- Plan your itinerary around your little one’s sleeping schedule if possible. Yes, I know that nothing in life is perfect, but give it shot. When I traveled back home to Maryland with my son I scheduled a 6AM flight. Why?! At the time my son was only sleeping an average of 5-6 hours a night, so he would wake up at 5AM on most days. Having a 6AM flight made traveling much more feasible. Can you imagine trying to travel in the car or a flight and your child is desperate for a nap? Plan ahead and select travel times that work for your family.
- Reserve hotels that offer free breakfast and infant cribs. As I have previously mentioned, I am always in the business of saving a dollar. Imagine the savings for when you save on daily breakfast for an average family? Save yourself a few coins and book smarter. And although COVID may impose limitations on the availability of food services, many hotels are still offering continental breakfast. Be sure to travel with your pack-and-play. My family uses Graco and it has been wonderful for play and sleeping while using hotel space. If you don’t trust the sanitation of infant cribs, pack your Lysol and favorite antibacterial cleaner. I’m a Clorox mom over here. No shame, it’s just what I prefer!
- Be sure to pack plenty of snacks and beverages. If you are heading through the airport, be sure that you are meeting TSA regulations. I preferred to pack dry formula and cereal for air travels, as it is more convenient and bottled water is available throughout the concourses of all major airports. For my breast feeding mamas, be sure to locate the family restrooms and/or lactation rooms in advance. It definitely is a major help when traveling as a family. If you are in the car, some of my favorite kid friendly snacks are Horizon organic milk cartons, Cheerios, fruit packs, and so many other options. Be well prepared, as delays can happen – you can never have enough snacks on hand for kids. I mean isn’t that what we do all day? Serve snacks ;-)
- Research local parks, zoos, and museums in advance. Traveling with kids can be extremely hectic at times, but arriving at your destination makes it worth the hassle! Some of my best family trips have included taking our son to local art exhibits and other kid friendly activities as we explore. If you book through Expedia, they will conveniently provide you with excursions in your planned destination. If you have the time during your next trip, carve out time for at least one activity for your little one.
- Relax and have fun! Again, I know this isn’t always perfect, but you do deserve it. Don’t be overwhelmed with strangers or what they make think if your kid has a meltdown. We were all kids once, and it comes with the territory. You are in control of the situation. Lastly, don’t put all your energy into planning that you forget to have fun. Who cares if you didn’t bring the baby wipes? Ask a fellow parent you may encounter, or stop at a local store. Take control of what you can and the rest will all fall into place!
Let’s face it… the reality is that at some point we all must travel with our precious little ones. As a first time parent, I was freaking out last year taking my 3 month old son on a 2 hour flight, but I survived! Want to start flying the skies and traveling those roads less traveled with the kiddos? Dive right in with my tips below!
P.S. – Children can fly for free up to the age of 2, so take advantage of this while you can – they grow up so fast. Happy Traveling Friends!