Traveling is great. However, once you have a baby or toddler in tow, it can be quite a game-changer. Kids come with a lot of accessories. Its unbelievable how such tiny people can require so much stuff. Its one thing when you are in your home, but what about traveling? Is it even possible? How much stuff do you need to bring? Here are some things you need to consider when traveling with small children.
Transportation and Car Seats
We all want to keep our children safe. One thing you need to consider when traveling with small children is how you will be getting to your destination and how you will be getting around once you arrive. If you are flying, it is recommended to have small children in their own seat and secured in a car seat. It is not a law. However, once you get to your destination, you will need a way to transport your child around, so it may be the easiest solution to use the car seat on the plane and have it with you to put into a rental or relative’s car, or however else you will be getting from the airport to the place you will be staying.
Another headache you will want to avoid by thinking ahead is regarding the sleeping arrangements. Will your baby need a crib? If you are staying in a hotel, you may be able to have one brought to the room for an additional fee. When using a hotel crib, I prefer to pack my own crib sheets. I get a little sketched out staying in hotels (even the nice ones) because of things like bed bugs.
Where will your toddler sleep? Are they okay in a bed, or should you invent in an inflatable mattress for the floor? Also, you will want to check and double check to make sure you pack whatever item they require to sleep, whether its a blankie or a stuffed animal or a lovie.
Food and Drink Storage
My toddler drinks milk like its his job. So when traveling, I like to make sure I have a place to keep milk cold in the room. If you are breastfeeding and pumping, you will need a place to store pumped milk. You may want to check if the place you are staying has rooms that offer a small refrigerator in the rooms, or at the very least has ice machines to keep a cooler full.
Babies that are eating pureed foods might need cold storage as well.
This is a big thing with small children. When traveling, you will undoubtedly have some downtime between activities or even while in route to your destination. Toddlers can get antsy quickly. If you are okay with screen time, I would recommend a tablet for long car rides or flights. I have a very active 3 year old, and his tablet is one thing that will actually hold his attention and keep him from getting too stir crazy when cooped up while traveling.
You may also want to bring along some toys for the room you will be staying in. You wont want anything too large and cumbersome because it will just add to all the other things you will be lugging around. You probably want to avoid anything too small, because things can get easily lost and left behind in hotel rooms. My suggestion is to bring toys that are easy to pack into a bag or suitcase, and things that your child enjoys playing with and will keep their attention.
Traveling with small children can be a lot of work, but it can be a lot of fun, too. The memories you make will be yours forever. The more of these little things you plan out before your trip, the more you will be able to enjoy your time together. Being prepared is more than half the battle.