One of the things I miss the most about my pre-baby life is the ability to get up and go, be it a drive, a rail ride or a flight. I’ve always been a wanderer and since I don’t want that to stop anytime soon, I’ve decided to keep it going with a baby in tow.
However, with his dad working, I’m embracing some solo adventures with the cherub. We all know travelling can be stressful enough, but if you’re doing it with a toddler, there’s so much more to think about.
Last month I had my first solo travel experience with His Royal Highness and I am actually glad that I took the plunge. It felt like a personal achievement more than anything else.
Although I’m no expert (yet) on travelling with a baby, here are some tips based on my experience;
Timing – Timing is key, before any sort of travel, be it flight, train, car, I always line it up around his lunch or naps. The last thing anyone wants is an overtired, hungry passenger. With flights to Europe it’s easier to time the afternoon nap to occur during the short flight.
Packing – Pre-child I never really gave packing much thought, I’d always overpack never really knowing what I might need while I’m away. My advice post-child would be to PACK LIGHT, easier said than done I know but your arms will thank you for it. I managed to cram everything into a cabin luggage sized suitcase and a backpack. I checked in the cabin luggage with the stroller so it kept my hands free.
Sling/Carrier – Fortunately, I’m still able to carry him on me, so I found having him in my Manduca carrier a great relief. A backpack with a sling/carrier is a must, can’t recommend one enough, the balance with the backpack on my back and baby on front was perfect, everything felt a lot easier.
Entertainment – Keep it simple, there’s always a fear of boredom so it’s easy to get carried away and pack several toys for the journey. Depending on ages they really don’t need much. I packed one book and one toy, and I needn’t have bothered as the aeroplane seat and side pockets kept him entertained. When that failed the magazines and passengers seemed to interest my inquisitive one year old.
Hydrate – I can’t stress the importance of this, nothing worse than feeling dizzy with a baby attached, it’s easy to forget what our body needs when we’re looking after a little one. Always carry a bottle, if space is an issue use one of those travel foldable bottles which can attach to a rucksack with the clip.
Priority boarding- If your airline offers priority boarding or extra legroom at a reasonable cost, take it. Not only is it great for your legs but also a good place to let the little one explore, safely of course.
Kindness – Finally, never underestimate the kindness of strangers, I had many people including flight staff, offering to help throughout my journey. Although it was manageable as I packed light, it’s still nice to know that there are a lot of genuine helpers out there.
Well those are my basic, but helpful (I hope) tips.
I’m looking forward to more travelling so if you have any recommendations for new adventures or any travel tips, do let me know. 🙂