By Natalie Preddie, Travel Writer and Mother
Whether it is a trip to the zoo, across the country, or across an ocean, I’ve learned a lot about travelling with my baby over the last 9 months. I can give you tips and tricks for packing, flying, and sleeping when away from home. But the truth is, each baby is different. Some babies will love to fly and others will hate it; some babies will sleep in the car on a road trip and some will stay awake and sing songs; some will sleep whenever and wherever their head may fall and some will need extra snuggles when in new surroundings. Regardless of these differences, there are three main rules that I feel are paramount when travelling with a baby.
1. Be Prepared
Do your homework and research your destination. Ensure that you will have a pack and play crib or somewhere safe for your baby to sleep. Find out where you can buy diapers and wipes when you arrive so you don’t need to travel with a suitcase full of them. Make sure you have access to filtered water for formula and washing baby bottles, and a fridge to store food.
Travel light and check out baby equipment rental companies at your destination. Renting a car seat, stroller, crib or anything else you may need at the other end makes the process of getting to your destination a lot easier. Knowing what is available at your destination will make planning, packing, and travelling a lot easier.
2. Be Flexible
As a new parent, you know that babies can change their habits at the drop of a hat. One day, the baby may sleep like an angel and the next day, they want to play at 3 a.m. This is okay! While on vacation, go with it. Your fun in the sun may be cut short by the need for a nap or a poop-explosion may send you back to the hotel room halfway through a meal. You may need to start a sight-seeing day early if your little one decided that they want a 7 am start instead of the planned 9 am coffee. Your fancy dinner out may become take-out eaten on your balcony while baby sleeps. Know that you cannot control these minor hiccups in your itinerary and it is best to ‘go with the flow.’
Most importantly, enjoy your travels with your baby and the new adventures that they bring. Early starts may mean that you take in a beautiful sunrise that you otherwise would’ve slept through. A take-out dinner on your hotel balcony is a great time to people watch and spend some quiet time with your significant other. An unexpected midday nap is a glorious indulgence and you may have forgotten how much you needed it.
Enjoy and embrace your time travelling, exploring and discovering with your little one. They are seeing many things for the first time and the joy of rediscovering the world through their eyes is an amazing experience. Spending time together and creating memories are priceless. It won’t be long until they are all grown up and you will be wishing for these family travelling adventures together.
About the Author
Natalie Preddie is a new mom to a beautiful baby boy who already shares her love of adventure. From travelling solo in her younger years to more recent travels with her husband, she now captures her growing family’s adventures on her blog and through social media.
From backpacking to luxury resorts, she has travelled to more than 30 countries and looks forward to visiting much more with her baby in tow. She has worked with Visit Jamaica, Magical Kenya, Four Seasons Resorts, Island Expeditions and Visit California to name a few. She is currently focusing on the best way to travel and enjoy the world with a baby. She is a Sunwing Kidcations Expert and a Huggies #nobabyunhugged mom ambassador.