Traveling along with littles can be intimidating. You never know what accommodations a location will have for changing or feeding while out on regular errands.. throw in the airport security, sitting on plane for hours, a new city and well.. we all know that could be a recipe for disaster. Especially if you are traveling alone.
So far, since our littlest was born (he is now eight months old) I have traveled alone with him by plane three times and taken him on a road trip on which we traveled nearly 2,200 miles. People almost always comment that I am crazy or "brave" to travel alone with an infant so much and maybe I am a little crazy.. but I have found that once we discovered our rhythm it really wasn't as scary as it sounded. As long as you go into it prepared with a few essentials and open minded.. you'll be fine. Knowing that we will probably have a diaper explosion on the plane or that we might get delayed by a couple hours and having things to help navigate through those situations will save you. So, as I prepare for yet another adventure alone with our littlest babe I thought it would be the perfect time to share with you some of my travel essentials and tips for traveling with littles.
Tips & Tricks
First, DO NOT over pack. Pack the things that you absolutely can not or do not want to purchase at your destination. Do not over pack diapers, wipes and other supplies because they weigh you down and you can easily purchase them at most locations that you will travel.
If you don’t have one yet, get a backpack diaper bag. I use mine daily and it is a lifesaver when you are traveling and need your hands or hips free for carrying littles.
Organize your diaper bag with individual zip lock bags containing a change of clothes and diaper/wipes for accidents. You know your babe best so if you think they'll have a few… save yourself the trouble of digging through luggage to find fresh things and pack them in groups for an easy grab.
Invest in gate check bags for your stroller and car seat. They will protect them and eliminate the possibility of them getting lost. Could you imagine arriving at a foreign destination without these travel essentials??
Baby wear when possible. You can even go through security with most wraps and carriers which makes navigating shoe removal and stroller break down much easier.
Invest in a good stroller/car seat combo from the beginning. Our travel system is fairly small and lightweight, making travel convenient. In addition, the system allows you to use the infant car seat with or without the base so bringing it on trips and hooking it into rental cars is a breeze!
Dock a tot. Need I say more? This is our favorite purchase by far with our littlest babe. When traveling with your partner, you can bring it along on the plane and lay it across your laps for long flights. Alone, not as convenient on the plane but it is the perfect place to lay a sleeping babe if you choose not to bring along a pack and play. Definitely a necessity at home or on the road.
Accept help. Seriously. I'm not suggesting allowing just anyone to hold your babe.. but if someone offers to help you with your overhead luggage or a flight attendant offers to hold your babe so you can use the restroom.. let them. They do it ALL THE TIME and if you should accept any help you can get if you're comfortable and it is offered.
GATHRE mat for tummy time