Traveling With Children
Remember the simpler times...when you only had to pack for yourself? Then you had to help your significant other. And now, forget about it. You have one, maybe more, kids. You have to pack for them AND make sure they don't run away en route to your destination.
Can I relate? Absolutely not. But I've packed enough parents to pretend. Below are tips for packing and traveling, with kids.
Packing for 3 is kind of like packing for 1, 3x over:
- Pack light: Pack lighter for yourself than you do for baby (you can re-wear, but baby probably cannot (take age into consideration)
- Only take necessities - you likely don't need things you're on the fence about
- Leave your heels behind and replace them with fashionable flat and sneaker options
- Search for laundry options in/around your accomodations pre-trip
- Leave easy access room to pack snacks, bottles, etc.
The secret to not losing your kid (or dog): be hands free.
I usually sway to weekender bags, but not for moms. For luggage, use a carry-on suitcase and for your personal item, use a backpack.
Visual: Your child decides to have a melt down in the middle of the airport. You bend down to pick him/her up. Do you want: to push your back your shoulder bag before bending down only to have it fling forward the second you start to bend down OR an evenly distributed backpack that stays put? I'll let you decide and show you some options for the better decision:
- Snacks or formula (baby formula/milk is okay through airport security)
- Pacifier/toy/whatever calms your baby
- Infant Tylenol in case of ear problems
- A change of clothes and top for baby/you in case of accidents
- Dry bag for dirty diapers like this or this
If you're going to bring larger items, the best place to check them is the boarding bridge to the plane so you have it right as you get off the plane.
- CAR SEAT: Like Amazon's UES mom jacket , Amazon has a mom car seat
- STROLLER: The lightest, foldable stroller you and baby like
- PACK AND PLAY: Joovy Room2
And if not:
- CAR SEAT: Majority of parents I speak to say not to bring this. There are always good local car services that provide car seats for any age. For $10, Uber and Lyft offer car seats in NY, DC, Philadelphia, and Orlando. If you map your itinerary pre-trip, you'll likely max out at 2 rides per day. Silvercar offers free high-quality Peg Perego car seats at all of its locations. After making your rental reservation, email Silvercar at email@example.com to request a car seat. Using an AAA promo code, Hertz offers one free car seat per reservation. Find the promo code in your original registration materials, or call the number on the back of your AAA card.
- PACK AND PLAY: Check with your accomodations if they have this option (or crib, etc.) so you don't have to carry your own. If you're staying at a hotel, stay on stop of them as your trip approaches - call a week before, day before, and do of to make sure one is available and if it's not, they should have a sister or neighbor hotel they can vborrow from. If you're staying at an AirBNB, check with the host if it's not clear on their listing. And if you're staying with friends/family you visit frequently, it's worth buying a compact option to keep there.
Do not shlep the basics. Think: Every day necessities that are too heavy/bulky to carry. Some examples for baby:
Honestly, doing this as an adult is key too - just switch up the order a bit ;)