A few weeks ago a friend of mine asked me for travel tips and advice. We've got a lot of travel experience under our belts, so I figured I would share with you EXACTLY what I wrote to my girlfriend in an email. Keep reading...
So, traveling makes me nervous every time we do it, but it always ends up being WAY better than anticipated. In fact, Pierce is the BEST traveler but I think he's the BEST traveler because of the fact that I have traveled with him since day one (okay more like month 1).
I've been to Kauai, Kona, Prague, Paris, Switzerland, London, NY, San Fran, Napa, Palm
Springs, and LA. All in the past 10 months. So, he's the expert traveler.
The only thing that kinda sucks is jet lag. Just be prepared (come home a few days early) to be up a little extra at night with baby both when you get there and when you get back, but mainly when you get back.
I used to only bring the Baby Bjorn and NO stroller at all, but now that Pierce is older, I had to bring a stroller. Make sure you have an umbrella stroller of some kind once your baby is old enough for it, the other joggers and fancy strollers are impossible to travel lightw ith. Check Craigslist. They are the best because it's so easy to fold and pack.
Also, don't worry about a porta-crib unless you are doing like a VRBO or airbnb, which I did in Hawaii. Otherwise, most nice hotels have cribs as options in the rooms when you get there.
I would pack light for you and pack more for the baby. I packed tons of diapers - enough for a few days when you get there. So you're not rushing around and can relax for a few days until you find a good healthy grocery food store.
I would also bring formula or breast milk, of course, on the plane so you have it for landing. Pack more than you think you need because it's good to keep them quiet. I remember giving pierce like 4 bottles on the plane to Hawaii one time because WHY NOT, it kept him quiet and he loved it?
I also brought lots of treats - dried fruit - and even some snacks you normally might not give her - bread!!!! Stuff that's new and easy to hold and just munch or suck on.
Is your child crawling? Or walking?
If so, it gets a bit more difficult. I would also get a third seat. Pay for it if you have to. Most likely you won't have to pay for it. Just check to see if your flight is full, if not, they will give you a seat.
Don't worry about a car seat UNLESS you're planning on renting a car. If you're not, taxis allow no car seats (i.e. NY or Europe) but if you are doing a rental, you will want that seat. You can rent them, but it's fine to bring your own.
The best thing though is to have very little stuff. But I packed some organic baby food in my suitcase for when we got there. I usually had enough for a few days (like diapers) and then just looked for a health food store in town and went there a few days into the trip.
It's really fun to travel with the kid. My son Pierce ended up being my travel buddy as opposed to a nuisance.
If you're doing a VRBO, rent a place with a separate room, even a one-bedroom will work, just so you have a place to put the crib and baby if she sleeps earlier than you do. If you are doing a hotel, then it's a little harder. I always upgraded to a one-bedroom so that there was privacy, but in Europe I just had him in my room and covered the crib. If I was semi quiet, he pretty much slept fine, even if I watched a movie.
ALWAYS ask for a bigger room and try and negotiate. They always have larger rooms. One time, for no extra charge, I got a handicap room that was vacant. It was a HUGE help.
HOPE THAT'S HELPFUL TO SOMEBODY!