Traveling with kids can be tough! Packing alone can be a task to overcome. What to take and trying to not forget the important things is hard work! Keep in mind you are usually going away for a short time and honestly if you forgot something that was that needed most destinations will have some sort of shopping to pick it up.
When I travel and in general parenting I take a very relaxed approach but packing I am quite up tight! I hate to overpack and under-pack! Trying to nail just what we need to make the vacation enjoyable and not lugging heaps of items that will never see the light of day out of the luggage has taken a few trips under the belt. I tend to start my packing a week in advance. This helps to edit what I want and also gives me more time to wash laundry if I needed that dirty dress, blanket, or whatever. I like to lay the clothing out and line up the shoes and see that the pieces I am taking work to mix and match; also removing any items that overlap. Depending on how long we are going away will be the deciding factor to what makes the cut.
To make this simple and I am going to bullet point a list of items that I would take and below do Q&A .
•Bag of most loved baby toys
•Clothing to get through my stay. If we are away for a three week or month trip then enough for ten days to two weeks before I need to do laundry. If your baby doesn’t adjust and hits sick nothing worse than running out of clothes early.
•Baby’s own soaps and shampoo. Better than the harsh hotel soaps!
•UV wear is highly important and our best brand sunscreen.
•Good fitting hats for sun protection if going to a warm destination.
•Favourite baby carrier. If I am away for a period of time I take a couple of my carriers that I love.
•Bjorn pack n play. ( Dockatot if you use one is great too!)
•If you are feeding baby solids their own spoon, bottles and formula they use.
•Extra soothers if you use a pacifier! Trust me losing the only one you have in another country is not fun!
•Baby Tylenol or fever reducer of your choice.
•Infant car seat. (No matter what country!!)
•Clothing and comfortable shoes! not as much as a baby will need. Do not buy and try to break in brand new shoes for a child.
•iPad if they have.
•Backpack with a choice of their favourite toys. (You may need to edit their picks. King has been known to randomly add items he’s never played with!)
•Scooter if your little is like ours and loves riding it for fun or walks.
•Car seat. Yes! Always use the car seat no matter what the country laws are. Think about how much more reckless drivers are in foreign places and how can you trust a taxi driver or shuttle driver you’ve just met with your child’s life?
•UV wear, good hat and sunscreen you use for the child.
Do you use your car seat on the plane?
A= Yes, when I pay for a seat I use my car seat until they are four plus years old. Infants can travel on the lap until age two. We do not always buy a seat for the infant. It depends on the cost of the seat and if we are using points. There is no discount to pay for a infant in the seat so factors play into when we do. For the most part we try to buy the seat for our own comfort and ease.
How do I choose the carrier I am taking?
A= I always prefer my soft structure type carriers as my main carrier. These are Ergo or Lille Baby types. I take my current favourite pattern usually. If I am travelling with a baby that is still using the sling or wrap I will add one of those to my bag.
What stroller do you take and do you use the branded stroller bag to check it?
A= I have taken all types of strollers travelling. We have larger than normal line up of strollers, while this isn’t common I suggest taking the stroller you enjoy pushing. Often they are larger strollers but they make great work horses for packing goods around town or the beach or the pool. I do not check my stroller at the original check in where I drop luggage I use gate check. You will get little tickets to attach to the stroller and fold and leave your stroller out the plane door just before your board. When you arrive that stroller will be waiting for you as you exit in the same spot (obvs different airport!) I suggest using gate check bags to help keep clean and as catch free as you can.
Can you babywear on the plane?
A=You can wear your baby to board the airplane and once in the air however not during take off or landing can baby be attached and clipped in. I find using the Ergo type best because you can slide off shoulder strap and leave waist done up. Once in air its easy to reattach without knocking the people beside you.
Did I take my Dockatot?
A= Yes, I took it this trip. It does fit in my Ogio luggage but I stuck it in my toddler car seat bag with the car seat.
Do you breastfeed on the plane?
