We have quite the tiny traveller on our hands over here. Mark has been to seven countries, on nine flights (including three transatlantic ones!), on a few train rides, and even a boat ride! He got his passport at 2 weeks old and even has Global Entry. We are currently heading on Mark’s fifth big trip! Needless to say, we’ve had some practice in prepping for trips with our little one. Brett and I take notes from each trip regarding what worked & what didn’t and it helps us better prep for our next adventure. Today I’m sharing some of our tips for how we prepare for traveling with our little one.
Make a packing list. I love a good checklist, but when preparing for a trip they are critical. I keep an electronic list in the “Notes” app which I can access across all my devices. I simply “check” things off as they are packed. It’s hugely helpful that we get back I can uncheck everything and we have a starting point for our next trip. It saves us lots of time making a few modifications then starting from scratch.
Give yourself a few days to get organized. For our first trip I thought a day was adequate time, but after packing all of Mark’s gear & clothing I was exhausted and ended up throwing in random things for myself. This left us with an impeccably dressed baby and outfits I didn’t love for myself. I suppose this is the definitely of #Momlife some days :). Since then, I pick a day to pack for Mark, then take a day off, and then resume packing for myself. The break gives me time to recharge and plan outfits I love for myself!
Create a staging area. I like to use our bed or Mark’s crib to put everything from our pack list into piles. It allows me to easily see everything and check things off the list.
Pick your luggage carefully. We learned this lesson the hard way. We found it was critical to limit the number of bags we pack. It is so much easier maneuvering with 1 large (even if it is obnoxiously large!) checked bag then tons of small bags. I previously prided myself on being a “carry on” only person, but with a baby, it’s simply not possible.
Divide into checked or carry on. Determine what you will need for the whole travel day. And remember checked luggage can get lost so keep anything critical in your carry on. I make sure to keep a spare full outfit for myself and two for Mark. I also keep a few medical items such as this, this, and this with us if I’m not sure we’d be able to easily get them at our destination.
Spend time packing your carry on bags. I put extra effort to making sure the bags I will use in transit are organized. Digging through an unorganized bag with a screaming baby at 30,000 feet isn’t something I want to be doing. For things going in our duffle bag, I like to use some form of smaller bags to keep things tidy. I adore this mini suitcases (we have 2!) and also use this and this to keep everything organized.
Make sure you can carry everything! This is particularly important when you are traveling solo with baby. All of Mark’s transatlantic flights have been just the two of us. I make sure between baby-wearing and the stroller I am able to carry / push everything we plan to keep with us for the flight.
And most importantly, tell yourself you can do it. Going in with a positive mindset is critical. If you seem confident, those around you (including your baby) will pick up on it. I usually give Mark & myself a little pep talk before our flights. So far, it seems to be working quite well 🙂 Nothing better than a happy baby & happy mama
I’ll be posting more on how we tackle the airport & our must haves for plane rides in the coming weeks. Fellow traveling moms, what is your favorite travel advice & tips for flying with little ones?