Before you know it, winter vacation will be here. If you’re planning a family adventure, the following tips and tricks will help you pull it off like a pro — even with a tiny traveler in tow!
1. Choose flight times wisely. Don’t kick off the holidays with a fussy flyer in your lap. The best way to keep your journey peaceful is to pick a time when your child is most likely to be asleep. Book a flight that coincides with naptime, or, for longer distances, consider taking a red-eye. It works wonders!
2. Plan ahead so you can pack less. Most car rental companies can provide a car seat along with your car. And more and more hotels can arrange stroller rentals for your stay, so be sure to ask when you book your room. Just think how nice it would be to leave some of those larger items at home!
3. Pack healthy snacks. Pack snacks for eating on the go and avoid juice binges by bringing along plenty of water. And skip the airport food; not only is it too expensive, it’s also more likely to be highly processed and full of sugar. Healthy munching and sticking to a schedule will go a long way towards keeping things in balance.
4. Dress for success. Choose comfy clothes for both you and your baby so that you can rest easy during flights.
5. Travel in style. If your child is big enough to have her own bag, let her pull it. It fosters independence and keep her from running off.
6. Let us entertain you. Bored kids are restless kids, so bring along plenty of quiet but interactive activities that will engage your children during travel. A portable case full of art supplies (crayons, colored pencils, tape, paper, stickers) will keep him entertained. And, electronics are a life saver.
7. Prepare for potties. Just made it out of diapers? Lucky you. And for your reward, you’ll now be visiting every public toilet and airplane bathroom from here to Grandma’s. But a portable potty seat is easy to take along and makes a nice and dependably clean layer between your child and the rest of the world.
8. B.Y.O. bed. While a portable pack-n-play isn’t the easiest thing to carry, it’ll be worth it when you reach your destination. If you are staying in a hotel, you can check to see if they have one.
9. Don’t forget your baby monitor. They’re often overlooked when packing, but when you’re downstairs enjoying a glass of wine with the family while your child is napping, you’ll be glad you brought it along.
10. Pack a travel health kit. Having a sick baby when you’re away from home is no fun for anyone, but being prepared can help save you some stress. You can put together your own kit, with a nasal aspirator, digital thermometer, medicine syringe, nail clippers, emergency information card, and Tylenol and/or motrin.
11. Take toiletries to go. Less is more when it comes to packing baby toiletries. Face cloths are great for travel touch-ups, and two-to-one and no-rinse washes help keep things simple. Look for travel kits with pint-sized versions of your favorite products.