Note: Tips on Traveling with Babe
Traveling with a babe in tow IS NOT EASY. It just isn't! But before Cody + I ever even had Jack, we knew we would want to travel with our babies at a very young age. We both love traveling! It's the best education, and even at almost 30, I always come back from a trip a little bit brighter, a little bit more compassionate, a little bit more understanding. Removing yourself from your everyday perspective + immersing yourself in another place or even another culture, allows you to learn so much about yourself, about what you should value (and what you shouldn't) + seems to always spark creativity in me. I LOVE IT. I once read a quote that compared not traveling with your babies because "they won't remember" to not reading to your children because they "won't understand." This analogy really connected with me! Yes, Jack won't remember California when he's 15 years old, but I will. And even if he doesn't remember it, he is learning new things + learning to love people that are different than him + that really matters to me!
I also want to make sure the parenting choices I choose even now, reflect the parent I want to be + the values I want to teach my son. I firmly believe in spending money on experiences, rather than things. I've never met someone with "all the things" that was happy because of it. Things seem to trap us. We can never keep up with the Jones'. The truth is that you can buy everything, hoard it all in your home + still be deeply unhappy (along with a maxed out AMEX). I hope taking Jack on trips + vacations teaches him even now, that a week with family in a new place is worth so much more than 500 toys, a new car + all the Nikes at the store lol. To me, experiences even applies to date nights with Cody, trips to the Zoo, an outing at the Pumpkin Patch - making memories is important!
With that being said, I thought it may be helpful to list out so many of the amazing recommendations I received before flying with Jack so I can remember them for next time, and to help anyone else terrified of a 5 hour plane ride with a babe:
- Buy Travel Bags for your Car Seat + Stroller - This PAINED me - they were so expensive. But a friend pointed out it was better to shell out the cash on the travel bags then to need an all new carseat or stroller after 8 months. We bought the travel bags made by our stroller/carseat company + they traveled great! No dings, or scratches. Because our travel bags were covered under the supplier, we also bag checked them instead of having to gate check them which freed up our hands.
- Wear Baby - WAY easier to deal with security, airport mayhem, etc. when you are wearing your baby instead of carrying them. We used our Ergo 360 to navigate easily in the airport.
- No Rules for Breastmilk or Baby Food - You're allowed to bring as much milk, formula or baby food as you would like for your child. There are no rules. You may have to have the bottles tested if they aren't frozen, but it's easy! I was panicked I would need to divide all my milk into 2.5 oz portions + it worked out perfectly.
- Ask Flight Attendants For Seats - If you're early to your gate, you can ask the flight attendants if the plane is full. If not, they will usually change around seating giving you a full row or even an extra seat, which is super helpful!
- Don't Stress - It won't go according to plan. It just won't! But as long as you're cool to go with the flow, you're going to have an amazing time. I'm a big believer that our babies can read our emotions + feed of off them. So if you're super stressed out + panicking about making every tourist attraction in town, baby will be stressed too + no one will have fun! If you're chill + cool with doing your top 2 things + pushing the others to the wayside, baby will be chill too!
- Rent a House - I LOVED MY AIRBNB! Ya'll it was so cute. It gave me all the heart eyes, but also, it made our lives soooo easy. We chose a family friendly airbnb that provided us with a highchair + travel crib. The house had a kitchen, living room, washing machine + small yard. I literally can't even imagine being crammed into a one room hotel. We chose an Airbnb in a great area of town, close to most things, so we could easily come back to the house if Jack needed to play, or if he needed a nap in the crib instead of his carseat. I will never rent a hotel again if I can help it!
I think that's mostly it! As far as a schedule, we kinda threw Jack's out the window for our trip + he did great with it. We did as much as we could, but still allowed extra time for Jack to play or nap. You definitely don't do as much as you would have pre-baby, but we were able to see + do a lot, just with a little more breaks in between.
I can't wait to take Jack on another trip! Cody has to travel a bit more with his new job, so we're hoping to jump on that bandwagon at least one more time before Christmas.