I’ve been traveling with Jackson since he was 3 months old! Sometimes I had help, other times I was alone. Sometimes it was just me and Jack, sometimes it was us and his cousins. And let me tell you, I’ve learned a few things! His first flight was chaos (let’s just say a Dr. Brown bottle didn’t get put together properly and formula spilled everywhere during take off!), but I survived and you will too.
Below I’m sharing tips to help the trip go well!
Know your route. When I first flew with Jackson alone I looked up every airport I’d be at. I planned places to nurse (some had specific places for mothers to nurse so check ahead of time) and eat. I knew what side of the airport my gate was on and what side the food was on. For road trips make sure you know when long stretches of road will not have gas stations and fill up before you get to that point.
Pack a snack basket. On road trips I always have a basket with drinks and snacks. When little man starts to get irritable I’ve got something on hand.
Bring toys. As I’m writing this post I’m in Panama City with my family. We aren’t staying at our beach house where all his toys are. Instead we are in a rental and I didn’t bring a single toy! Jack is soooo freaking bored. #momfail Always bring toys. And make sure it’s toys they won’t miss if you accidentally lose them.
Pack some bath wipes in your diaper bag or purse. We all get dirty on trips, not just the babies. After a 4-6 hour flight it’s nice to freshen up, especially if you can’t go to your hotel before going to eat or to other activities.
Write down important numbers in case your phone dies. I did this before Jackson was born and had it in my diaper bag for every day use. In this age of smart phones it’s rare to memorize every number and it can be dangerous to be stranded without contacts!
Don’t over pack your bag or purse for flights. Think hard before adding that extra bottle or other items you think you might need for this trip. Only pack the things you will absolutely use! Nothing is worse than digging through useless stuff during a security check or lugging around a heavy bag.
Don’t have expectations, good or bad. Just live in the moment and handle each issue as it comes. No melt down? enjoy it! But don’t expect every trip to be that way. Jack is a fantastic traveler. Quiet and happy. But he can have his moments! I never expect him to be pleasant or irritable, I just react accordingly to his mood and rethink my plan if needed.
Leave earlier than needed. For road trips I plan a 30 min play/bathroom break and for flights I get to the airport an hour or two earlier than normal. The reason being is, most airlines don’t allow parents to check in lap babies online or at self serve stations, you have to go to the front desk to get their boarding pass (some airlines require a birth certificate to prove a child’s age as well). So prepare for lines!
What was the first big trip you took with your babies? Did it go as planned? Tell me what you do to prep for a trip!