Prior to having babies and toddlers, planning trips was as simple as asking your friends who had a free weekend to spare and how quickly everyone could pack their bags.
Fast forward to your life as a parent and those trips may be a little less spontaneous—but that doesn’t have to mean travel is off the table. With a little planning and preparation, your new, sweet travel buddy will make these adventures even sweeter.
If you are traveling with an infant for the first time, take these tips into account before purchasing your plane ticket (or planning that road trip).
Bring a comfortable wrap carrier:
Being in a new place with unfamiliar sights, sounds, and people can be a lot of stimulation for a baby—and may even be the source of some unexpected meltdowns. However, bringing a stylish and comfortable baby carrier or wrap can help you keep your little one calm and comfortable when you’re traveling together. Just wrap them up and they may even find themselves soothed enough to take a nap on you while you traverse the airport or train station!
Have plenty of snacks on hand:
A hungry kid is a cranky kid, so it’s imperative that you have plenty of food packed in your diaper bag before you head out the door on your vacation. Bring pouches of their favorite baby food, puffs packed in a resealable container, or dry cereal for them to snack on as you make your way from place to place. Not only will you be prepared, but you’ll also save money by not having to pay higher prices while on the road or at an airport terminal.
Keep them engaged:
It’s easy for your little one to become overwhelmed by the stimuli in new places when you’re traveling. If you are flying with a baby, keep them happy and entertained with a familiar pacifier, stuffed animal, or set of board books. For long road trips, don’t forget to plan for extra stretch breaks to allow them time out of their car seat.
Plan around their naps:
Don’t let exhaustion and the associated crankiness ruin your travel plans! Try your best to schedule flights and car trips around your kiddo’s nap time and bedtime routine. Some travel days can’t be planned around when the baby sleeps. So, keep your MOBY wrap or carrier on hand to snuggle them close while they rest on the go. Wraps are also a wonderful tool to help little ones settle and fall asleep in unfamiliar hotel rooms.
Have plenty of buffer time:
Everything you do with your kids takes a whole lot longer than it would if you were alone—a diaper blowout or wailing meltdown can add serious time to any trip. So, if you want to make sure you don’t miss that flight or train, ensure that you’ve added plenty of buffer time to your trip so that you can handle those little surprises as they come up without having to completely rearrange your schedule. Be patient, try not to rush, and enjoy your family travel time.
Traveling with your baby can seem like a difficult task but it doesn’t have to be an insurmountable one. With the right preparations in place, you and your little travel buddy can happily explore the country (or globe) together.