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(We are THRILLED to welcome our good friend and guess blogger, Leslie Campos from Wellparents.com! Please enjoy Leslie's post)
If you’re planning a trip with a baby or toddler, you’re probably filled with uncertainty, fear, and a whole lot of excitement. There’s no doubt that traveling with an infant is nerve-wracking, but it’s also an incredibly rewarding experience. Some good planning will help settle your nerves and ensure your expedition out into the world goes as smoothly as possible. Here are some great ways to get ready for your little one’s first travel adventure!
Forget About Packing Light
Packing light is great when you're backpacking on solo adventures and flying away for the weekend with your partner, but when you have a young child, you need all the supplies you can possibly fit in your luggage. If you are headed on a road trip, don’t be afraid to fill your car to the roof! However, be mindful of where in the car you pack certain items. For example, Today’s Parent recommends keeping entertainment, snacks, and your diaper bag withineasy reach. Also be mindful of keeping your young child’s toys clean because it’s easy to pick up germs in unfamiliar places. You can wash toys in soapy waterand combine water and rubbing alcohol to help disinfect them.
Choose Family-Friendly Activities
Before you leave on your trip, plan a few activities for your family. You don’t have to go too crazy with the planning. Toddlers can only handle so much, and you might prefer aslower paceyourself. Take some time to research your destination and look for fun activities that everyone in your family will enjoy. You’re bound to find kid-friendly attractions wherever you’re going, but try not to limit your trip to playgrounds, zoos, and water parks. This is your vacation too, so sign up for a guided walking tour,visit a museumor two, and sample the local cuisine. Your child will be perfectly happy tagging along. You and your spouse should be able to enjoy yourselves without having to hire a sitter for your little one.
Travel During the Off-Peak Season
Once your child starts school, you’ll have to travel during the busy season like all those other parents. But for now, you have the luxury to pick and choose your travel dates. Traveling during the off-season is a fantastic way tosave moneyon flights, accommodation, and attractions. You will also save yourself the stress of pushing a stroller down crowded streets or standing in long lines with a baby in your arms. If you’re planning an off-season trip, CNN recommends checking your destination for large seasonal events and religious celebrations that may draw crowds to your quiet getaway. If you’re taking a road trip, traveling while everyone else’s kids are in school will help you avoid stressful vacation traffic — and you’ll have those scenic views all to yourself! Taking a road tripduring the fall, for example, will let you see the country in its autumn beauty.
Pack Plenty of Healthy Snacks
One of the best ways to keep kids happy on long days of travel is to be prepared with lots and lots of snacks. Stock up your car or carry-on bag withhealthy snackslike trail mix, fresh fruit, granola bars, and homemade muffins. Snacks packed with nutrients, protein, and complex carbs will help keep your kids energized while avoiding thatsugar slump. However, you may want to sneak some sweet treats into your bag for yourself — after all, you’re on vacation!
You don’t have to hold off on travel until your little one is older. In fact, traveling with children only gets more expensive and complicated as they grow up. There’s no better time to experience the world with your baby than right now. Traveling with young kids isn’t as scary as it seems, so relax, get your travel plans in order, and be ready to accept setbacks and laugh at any craziness that occurs along the way.