Traveling in general can be as exhausting and frustrating as it is exciting and fun. Throw a baby or toddler into the mix, and things will instantly reach a whole new level of complicated and stressful. If this is your first trip with a baby, you’ll learn that it is a completely different experience than traveling solo or as a couple. This does not mean you should give up on your holidays once there’s a tiny third member, but just consider all of the aspects well in advance – feeding, sleeping, playing, and before all, packing. The biggest fear of every parent is being unprepared for whatever can happen during the time away from home, but the most annoying part of traveling is the heavy luggage and all the massive baby gear items. Below we shared the best ways of avoiding this conflicting situation and have a perfect family trip.
1. Rent baby gear
One of the most convenient but not the cheapest option is to rent the baby gear at your destination. You can do this in advance, go online, do some research and find stores in the city where you’re headed which rent strollers, car seats and even bassinets and cradles. This way, you definitely won’t have to worry about overpacking or dragging bulky baby gear to airports, or fruitlessly attempting to squeeze it in the trunk of the car.
2. Make a checklist
The most common mistake we all make is not having a clear checklist before packing. Especially when we’re packing for the whole family, we will most likely get confused and pack unnecessary items while probably forgetting some of the most crucial ones. This is why you should plan wise and in advance. Make a list of the items you want and need to take with you on the road, and if it turns out to be too long, cross out those which you deem unnecessary. This way, you’ll learn how to prioritize and pack lighter.
The most expensive thing to rent and the most complicated to bring along are baby strollers. Plus, if your stroller at home is a large jogging stroller, you need to buy a new, smaller one just for the purpose of traveling. Yes, a baby transport item is one of the musts, but have you heard of or tried baby carriers? This is one of the things that will make your life as a parent much easier! Get an amazing lightweight baby wrap and keep your baby close and safe at all times. You can say goodbye to carting the bulky object around the airport and wasting time packing it to fit in the car trunk and then unpacking it for every sightseeing stop your make over and over again. Moreover, baby wraps can provide you with a cozy and close yet comfortable feeling of baby carrying thanks to being made of organic cotton, being all-natural and lightweight.
4. Travel car seat
Regardless of the model and the size of the car you’ll be traveling with, you do not want to risk your child’s safety, so never set off on a journey without a car seat. Even if you’re flying to a certain destination but planning on renting a car for local sightseeing afterwards, make sure to pack a car seat. Good news is that there are travel car seats that are much lighter and considerably less expensive than regular ones.
I would never put my baby in a car without a car seat. However, I cannot imagine lugging around our 35 lb car seat across the airport, let alone Europe!
5. Choose hotels which provide cribs
There are plenty of accommodations which provide cribs, so why waste money, space and time on packing or renting one, when you can simply opt for baby-friendly hotels and apartments? When booking, check with the hotel or apartment if they provide it and if there’s extra cost to it.
If you’re hoping for some vacation downtime, you’re probably not going to get it. Traveling with an unpredictable infant will cause you numerous troubles, like diaper blowouts, crying spells, gassy bellies and dealing with annoying baby equipment. We hope to help you manage at least one of these with the tips we shared above and enjoy your parenthood adventures, which are, despite everything, rewarding, bonding and beautiful.