Travelling with kids

If you are like me then the idea of traveling with your kids is terrifying. A long car ride, or worse, a flight, with young kids sends shivers down your spine.

At least that’s what I used to think – then I gave it a go!

It turns out that traveling with kids isn’t anywhere near as bad as I imagined. In fact, it’s fun!

Travelling with kids

We have taken a few trips with our kids and next month we plan to travel all the way to Italy with them. This is something I never would have dreamed that I would do!

Our vacations so far have been within California or to neighboring states. We also flew down to Mexico last summer. I was initially worried about that but we had the best time. It was so good to have two weeks of quality family time where all our energy went on each other instead of being taken up with work, cleaning and cooking. We were able to just have fun and it was great for my husband to get so much time with the kids.

I had worried so much about silly things – like the kids screaming all the flight and all the time we were away or the kids not eating anything, us getting all sick and other silly worries. I found this article good for helping me feel better about it all and better prepared. The reality was that none of these things happened. We just had a good time.

Some things I do find essential for a great family vacation are staying in great accommodation, working around the kids nap times and being well prepared. The first time we went away, we stayed in a tiny hotel room and it did not work out that well. The next time we stayed in apartment style accommodation and that was so much better – we need our own space. We also need great facilities with plenty of space around the resort so the kids can run around. We especially like a big pool and room service comes in handy for when we can’t be bothered going out.

Nap times are also important. I have found as long as the kids are well rested, things go well – just like at home! If they get cranky and over tired, things stop being fun. I actually quite like having nap time every day. We all chill out for awhile and it’s nice.

I can't wait to go to Florence!!

I can’t wait to go to Florence!!

Going to Italy will be more challenging as there is just so much I want to do! I hope I am not aiming too high. I have never been before and it’s a life long dream so hopefully it goes well. Wish us luck!

The first time I became a mother, the very thought of even leaving the house petrified me. My sleep-deprived paranoid brain kept up a constant barrage of scenarios from having to breastfeed in public to the germs floating around in open spaces to having to lug around all our baby paraphernalia. Any sort of traveling with baby was out of the question. And then, as the first weeks of my “baby moon” phase waned and I slowly began to long for a glimpse of the world beyond our bedroom door, it dawned on me that both baby and I could use the fresh air and the stimulation of the outside world. Let me say the first time seemed like it was a disaster, but in hindsight it has become a funny anecdote in my parenting journey. And as I slowly gained my confidence in my mothering ability, I learned my lessons as I went along and can now confidently say that I look forward to adventures out with the little one. With a few tricks up my sleeve, allow me to share my list on essential items to take when traveling with babies.

It's crazy the amount of items a baby needs

It’s crazy the amount of items a baby needs

The essentials

No matter where it is your going, to the grocery or the mall or to the other side of the world, I strongly suggest the first thing you think about is how to carry baby around. Number one essential in my book is a stroller. This contraption serves multiple purposes from the obvious one of having somewhere to put baby in, to doubling as a mobile carrier for all other essentials, to having something to lean on when your back needs a moment of relief. If you’re the type who gets intimidated by contraptions then you may opt for ring slings or baby wraps or a pouch.

The point I’m driving at is have something with you that allows you moments of being hands-free. Once you’ve got this covered, then the obvious list follows: your baby bag and everything in it – diapers and extra clothes (enough to cover your trip), baby wipes, hand sanitizers, diaper cream, bug spray, enough formula and bottles (if you choose the formula route) baby food and water (if baby is already eating). If your trip involves sleeping away from the familiarity of home, take along a travel crib or your baby’s favorite sleeping mat or blanket to help give baby a sense of comfort in a strange environment.

Stuff that could help

Once you’ve got the basics covered, think of things that could come in handy for your trip. Any gadget or accessory that makes baby more comfortable and potentially help keep your stress levels to a minimum counts. I once brought along a portable fan to a picnic; I highly recommend that if you’re going for an outdoor excursion. Depending on your itinerary, plan ahead, I’m pretty sure there’s a gadget or gizmo that would come in handy.

In case of emergency

A basic first aid kit, baby’s medication if there are any, and your health care provider’s number on hand ensures you’re ready for every possible complication.

Any trip with baby is an adventure. With a little planning and wise preparation, yes, it is possible to enjoy time with your bundle of joy away from the comforts of home.