The first time we travelled as a family our oldest was only 3 months old. I was nervous…. A new mom just trying to find a routine and now I was going to disrupt the whole process and travel to a different country. When and where was she going to nap?!? Can I bring milk or formula on the plane? Will her ears pop and the inevitable baby screaming for the entire flight disrupting all of the other passengers on the plane leading them to give you not so friendly looks from across the aisle……that was a mouth full, but seriously that’s what I was thinking. I didn’t sleep, mainly because I had an infant, but also because I was so worried everything was going to go horribly wrong and this nice trip we planned was going to be a disaster.
Well, I am now here to tell you, 6 years after our first Family trip that I was wayyyyy over reacting! Travelling with infants, toddlers and children alike does not need to be stressful as long as you plan ahead. I thought I could share 6 tips that can help you, whether it’s your first or fifteenth time flying, these are my go-to steps to ensuring a smooth vacation.
- Pack your patience, as well as plenty of extra time. Gone are the days of travelling solo or with a companion and trying to spend as little time in the airport as possible. You want to make sure you arrive well before the time you are supposed to so that you do not feel anxious you will miss your boarding times do to the inevitable lineups and the unforeseen gate changes that you don’t notice until you get to the originally scheduled gate.
- Bring plenty of snacks, a bottle of breast milk in your carry on, or if you use formula they sell single serve packs that are perfect for on the go, as well as empty water bottles you can fill after going through security.
- Medicine, prepare for the unexpected. Airports and airplanes carry so many germs that kids can pick up quickly. In your carry-on pack children’s Tylenol/advil, sanitary wipes and all other prescriptions you may have for them such as puffers, epipens, etc.
- An Ipad. Load it up with shows, movies, books and games! This will be a life saver if your plane is delayed.
- If at all possible, book hotel rooms with separate sleeping areas.
- A reliable transportation company to get you to and from the airport safely. Driverseat will pick you up at your door in a private shuttle and you can leave all the stresses of parking, lugging all your belongings through the parking garage or even worse through the snow-covered parking lot behind. I mean why not let the holiday begin at your front door! And upon your arrival home, they track your flight for any delay or changes and will be waiting at the front door in a nice warm shuttle to bring you home. No need to go out in the snow, scrape your car off, and not get warm until you are almost home. Driverseat is the key to starting any vacation off on the right foot.
Don’t let travelling with an infant or toddler be overwhelming. Embrace the craziness that comes along with it and enjoy every last minute of travelling the world with the ones you love the most, before they are old enough to tell you they don’t want to go anymore. Oh and the amount of luggage you have packed…that’s normal, just laugh at it and try not to break your back getting it to the airline kiosk.