The common perception among travelers is that as soon as you start popping babies out, your travel days are long gone. In many cases, this is true. Lugging the kids around the world is not the same as traveling on your own, with a significant other, or with friends. Some say that it’s even impossible, but this is actually not true at all.
Bringing the kids along for the ride is entirely possible. In fact, it’s even possible to travel the world with an infant. This travel scenario is an entirely different entity than traveling sans children, but traveling as a family can be one of the most fulfilling life experiences. And best of all, traveling with an infant is a great way to open your child’s eyes to the world from a young age. Keep in mind, it won’t be easy, but it will be easier if you follow these travel tips along the way.
Think About Nap Time When Booking Transportation
One of the most difficult aspects of traveling with an infant is getting from one place to another. The best thing you can do to ease this process is to plan all of the shorter trips around the baby’s naptime. Of course, this won’t always be possible for long travel days and when international flights are on the agenda. But, whenever you can, plan to travel whenever it’s naptime.
For example, if you’re traveling with your infant through stunning Thailand, do your best to boo the bus from Bangkok to Koh Phangan during the naptime window. You best bet is to rent a car in places where that’s possible since it allows for much more control of scheduling transportation scheduling.
If your child simply won’t nap, another recommendation for keeping them busy would be to let them play a game on your iPad during long drives between destinations. Sometimes being in transit can be a nightmare and playing games helps them pass the time.
It’s All About Preparation
Just about every parent knows the importance of preparation when the kids are involved. If it’s not preparing for tomorrow’s school project, it’s preparing for next week’s swim meet or soccer practice. When it comes to traveling with a baby, preparation means everything. A simple you could normally do in 5 minutes on your own could take half an hour or more when a baby is thrown into the mix.
This doesn’t just apply to simple tasks, though, but also to traveling with children. A trip that you could have completed solo in 2 hours could take an entire day with a baby on board. But as long as you prepare ahead of time, it does not have to be this way.
Vogue says that parents should also embrace flexibility: “Make a list, check it twice—and then rip it to shreds, because parenting-on-the-go is all about flexibility.” Finding balance between preparing and being flexible is difficult, but when you find that sweet spot as a parent traveling with an infant never seemed more possible.
A Common Mistake is to Overpack
As a parent you might be used to packing for a trip to the zoo as if you’re moving to the zoo for life instead of just popping in for the afternoon. Yes, packing all the right things like entertaining toys and sleep-inducing blankies is a must. But do your best not to overpack while traveling with the kiddos.
We know that it’s tempting to pack every toy imaginable and everything you think you might need, even if there is only a small chance. However, traveling with too much stuff is just as challenging as accidentally leaving something behind. Of course, bring the essentials, but leave behind all the rest – chances are you’ll make do just fine without bringing the entire house and all of its possessions.
*Another helpful tip is to create a list beforehand and follow it to a T while packing. Make one list for the adult travel essentials and another for the baby’s things.
As a Parent, TSA PreCheck Might Just Be Your New Best Friend
There is nothing worse than heading to the airport security with your child in hand, only to see that the line is outrageously long. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do about this. But wait, there is! Even during the busy holiday season, you can skip the security lines with TSA PreCheck and Global Entry.
Investing in this means there’s no longer a need to show up at the airport 3 hours early, even when TSA sends a notification about longer-than-average wait times for checking in and security. When you pay $85, you’ll be allowed to skip straight to the head of the security line – and you’ll never have to worry about taking your shoes off in airport security again. This offer doesn’t just last for one year, but five.