Three Tips for Traveling with Baby
Although spring is really just beginning, already many families are making plans for that summer road trip. No matter if it is a quick run up the coast to visit family or a week-long road trip through a new part of the country, kids complicate travel. In addition, babies seem to add a whole new dimension to road trips. The old hands may have memorized the best places to let the kids play off energy and which restaurants deal best with kids and their noise. Meanwhile, new parents may feel panic mount at the idea of taking that brand new baby out on the road. Don’t fear, just plan. Here are a few tips to help you out.
Traveling with Baby: You Phone is Your Best Planning Tool
We carry around with us every day a great planning tool, our phone. Most of them have a place to make notes, and here is a perfect use for them. If you aren’t sure how, here is an easy tutorial. For about three or so weeks before the trip, start making a list in your notes on your phone of what you think traveling with baby will require you to bring. The phone allows you to jot them down as you think of them, since we all tend to lug them around everywhere with us. You will be amazed the things that will occur to you to bring in the middle of a business meeting or while on your way to the car. Just note them down and by the day or so before you leave, you can review and start making packing plans. Don’t erase after the trip – they will stand you in good stead for the next trip.
Traveling with Baby: The Magical Shrinking Car
If this is your first time traveling with baby, be prepared to have your interior of your car shrink before your very eyes. Those adorable little tykes take up a lot of room, or at least their stuff does. Since you probably won’t be capable of packing less, pack smart. Clothes and other soft items go in duffle bags, not suitcases on wheels. They may seem handy in an airport, but those tough little wheels just get in the way in a car packed with baby stuff. Plus duffle bags can squeeze into the most unlikely of places. Also, make sure nothing hard or with sharp edges is packed anywhere it can fly when you make a sudden stop. And try and leave one seat open for those feeding stops. You don’t want to be standing by the side of the road unpacking so you can actually reach him when the cries indicate feeding time.
Traveling with Baby: Enjoy the Ride
I have found that leaving when it suits me, not baby, is the best approach. Trying to time it for right when the kid is ready to nap is asking for trouble. If you leave with at least twice the amount of time you need, to allow for all those unscheduled stops to find out “just what is causing you to be crying now?” you will be less rushed. Then enjoy the ride. Traveling with baby is a short lived experience, so enjoy that wide-eyed glee as your kid takes in this new world. They get big and fight with their siblings in the back seat soon enough.