Estimated Read Time 5 minutes
As a new parent, the thought of jumping on a plane with a baby in tow can be overwhelming. What was once a relatively seamless process for you and your significant other can now be a source of a million questions and inflict stress at the sheer mention of leaving town.How do you take the baby through security? What can you bring on the plane? What if baby starts crying or has a blowout mid-flight? How will he / she adjust to a new environment, time zone, etc.? How do I make sure I have everything he / she needs without racking up hundreds of dollars in baggage fees? To help you gear up to take the plunge and book your first trip with baby, we asked moms with young children to share their top tips for traveling with kids with you! Remember, each baby / child is different and what works for one child, won’t necessarily work for the next. Once you have a trip or two under your belt, you will know what keeps you and your baby happy and comfortable on the road!
Top 8 Tips for Traveling with Kids
Planning your trip…
1. If possible, book long flights at night. The baby will be tired, which should make for a more peaceful ride for both of you!
2. If going overseas, make sure that you note that you are traveling with a child when booking a hotel. Many hotels in Europe count this as an extra person and will select your room and / or charge you differently. Telling them in advance will save you a huge hassle once you arrive!
3. Make a checklist broken out by category (food, bath, bedtime, diapers, clothes, toys, etc.) to make sure you have what you need for the trip. This is also helpful when the trip comes to an end so that you remember to bring it all HOME with you!
On the plane…
4. Make sure you have something for your baby or child to suck on or drink during both takeoff and landing. This will help their ears to pop and will make the trip much more bearable for your both!
5. Bring a change of clothes for both you and baby. Blowouts happen!
6. Moms have mixed thoughts on what you need to bring to keep your child occupied during a flight. Make the best decision based on your child’s personality. If he / she is entertained by watching new people or playing with every day objects, save yourself some space and keep the majority of the toys in your packed luggage. If your kids do better with toys or an iPad, make sure you have those on hand during the flight!
At your destination…
7. Rent baby equipment from Ayoopa in your destination city rather than lugging it through the airport and paying astronomical baggage fees! Renting highchairs, pack n’ plays, jogging strollers, etc. at your destination can save you money and the hassle of trying to lug all of this equipment with you!
8. Don’t stop traveling just because you have kids! It takes some extra planning, but you can do it and your life and your child’s life will be richer for it!
Read more of one mom’s story below!
From Nikki and her son, Olivier (20 months)
Favorite Trips Taken:Germany, Nashville, Washington DC
The younger the baby is, the easier it seems to fly with them. Be sure to pack a change of clothes for the baby AND yourself!! [There is] nothing worse than a clean baby and a wet/poop-covered parent! I also leave all the busy bag stuff at home, or packed away in the suitcase. At least with my kid, I’ve found that it’s a waste of effort & cargo space schlepping that stuff around. Airplane seat belts, tray tables, barf bags, buttons, and other people on the airplane seem to amuse him more than anything. Making sure he has some water or milk to drink on takeoff and landing seems to ease any possible ear pain and it’s a good distraction from the engines, which can be scary when you’re a wee one. Also, airplane changing tables are generally over the toilet in the miniscule bathrooms; be sure to take hand sanitizer for your little one!
The timing of the flight is important. Flying overseas at night? Awesome. Flying overseas during the day? Horrible. We try to time flights either late in the evening when he might sleep a little, or around naptime when he’s had a chance to get his sillies out and can be a little more relaxed on the plane. Of course this isn’t always possible and kids do what they’re going to do, but it has seemed to help.
If your baby is formula fed, bring a portable, pre-measured dish for formula and buy water once you are through security. Whether on the bottle or using a Sippy cup, I try to always pack a tiny bottle of dish soap and a bottle brush. It will come in handy at the hotel. Espresso spoons make good baby spoons if you’ve forgotten to take yours. Those little squeeze packets of food…are totally awesome and easy to travel with. We buy the organic ones and they’ve come in handy many, many times!
First, go to Ayoopa and order a pack ‘n play that can be delivered to your destination. My husband and I have purchased THREE pack ‘n plays because we keep having to buy one and leave it when we stay either with family that doesn’t have one or in a rental/hotel that doesn’t have one. Knowing that I won’t have to buy another pack ‘n play is pretty darn sweet. I also make sure to pack an extra crib sheet and baby blanket because I know it will be clean!
When staying at hotels, we like to stay at suite-type places that have some kind of separate area from the main room. This way we can put the baby to bed at 7pm like usual in his own little area and we don’t have to sit in the dark. We also like hotels because coffee and/or breakfast are available around 6am. We try to scope out other nearby places that open early (coffee shops, museums, etc.) so that while everyone else is sleeping we can be out and about with Mr. Early.
I always travel with a copy of Olivier’s birth certificate. 99% of the time the airport agents don’t ask for ID for him, but [when they do], I’m glad I have it! If we’re staying somewhere more than 3 days, I like to order diapers and wipes on Amazon and have them sent to the location ahead of time. Makes packing way easier!
I think my #1 advice though is to RELAX and DO IT. Don’t be afraid of traveling with your little one; it is normal for Olivier to be at the airport, in a new place, around new people, etc. Does he always do well? No, but he’s learning and it doesn’t seem to stress him out, either. Most people are kind and willing to help when they see you with your little one. Just wait until your baby starts noticing new things. If it’s cool for you to see new things, it’s 100,000% better seeing it through your child’s eyes!
Remember, Ayoopa is here to make your travel experience easier by helping you find, compare and reserve a baby gear rental, as well as other travel and outdoor equipment rentals at your destination! Check out our marketplace now! If you need a city or item that is not listed, no problem! Contact our Gear Concierge and we will find it for you at no additional charge! Here are just a few of the cities / items we have available:
Are you a parent that loves to travel? Share your tips with us on Twitter @Ayoopa_inc!