Have Baby, Will Travel

I think you may have seen my son’s (future) BFF lately.  He’s been creating quite the buzz traveling throughout New Zealand and Australia with his Mum and Dad (also, my future girl BFF and my husband’s future guy BFF).  The adorable royal parents, William and Kate, took baby George along while they traveled the three-week tour simply because they just couldn’t imagine being away from their son for too long.  (I can absolutely relate.  See, Kate- we are totally going to be BFF’s.)kate-middleton-prince-willliam-royal-tour-gallery-87-gtykate-middleton-prince-willliam-royal-tour-gallery-82-gty

Seeing the adorable pictures of George alongside his parents while they travel, got me thinking about my own family and our travels.  Harrison, who is now 20 months is one lucky toddler.  Not in the sense that he has me for a cool mom (wink, wink!) but because he’s been lucky to travel often.  He took his first flight at 4 months of age, has since taken 12 flights, plus about a hundred long-distance trips; I’d say he’s a pretty seasoned traveler.

Getting prepped for my first flight with a baby was a scary one.  I researched like crazy gathering tips and tricks on how to travel with a baby.  I even chatted with Facebook friends who had recently traveled with their own babies.  Then, that first flight came and left.  Leaving me no longer scared or sweaty-lipped about traveling.  In fact, I  don’t even think twice about traveling with him.  How about flying alone with a toddler?  Shoot, I got this!  And road trips?  I welcome you.

Since I’ve become a semi-pro at this “have baby, will travel” lifestyle, I would love to share my top 5 tips and tricks to traveling with a toddler.  From packing to reaching the tarmac- this list will help make the process a smooth one :).

5.  Bring the comforts of home with you.  For some, their immediate reaction is that they don’t want to lug around “all that” baby/kid stuff.  But, I learned from the one (and only trip) where we borrowed things, to never do it again.  I thought borrowing wouldn’t upset our son because when we did, he was only a few months old.  But our son proved us wrong.  Harrison sure had his spider senses cranked up to full gear because he was irritable and didn’t sleep throughout the night in his borrowed pack and play.  Sleeping through the night wasn’t an issue pre-trip.  But this particular trip, it was an issue :(.

Moral of the story: bring your child’s own blanket, favorite toys,or anything else you think of that may make traveling easier.

FYI: Airlines don’t charge extra for baby/toddler related items.  So feel free to check-in the stroller, car seat, pack and play, inflatable toddler bed, etc.  Sure, you’ll look like you are traveling for a month, but  you’ll be the parent getting a full nights sleep and not getting grey-hair from a cranky kid.airport luggage // toddler

4.  Embrace technology.  Have your cell phones fully charged and your iPad full of downloaded apps just in case your lil one decides to throw a tantrum.  If you are a “no technology” kind of parent, well that’s cool.  But maybe think twice about having this as a backup plan just in case your baby decides that your normally soothing sing-songy voice doesn’t do the trick and instead Baby Einstein is killing it.

FYI:  My favorite app (it’s free too) is WATCH Disney Junior which provides different 30 minute shows seen on Disney.

3.  Splurge if necessary.  I’m talking non-stop flights if possible, flying during nap time or evenings, paying for extra leg room, and if theirs a chance the flight will be full (say, Christmas season) pay for the child’s seat.  I know we don’t all have the luxury to do such things every time.  But, use your judgment on when to splurge and when to skimp out.  I’d rather be able to sip on my gin and juice (I mean, apple) and enjoy my pretzels in the other hand, than trying to find room for my toddler and I to fit comfortably in one seat.  flying with a baby // airplane seat

10 month old // airplane // seat

2.  More is better.  Carve out more time to get to the airport and to go through all that airport ish.  You know that “be at the airport 2 hours early rule” that someone came up with?  Um, do it.  Because even if you breeze by security (because you’re a genius and totally didn’t pack liquids) and are waiting at the gate ready to board, you’ll have done it in a manner that kept you relaxed and sane.  Plus, now you’ve got more time to grab food, nurse your child, shop at The Body Shop or whatever random stores that perk your interest.

FYI:  If you’ve got a stroller, bring it through the airport.  You’ll not only be able to zip around the airport but you’ll be able to gate check it.  I’ve taken my Uppababy G-Luxe on all 12 flights and that bad-boy of a lightweight stroller is the ultimate in versatility and among its many (and I mean, many) amazing features; my favorite is that it is suitable for a 3 month old, the youngest age for a glorified umbrella stroller.

Uppababy // G-Luxe // 4 month old

My son at 4 months: first flight and using the Uppababy G-Luxe umbrella stroller.  (Side note: this moment is of my son meeting his Great Grandpa for the first time.)

1.  Do You.  Simple enough.  When in doubt, revert back to what you’ve been doing.  After all, you’re the parent and you truly know what’s best for your child.

So there you have it, my quick 5 tips on traveling with a toddler.  Got any other tricks you can’t live without?

Sincerely, Kymberly

 

 

13 comments

  1. Aww! GREAT post Kym! Love all the throwback pics of HB! The one meeting his GGpa – priceless! I wish we could spring for an extra seat for K, but I think she hates to stay in a seat anyway.

    xx Viv at JoieDeViv

    1. Thanks sweet friend! I think getting the extra seat is necessary only during peak seasons and once they get older (aka mobile!) You can always gamble and see if you’re sitting next to an empty seat! What are your plans for Taiwan? That will be one amazing girls trip! xoxo

  2. Love these tips! Vi just turned 1 and I think she’s a seasoned traveller…but I’m afraid to take her on a flight by myself this summer because it will be the first time that she’ll be walking! Glad to know you’ve done it well so many times!

    1. You got this girlfriend! You will totally be able to take her on your own with no fear at all :). Shoot for sitting by the aisle and letting her play around in the foot area of your seats to let her run out her energy! You guys have travelled so often that I am sure your fear is just the unknown ;).

        1. Yup, in both pictures. They are both outdated pictures of Harrison, but worth sharing ;). I think you may be referring to the toddler car seat? Yes, that’s his current car seat. Since HB grew out of his infant seat by 10 months we ended up graduating to the toddler seat a bit earlier than other tots. Even though he was tall, he couldn’t walk nor did I feel comfortable just letting him sit in the seat alone (it just seemed like an airplane seat was so big for a baby). So I took the car seat along for 2 of his flights. I used a Britax convertible stroller to pull the seat around the airport. I’ve since stopped (I think around 15 months was the last flight) and now he just sits in his own chair. Now the problem is keeping him still!

  3. We also travel a ton with Ollie! He went to England & Spain at 4 months (fyi, O is half british so also future BFF’s with George, I’ll make sure to invite Harrison to their playdates ;) )…love your tips and I would add one important reminder: Remember that you can buy baby supplies pretty much anywhere in the developed world…therefore you don’t need to pack a suitcase full of diapers and wipes, a 3-4 day supply will do!

    cheers xo

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