Vacations mean different things to different people. I’ve loved travelling for as long as I can remember. The thought of taking a break from everyday mundane activities to do nothing but even eat breakfast in bed is very exciting to be. My husband, too, feels the same way and we’ve managed to squeeze out time to travel a fair amount. We were blessed with a baby last year and the good part of this year has surprisingly gone on travel. I’ve always seen parents and wondered how they travel with infants. Now after 4 trips with my son, I’ve realized that it’s actually easier to travel with the younger ones. I hope this post inspires you to holiday more with your kids.
Lets first talk about why we should travel when the baby is 10 months and below
1. You are desperately in need of a break, as you haven’t travelled in the past 6 months.
2. The first few months post the delivery are crazy because they are spent with frequent nappy changes, feeding and many sleepless nights. As a result of this, you and your spouse have had no time together to unwind and let your hair down.
3. Meal times aren’t as stressful and hard with infants as they are mostly on a liquid and semi-solid diet, which is easy to prepare and feed.
4. They sleep a lot of the time, particularly when you are on the move. So all your car and flight journeys will turn out to be nap time and once you are sight seeing or just lazing around in your hotel-the baby is well rested and happy.
5. You don’t really pay anything extra for a third person. Most hotels have complimentary full board accommodation for kids with a lot of childcare facilities to boot. Some places might charge a nominal rate for the flight but that’s about it. Nothing extra is spent on lodging and food so it’s a win-win situation.
All new parents have their apprehensions about travelling with a small child. So did I, but believe you me it is not as hard as you would have thought. Here are a few pointers to travel more comfortably and confidently with your baby.
1. Pick a destination that you can reach with a single mode of transport. A short flight out to a beach destination won’t tire you or the baby. You don’t want to do too many long car rides with babies. Focus on getting there and unwinding rather than spending a large chunk of your time traveling.
2. An island, a hill station or a big city; anywhere you pick will have it advantages and disadvantages. So don’t shy away from choosing a place you’ve wanted to visit for a while but keep in mind the nightlife might be something you have to give a miss.
3. Research is a must. You must be prepared going in for any holiday especially with a baby. Contacts to hospitals, taxi-cabs, pharmacies, back-up hotels should all be tucked away safely in your purse or your smartphone- as you prefer. There are a lot of blogs on child friendly restaurants and cafes in most cities so you might want to do some light reading on the flight so you are better prepared.
4. It is best if you prepare a day-to-day itinerary even if you don’t follow it to the tee. It will save you a lot of time on the trip itself as you can chalk out what’s feasible and whats not.
5. Remember the main goal is to relax and spend time with your partner and you baby. So a laid-back agenda with few activities works best. If you and your partner happen to be adventure seekers and want some adrenalin fuelled activities, look for hotels that offer baby- sitting services. They are usually wonderful with the baby and its not selfish to want to enjoy a hike or a couples massage when you are away. Remember it is only natural to carve out some time with your spouse during your holiday to reconnect and de-stress.
I know it seems like a lot of work, but once you actually start planning the trip and get excited about it you have no idea how quickly things begin to fall into place. Just the idea of a change of scenery is enough to excite most people to pack their bags take a long weekend. Don’t let the fact that you are now parents change that. Being prepared is the key to a good holiday with a baby!!
1. Essentials like clothes, socks, caps and napkins diapers are a must. It would not hurt to carry a little extra. These essentials don’t weigh very much and won’t make you go over your baggage allowance. It is also advisable to carry some warm clothes for flights because it tends to get chilly and it’s always better to be over prepared than underprepared.
2. Invest in a good but light-weight stroller and a handy diaper bag. These two things are a must; they come in use every time you step out of your room in the hotel.They are particularly handy when you take long walks or are out sightseeing.
3. If your baby is eating any sort of semi-solids carry a few utensils, the basics (cup, bowl, spoons) and of course the packaged food. All hotels will happily provide you with fruits, stewed or raw, as you please. If you need to sterilize any bottles, hotels usually have an electric kettle in the room or you could request for one. But there are travel sterilisers available too in case you feel safer having your own arrangements.
4.Little things like medicines for a cough, blocked nose and tummy ache go a long way. I prefer to carry even baby wipes and lotion because I am not sure what brands will be available and whether they will actually suit my baby.
Travelling with kids can be a highly rewarding experience because you get to bond and expose your child to different cultures and cuisines when they are very young.I speak from experience when I say travel as much as you can with a baby. You do not want to be looking back at these days wishing you had taken that holiday to Bhutan or Greece. Kids are particularly accommodating and adaptable and this is a great way to introduce them to the world. Just remember the goal on your holiday is to relax, let go a little and have a good time. Take it easy. Happy Holidays!
Originally published on a friends blog who is a talented writer and nutritionist amongst many other things.