Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tipping Thursday: Traveling with a Baby

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Finishing up last week's thread of packing light but still having what you need, I thought I'd share my tips on packing for your baby.  Traveling with a baby or toddler can be rough, especially when you're going to be gone a while.  Here are some tips I've learned through my travels with the little man:

1.)  Make a list.  I know, I know, this was my Number One last week, too.  But trust me!  It works!  Mentally go through your day: what things to you use in a typical day for your baby?  Think about your baby's mealtime, playtime and bed time routine and what you use and write it all down.  Then look over what you'll actually need.  You don't need to bring your own baby towel-wherever you're going will have towels, be it to a hotel or to see the family.  You don't need to bring your baby's entire toy box.  Just bring a couple of his favorite toys to keep him occupied.  And if your baby has a snuggly, DON'T forget it!  Or be prepared to not sleep your whole trip.

2.)  Long haul or weekend getaway?  The length of your trip obviously determines how much you'll need to bring, especially with a baby.  Things like diapers, wipes and baby food can get heavy and take up space.  If you're going to be gone more than a couple days, consider buying them once you reach your destination.  Example:  I flew to Washington last summer, just me and the little man, to visit my in-laws.  We were there for 8 days.  I brought enough diapers and baby food for two days, then bought a small pack of diapers, wipes and enough baby food for the rest of our trip once we got there. It gave me more space in our bags, since I was limited on what I could bring and was much cheaper than having to pay for an overweight bag.

3.)  Sleeping Arrangements.  Do you co-sleep or does your baby need his own space?  Schlepping around the pack-n-play can be difficult and cumbersome.  Plus, if you're traveling with baby by yourself, you're limited to the number of items you can check.  If you can, find ways to leave it at home.  If you're going to see family, see if someone has one that you can use while you're there.  Some hotels offer cribs for their rooms-you just have to request one, like you would an extra cot or pop-up bed.  If you do co-sleep and are staying with family, make sure your bed away from home will accommodate the both of you (or three of you.)

4.)  Just 'cause you're gone for 2 weeks doesn't mean you need 2 weeks' worth of stuff.  One week of outfits, with a back-up outfit is plenty.  After all, there is this magical thing called a washing machine : )  And it's ok to wear an outfit more than once.  Same thing with bowls and utensils-if you're little person is eating solids, you don't need to bring a set of silverware for every day you're there.  One set is just fine.

5.)  Even baby stuff comes in travel size.  You can get shampoo, baby powder and rash ointment in travel sizes.  Even wipes come in travel packs.

6.)  Know what you're getting into.  Try and find out what the plans will be, activity-wise, while you're away so that you can be prepared for them.  

What are your tips for traveling with a little one?

1 comment:

  1. Great tips, Courtney! I have always found it so stressful to travel with my kids when they are little. Our vacation this summer was great. No diapers or babyfood to deal with! Finally, they are getting a bit bigger and it's enjoyable to travel again!

    Looks like my post went over like a lead balloon! How sad! No one even commented except for me! :(


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