My first international travel experience with a child was when I was six months preggers with Ace. I spent the duration of the flight puking in a paper bag and running down the isle to puke in a more acceptable place… the lavatory.
I was then blessed with contractions unnervingly close together while my feet swelled, putting me at risk of birth in Costa Rica. After that, I decided that traveling with kids, especially unborn ones, is so not fun.
I did’t let that disaster of a trip stop me (or my little ones) from broadening our horizons though. Instead, I used it as a learning experience. We never see these things coming as parents, but we should expect them. Like having to straddle the toilet with an infant wrapped up (insert Solly Baby wrap) within minutes of missing our connecting flight. Or finding out that our car seat got left behind… Learn to expect the unexpected. Later you can laugh about it. Maybe.
Now when I travel with kids, I plan, pack and pre-list. I’ve listed all my tips (+ that of others) for flying and/or driving.
Mom packing guidelines:
Make a list at least a week in advance: And keep it where you can see it! This allows you to add to it when needed. I promise, you won’t forget as many things at home, if at all.
Determining the weather: Doing this in advance can save you from packing that huge coat when its unnecessary, or leaving it at home when you desperately need it.
Plan outfits in advance: This is ESPECIALLY important! I usually try on my outfits and take a pic on my phone to record exactly what I will be wearing. I also plan the kids too.
Roll garments: Clothes, especially cotton ones, wrinkle easily. Rolling your garments instead of folding them saves them from those creases they will more likely acquire while in your maleta.
Mix and match: Pack staple items with changeable tops (preferably the same color palette). For example; denim, a blouse and flats with a light coat. The next day wear the flats, blouse, light coat with a mid-length skirt in place of the denim. Two outfits with the same items.
Layering is key: Layers are easily removed when the weather changes and vise-versa.
Pack staple accessories: Ray bans, stud earrings, ballerina flats for walking, a watch, a sun hat, a light scarf, chap stick and a black backpack. These items usually stay in style through seasons and are versatile. Channel your inner Audrey!
Baby/toddler packing guidelines:
Apps are a must! We have two kindles loaded with movies and apps for our kids. When we have exhausted all other ideas, we allow them to play for a few hours.
Bottles or pacifiers for the decent. I used to do two bottles or breast feed on a plane during take off and landing but It’s only absolutely necessary during the decent. Plan ahead with bottles and milk or ask for water to put in a bottle. The suckling motion helps so babies ears won’t be uncomfortable. Read my Reasons to Nurse That You Never Knew to see how breastfeeding and flying go hand-in-hand.
Bring meds: My kids always get sick on trips. We usually have Tylenol on hand and some vitamin C.
Bring toys & Activities: Lovies for Sissy and Cars for Ace. We always bring toys to help remind them of home. We also let the kids bring one thing from their beds. Either a blanket, night light, stuffed toy or pillow. Often times, we bring the blanket anyways. We also bring activity books, crayons and felt books for the baby.
Pack two outfits a day: Pack pajamas and two extra outfits in case of an accident as well. Always bring a jacket even if its hot where you go..
Make sure you pack or discuss arrangements for these things: car seat, stroller, pack-N-play, baby carrier or baby backpack etc. Check with flights to see what you can bring. Most items are free but some require fee’s.
Diaper Changing Station: Remember that diaper changing station that everyone said was impractical? Well, you might actually need that to change your baby in the lavatory. Welcome to the mile-high poop club.
Flying with kids? This articlewill help. It includes before take off, landing and in between with stories and details to ease you into your flight.
Driving with kids? Here’s 17 awesome Road trip hacks for adults and kids! Click here.
What about what NOT to do? This article pretty much sums up what to avoid during a trip like NOT pre-checking your rental car for damage and more. Click here to leer mas!
Lastly, I always keep this in mind. Remember to pack half of what you need and twice as much what your kids need! And always have fun! What do you guys pack?