A= Yes, I breastfeed everywhere and anywhere. I use a Bebe Au Lait cover when on airplanes just because of the snug quarters you are in with strangers beside. These covers have a wire rim to hold it out so you can view baby and are light weight. It is not required you do not have to cover up but I personally choose to on aircrafts. Nursing on take off and landing will help baby settle and have less ear aches.
Do you vaccinate extra when traveling to tropical or other countries?
A= I do not talk about vaccinating because of the health and contraversery surrounding vaccinations.
How do you deal with your kids and baby’s schedule away?
A= Remember you are on vacation! This often means no schedule or a serious lack of one. We try to get naps in the carrier or stroller, do not plan things that would require perfect kids during sleep times, relax and let go of the little things. Often parents who relax can send those vibes to their kids and everyone is happy! If you are on a different timezone adjusting can take a couple days but dive in and everyones body clock will work out within a couple days.
Have you used hotel many service?
A=Not with our little babies. We worry too much to leave the baby with someone we do not know. Once they are older and easier to care for yes, we have used the services.
How did you fly with so much stuff?
A= Each trip I pack according to who is coming. When I travelled with just Kingsley I wouldn’t pack more than I could handle. We would share a suitcase and I put extras on his stroller while wearing him. As King got older he would take his own small bag. We switched our family to Ogio long style bags because they are easy to pull and fit into compact cars with a stroller easy. Carry on items are what makes travel hard so try and limit what you are carrying on. It is better to pay for 2 luggage items then leaving behind a carry on when you couldn’t keep stuff together and your child/children safe.
What items did you travel with that weren’t required but you wanted anyways?
A= 1)My Nook lilypad. It makes for a good spot to lay on to play, nap on at the pool, change on at someones house that may panic over diapers! 2)My Finn and Emma play gym. It disassembles easily and fit well into my luggage. Because we are traveling more than a week I wanted something extra to keep her happy to play with. 3)A pool floaty when King was older. We would take his floaty when he started to love the water at around nine months.
What if your baby cries on the plane?
A= I do not worry if they fuss. I try and settle them as quickly as possible. Luckily, my kids have always been wonderful on flights and I believe it is because we are so relaxed the they stay happy. Using the car seat helps for toddlers! We ALWAYS used the seat when we paid for seat with King and he sat in it without complaints like he would in the car.
How do you get through security?
A= If my baby is young I wear them. I always let the officer know my carseat/stroller system will not fit through the scan and it needs to be hand checked. I do not look at what is going on around me or give the business men behind any time of day because they think I am going to be slowing things up! I work efficiently and put all articles needed into the bin and glide on through.
•Relax! It’s your vacation you’ve been waiting for!
•Get yourself a clear plastic pouch for passports and boarding passes.
•Do not worry about others looking at you.
•If you didn’t buy a seat for baby but have their car seat for gate check – ask the agent at the gate if the plane is full and If you can use your car seat on board. You may luck out on an empty plane and get to use a seat!
•Try and keep baby awake until you are ready for take off. A nap while waiting for the plane can be enough energy that they won’t want to sleep in the air!
•Maclaren strollers are the best compact travel strollers. Nothing compares to the push.
•If breastfeeding make sure you wear access friendly clothing.
•Pack snacks in little pouches for everyone. Low blood sugar whining kids are the worst!
•Print your travel plans and have them in your diaper bag. Nothing worse than a dead phone that is holding your details.
•Wear shoes that you can take off and get on easy while carrying baby for security.
Zippered travel pouches that are clear keep contents together!
A full size stroller serves as a great workhorse!
The Nook Lilypad is great poolside too! (Note : we use UV wear when in the sun. Swimsuit for cute photo.)
A blanket or familiar item like the Dockatot
can be helpful to baby feeling the comforts of home.
Babywearing on adventures keeps you hands free to run after your other children!
A light weight cool option for babywearing. A linen sling.
Orbit car seat on the plane.
Safety first! Traveling to his first cruise via limo still required a car seat!
Brother love was strong back in the day! Two worn out boys!
Scootin the airport at about three years.
We usually use our Britax away since its lighter but we’ve taken the Clek Foonf on many flights too!
Best coverage for toddlers who hate to stop for sunscreen!