Traveling with infants is a tricky thing. You have to compromise a lot on the options that you want to consider. You can’t plan a trip that has a lot of city hopping or within the city also you can’t roam around throughout the day.. the infant needs rest. In short it becomes a vacation for and according to the infant.
So when we were planning our vacay in August, I was itching to plan for Bavarian holidays in Europe. We started with planning for three countries in fifteen days which spanned six cities which was then cut down to two countries which included five cities. This appeared still hectic. Ultimately we realized that we need to cut short the trip too because our son may not enjoy staying away from home so much. So we cut down to four cities in two countries in eight days. When I checked the train schedule of these cities, it was all the more hectic. We then changed our plan to Asia and zeroed on Thailand with Ko Samui being the only place where we would want to spend our time. Ofcourse Bangkok came in the picture as all flights were routed from there. So it was an eight day trip for us with just one country and two cities and not much of travel time.
While planning the vacation, I read a lot of blog posts on how to travel with infants and trust me nothing was helpful. Most of them were by people who had asked questions on planning a vacay with infants. The replies were less from parents and more from single people asking parents to leave the baby to grandparents because they have to deal with noisy kids in flights and other public transport. I was totally appalled by this.
I agree that kids create ruckus in flights. Its embarrassing for us as parents. But lets deal with it. I am not going to keep my baby away from me for 8 long days just to save you guys from crying babies on an 8 hour flight.
Inshort, I got little advice from people, far less advice from internet and hence I have my own experiences that I am sharing with you. So here’s a list of 10 things that one can consider when travelling with a baby-
- First things first. All babies are different. While mine had a fixed schedule and would bring the whole house down, if he does not get his morning nap (around 11ish), there are babies who can travel throughout the day and can sleep anywhere. Since my baby is a Duke in his very own right and he needed his well spread bed for nap, we never stepped out anywhere before 1 pm. So one has to plan according to the baby’s routine which is the thumb rule. And that means that you need to ditch your tour packages and make your own plans which suits your baby.
- You have to make sure that you pack every thing under the sun that your baby needs. Honestly I took two days to finally prepare the list of things to be packed for my little one because every time I finalized the list, there was something new that came in my mind that my son may want. In total I prepared a list of (hold your breathe guys) close to 50 items for my son which included even small things like cotton balls (needed in flight and while bathing). No wonder the kiddo had the biggest luggage bag.
- Keep your stroller no matter come what may. Our son does not sit much in stroller and we decided to keep the baby carrier. But kids enjoy the cosiness of your arms wrapped around them. So when you take them once, they will not get off you and I had to carry this little pirate throughout the trip which was very tiring. So a stroller is a must so that you are also comfortable and so is the baby.
- Don’t forget to pack your baby’s pacifiers such as some munchies, his/ her favorite toys, his/her favorite food to deal with them when they are (annoyingly) cranky.
- The budgeting is sure to go out of hand as gone are those days when you would just walk all the way to your hotel or take a tram or bus to reach your hotel/ destination on your own sweet time. With the baby in tow, you have to ditch the budget and take cabs etc to make sure that your baby is comfortable. So the trip has to be planned accordingly with expectations of roughly 20-30% increase in costs.
- Likewise you have to make sure that you book a decent hotel as for a few years, you have to say bye bye to your backpack trips, staying in hostels etc.
- Food is another priority which has to be planned. If your baby is below six months of age, congratulations to you, you have limited foods to serve to your kid and you don’t have to make much arrangements as preparing milk is not really a task. But if your kid is in the age group of 6-12 months, food is bit of an issue. Baby foods have to be packed without fail and you may also carry snacks for your baby. Make sure that you don’t feed anything new to the baby on the trip that he/ she didn’t have before. That’s because you don’t want any unexpected reactions or wonky stomach of your kiddo or soiled diapers and clothes that will cause embarrassment to you while travelling.
- While you are preparing for holidays with your kiddo, make sure that you don’t miss out on your essential stuff while packing for the baby. While I packed everything under the sun for my little one, I forgot that in the process of feeding my baby, playing with him, my clothes will also get dirty and I had no extra pairs for myself on the trip. So I am pretty much wearing the same dress in almost all the pictures which I am too unhappy about.
- Make sure that you call up your hotel in advance and ask them about facilities for babies. I had a blessing in disguise when I was given a milk bottle steriliser which was such a relief. We also asked for the Baby Cot and area for cooking meals. Informing in advance also gives opportunity to hotels/ resorts to serve you better.
- Also make sure to pack your stuff according to the place. For instance if u r going for beach holidays, you need to pack diapers designed for swimming pools, sunscreen etc.
I hope this might help you if you are planning a vacation with your little one. And if you have some other suggestions do share with me because I may be planning another trip pretty soon 😀<<<<