Having a baby is a lot of work. They are a full-time responsibility, and there is never a dull moment. And it’s hard enough keeping everything under control while you’re at home – but what about going on vacation? A lot of people decide to simply not go anywhere until the baby is old enough to be at least a couple of years old – but why rob yourself of some wonderful getaways? It’s very much possible, and we’re going to take it step-by-step to ensure you have the best possible family vacation:
Step 1: Packing
Let’s skip the obvious: your baby will need everything it usually needs at home like diapers, baby wipes, and all the other equipment. But, you also need to consider all the things that will make your baby feel like you never left home: all the bedding, all of their favorite toys, and even the same scents (if you have any scented candles at home that are usually on, bring a couple of those. So after packing up everything you might possibly need, take a deep breath and pack the rest of the family. Make sure you check what the things you don’t have to pack are – like towels, sheets and slippers.
Step 2: Travel
The absolute best way to travel with your family is in your own car. It might take the longest, but you will have absolute control over everything happening around you. You can stop whenever you need a break, a trunk full of things you can reach within seconds and if someone has a tantrum, you don’t have to worry about strangers sitting next to them. But that’s not always possible, and you will sometimes need to use public transport – buses, trains and planes. If that’s the case, try to plan your trip around the time when your baby usually sleeps, if they are a good sleeper, or at the time when your baby is well-rested, if they tend to be cranky when sleepy. Prepare all the animation you can think of to entertain the little ones, and hope that people around you will understand.
Step 3: Unpacking
As soon as you get to your destination, unpack everything. If you are traveling with a partner, or one of your other children is old enough to take care of the younger one, ask them to play in a dedicated corner and get unpacking. Make use of the wardrobes and other storage space in your room and divide it into areas: the changing station should be set up just like at home, along with a kitchen (if not already provided) and everything you will need in the bathroom. Setting up everything to be the way you’re used to having it means that you will be able to stay a lot more organized and other people will be able to find things they need without always bothering you.
Step 4: Enjoy
Make sure that you are not so overwhelmed with everything that you need to be taking care of that you forget to enjoy yourself. Bring a baby wrap to carry your baby with you, while keeping your hands free to interact, so that you won’t feel chained to them. Try to not let an isolated incident get you down: Sure, tantrums will happen and there will be some hiccups, but at the end of the day, you will only be left with the fond memories with your family.
These are the basic guidelines for your next trip, but you know your family best, and you will know how to adapt it to fit your plans and personalities.