way too.
SICK BAG. This contains really basic stuff. Over time I just figure if I run out, or need something else, chances are a store will be nearby. So, I do bring a thermometer, bulb suction, Tylenol, normal saline a pedialyte mix pack and that’s it. Basically what I would need urgently or in the middle of the night if a store is not open.
FOOD. OK. When I do quick one or two night trips away and I am driving I do bring food to make or reheat. Eating out for one meal is OK but I am not a fan of doing it for every meal. Trips when we are traveling on a plane I make a grocery store trip and buy food when we get there. Side note if you need special milk, such as goats milk, call ahead to see if the store you will be near has that product available it so you can plan accordingly. I do bring one of my Little Ones plates, fork, spoon, cups, and her snacks on our trips. Snacks for a flight I bring a variety and in small containers I can recycle.
TSA and MILK. Probably the biggest question I had flying for the first time with my Little One was what is the deal with milk and TSA. Yes, you can bring milk on the plane. TSA needs the container to be under 100ml or 3.4oz, just verify the most current info on their site. If it is over this amount TSA will need to test it. It is not a big deal. I just keep all my milk (breast milk or whatever kind of milk you need to bring) that I will need on the plane in a mini little container with an ice pack. A large zip lock bag and a ice pack works too. Put the milk you don’t need until your destination in your checked luggage, sealed with ice packs. Just a little tip….some milk changes after it has been frozen so if you are thinking about just freezing milk for transport I would make sure your Little One will take it before going down this rout. Sometimes Breast milk tastes different after it has been frozen, other milks can curdle when they are thawed. Just an FYI so you can be prepared. From personal experience I have had milk in a checked bag for over eight hours with an ice pace and it was it was still cold. If you need to put milk in your checked bag ice packs should keep it cold for a while from my experience. Side note….G only gets milk twice a day so when she sees it she WANTS it like right now. So every time I ask the TSA to keep it out of her view and every time they wave it in front of me and a mini meltdown occurs. Thanks TSA! Just wanted to mention this so you will be prepared for what will happen and give yourself some extra time to accommodate.
STROLLER and CAR SEAT. So couple of options when flying. Gate check your car seat and stroller or rent what you need when you arrive at your destination. FYI, Car rental companies charge a grip to rent a car seat. A tip if you are bringing a car seat and stroller with you. I suggest when checking a stroller and/or car seat items you get a cover to place them in. Gate checking our car seat has not been a big deal for us. Well, carrying it to the gate is somewhat annoying but having it safe and available right when we get off of the plane is nice. Depending on what we need to do when we get off the plane depends if we gate check or just check the car seat at the ticket counter. This should be a courtesy check with your airline, we have never been charged checking a stroller or car seat. Again, I HIGHLY recommend putting your car seat in a bag prior to checking it.
ENTERTAINMENT. So look at Dr. Organic Mommy for some great ideas on age appropriate travel boxes. Links are available on her Instagram highlights under Travel. The site gave me some fun ideas. It helps to have a brand new toy once they get on the plane. I packed a little backpack for G. It had a metal lunch box, put magnetic toys, stickers, a new toy, her snacks and headphones. G was so excited to see everything. I will say the more you have the more quickly they are moving on to something new. Sometimes it is better to just have a couple of things rather then fifteen. The backpack was nice to have all of her stuff contained. It was a little heavy for her though. A rolling backpack would have been perfect for her going through the airport. When traveling for a week or so I send a couple of toys to our destination. Amazon, Target and Walmart make this pretty easy to do. Kind of exciting when we arrive to have something brand new for them to play with. If we are traveling and staying where other children will be I don’t worry about sending toys. They will already have plenty and everything will seem new. Little TIP: My experience during flights is all my attention is spent on entertaining my Little One. No more reading a magazine or watching a movie for me but that is totally OK. Grab yourself a fancy coffee and buckle down for an experience.
SLEEP. G sleeps best in a dark, cool room with some type of white noise. Having a rested child and keeping them on their schedule makes for a pleasant experience for everyone. At least for us. One of my biggest hurdles when staying with Family or in hotels is getting a completely dark room. Usually, I pack a roll of packaging tape to stuff blankets and towels around the curtain in the room. Then I tape it all down to keep the light out. This past trip we took I found a portable black out shade and it was Amazing. Super easy to adjust the size and stick to the window. I have tried other methods and this was so easy, LOVE IT and wish I would have found this two years ago. I feel like a standard hotel window would only need one blackout curtain but anything like patio or really large window you would need two. White noise machine and baby monitor are also brought along. Well, DockATot, blanket and unicorn also join us. I am not messing with my Little Ones sleep routine so it all makes the trip with us.
ACTIVITIES. We like to take mini trips to new destinations just to get out of town for a night. Maybe we have a museum in mind but what to do for the rest of the time that is family friendly can some times be challenging to find. Google search the area before hand to see what comes up. What has worked for us is just using the YELP app. I have found so many fun activities such as play groups, parks, restaurants that are all 100% aimed at letting my child have fun. https://www.yelp.com/
One last tip when traveling is this is about making memories. Meltdowns will happen, mistakes will be made. Just go with the flow and do the best you can. Basically don’t sweat the small stuff. Happy Traveling !!!