Last month,we became that family. We were the ones pacing back and forth by the gate with a baby. I could almost hear the thoughts of the business travellers catching the evening flight home after a long work day on the road: "oh God there's a baby on this flight" ... "please don't let that baby be sitting near me" ... "I hope that youngster doesn't cry. Please oh please let him be a sleeper."
Interestingly enough, I found I didn't really care much what they thought. Like them, I too was hoping for a cryless flight, but I was more focused on getting our first family vacation off to a smooth and happy start. During my vacation preparation and the week-long holiday, I discovered a few things about travelling with a babe that made it much easier. I thought I'd share my top tips with you:
Pack early. The first step to getting your vacation off on the wrong foot is feeling rushed when packing. You`ll inevitably feel like you`ve forgotten something and when already dealing with baby-brain, that`s no good. I started packing for our trip about two full days before we left. When it was just me, I could pack for a trip in a couple of hours or less. I knew what I needed, where to find it, how to pack it, and life was easy peasy. With the upgrade to a travelling trio, I knew I'd need more time. A couple of days let me make sure essentials were laundered or purchased if needed and I was able to to pack around naps, feedings, changings, playing, and otherwise being mama.
|packed, stacked, and ready to roll|
To fit it all into the limited space, first I pulled out everything I thought I'd need for me and HP and spread it around the floor. Then before I started filling the bags, I removed at a quarter of it right away. I then packed essentials first and as room in the suitcase dwindled, I weeded out about another quarter of the stuff leaving me with about half of what I started with.
|spreading and sorting ...|
|weeded out and packed in :)|
Leave early. Or better yet, even earlier. As most parents have figured out by now, leaving for anywhere with a baby is best done earlier than planned. They inevitably need to be changed, fed or otherwise entertained before you can get out the door. The same holds true for travel. You are much better off at the airport waiting a few more minutes than sweating with the pedal to the metal trying to catch a flight. Especially if you can't recall whether or not you turned off the oven before you left the house and have to turn around to check. Not saying that happened to us. It may or may not have. Ok it did. But we left early enough to turn around, do a double check, and still be at the airport on time. For the record I did turn it off.
|and we're still there with time to spare|
|enjoying a late night bottle|
|followed by a snooze. Cue happy sighs of mama, daddy, and fellow passengers.|
|it was the perfect fit once the bike came out of storage|
|The carrier was perfect|
|especially in a crowded market!|
|One of our must sees was a visit to the "cottage" in Chester. |
Thanks Karen & Blair for the hospitality, wonderful as always!
|A good motto for any trip... keep calm and carry on.|