We are planning a quick family getaway in mid November and it has is become clear just how much trip planning changes when you have a baby to consider. Prior to having a baby any trip was all about the excitement of seeing something new and just going with the flow. Now that we have a little one I have to plan out so many more details. So here are some points that I have found necessary to take into account.
Where you will stay. For this trip we are fortunate enough to stay with some good friends who also have a baby. This works out great since they too live in the baby world, plus the little ones will be able to play together which is fabulous. But wherever you decide to stay just make sure you also have somewhere safe for the baby to sleep, ideally a crib. Most hotels do provide cribs which is great, but in my experience you should always take your own fitted crib sheet. It has happened to me on two occasions that I call the hotel ahead of time to ensure that they have a fitted crib sheet and yet when I get there it turns out that they do not. So it’s best to bring one with you just in case.
Climate. If you’re travelling somewhere with a climate different to your own then you’re going to have to get appropriate clothes for your baby, and we all know that baby clothes are pricey. I have been faced with this issue on this trip because we are going somewhere cold but we live in the Caribbean so I have no winter clothes for my baby. To avoid spending a lot of money on clothes he will only use for a few days I’m keeping the items to a minimum. Luckily he is a very clean baby so this shouldn’t be an issue. The only things I’ve purchased are two long sleeve tops. He already has a couple of cardigans so I plan to just use those over his other shirts which should be fine. Fortunately another mom friend of mine has a warm coat so I’m able to borrow that for the trip. Always ask around if you can borrow items from someone, but if you have to purchase look for clearance items or bargain shops.
Supplies. All parents know that a baby requires a lot of supplies (diapers, food, wipes, bottles, etc.) so planning ahead helps. Make sure to take enough to cover any situation like a flight delay, but if you can purchase things when you arrive to your destination then that will make packing a lot easier. If you use specialty products that aren’t easily available then you should take those, but if you’re flexible on brands then you can likely get most of what you need wherever you go…unless of course you plan on going to a very secluded location.
Toys. A baby needs entertainment so you have to take some toys along, but consider the wisely before packing everything you have. Toys take up a lot of space so just take a couple of his or her favourite items. For this trip I plan to bring one book, his teddy bear and one other small toy.
Activities. When you have a little one you need to find activities that are baby friendly, so it helps to do a little research before you go. But let’s not forget, sometimes a baby has other ideas so don’t get fixated on a plan. Have a good idea of what fun family things you can do, but be flexible and don’t worry if the plans have to change. In the end the most important thing is that you’re spending time together as a family and you’ll have great memories of this for years to come.
I have found that by keeping all of these things in mind I can avoid over-packing and unnecessary stress and simply focus on the joy and excitement of travelling and spending time as a family.