Tips for Traveling with a Baby
By the time George was eight months old, he’d already visited four continents. We have been very fortunate to travel like we have in these past few months, especially to spend such a lovely long time back at home in New Zealand. From restless nights however to carting round all the kit that comes with a baby in tow, Sam and I have looked at each other on occasion and wondered what on earth we were doing. But then we do love a good adventure...
We knew we didn’t want to slow down too much once George came along, and we love that we are raising a little one that can adapt to new places. Our recent trip to Tulum was a dream, and we are so glad we saw it through. With every new passport stamp for George, we have definitely learnt a trick or two to getting the most out of our trips away en famille. Here are my tips, although I am still learning so I’d love to hear how you manage in the comments below.
Pick your destination
Our favourite holiday of all time was probably our honeymoon to Hawai’i. Days were filled with snorkeling, surf lessons, hiking, sunbathing, heading here for lunch and there for dinner and topping it all off with a cocktail dressed with a twirling umbrella (more on the adventure here & the food here). And all those activities were probably done in one day. With George, things are so much slower. The best days we had away were ones where we only aimed to do a couple of things each day, like try out a new place for breakfast and then go swimming in the afternoon. Relaxing while he naps is our new favourite thing to do on a holiday, so that we feel rested and somewhat recharged. We have definitely learnt not to go to places where there are 101 things that we want to see and do. Or a literal mountain to climb.
I’m also such a huge advocate of staying in one place for several nights now. Gone are the days where we’d cram four cities into a week’s worth of travel. All the travel necessities - airports, luggage, etc. - are that much more challenging with a bub in tow, and staying in Tulum for seven nights made all the travel well worth it.
Take all necessities
Our biggest stress while we were away recently was running out of our formula. We could not get George onto a new formula in the US - and we tried every variety on the shelf. Although the milk bank of mama was still somewhat open for business, it was no-where near enough with the heat and George’s hollow legs and it all got a bit stressful. Anyway. To cut it short, next time I’ll be taking enough formula to cover us for the duration of the trip.
If you’re headed somewhere remote, make sure to take a baby first aid kit. Luckily we didn’t need to call on it, but having paracetamol and non DEET repellent on hand made us feel comfortable. Also different countries have different things they allow. For example, I couldn’t get a cough syrup for George in California whereas they do have varieties for babies in the UK.
Gold-plate your hotel room
Prior to George, Sam and I would only be in our hotel room or accommodation for sleeping. In Tulum however, we probably spent about half our time at our hotel, either in our rooms or in the pool or by the beach. Having a beach-front room meant that we could read out front while George napped in our room, and having a little balcony meant we could enjoy a Modelo or two oceanside once he’d gone down for the night.
We did miss air-conditioning though. At 100% humidity with 30+ temperatures all night long, we really did miss it. It’s pretty pricey in Tulum to get air-con (the beach resorts are all off grid), but for anyone going somewhere exotic with a little one, I’d say it’s a must. While us adults can maybe handle the heat and come up with our own ways of dealing, it just wasn’t fair on little George. He was a champ, but it did mean for more wakeful nights and we plied him with milk constantly so he didn’t get dehydrated. The running water at our hotel was also untreated saltwater, so we stocked up on plenty of bottled water before nighttime and had to get a pitcher of boiled water from the kitchen to wash his bottles every day. While we didn’t mind at all, it was all a bit of a process to be mindful of.
Traveling with a baby will never be quite the same as traveling pre-baby, but that isn’t a bad thing. If anything, taking things a bit slower has meant we enjoy the highlights and outings even more, and get important things done like finishing a book. Or two, if we’re that lucky.
Please let me know what tips you have. I’m sure it won’t be too long until we’re off again.
With Love, Kate