One very day, I finally have some experiences to create a new category on my travel blog: “Travel with kids”!
So my very first blog post will be “Travel with kid 101”, including 9 travel tips to get you started.
Travel with kids 101 – 9 tips to get you started
1. Get your baby a passport ASAP
People just forgot about getting their baby a passport until they realised it. And it was possibly so close to the departure that they have to pay extra for it or cancel/rebook tickets.
The best time to apply for a passport for the minors is roughly around 3-4 months, so that details on their faces are properly shaped, which makes it easier to identify them.
Passport for small kids will normally last for 2 years, but it may vary from country to country.
2. Travel near
To avoid jet lag. We, adults, know how tired it can be, let alone babies. It’s recommended to travel near your current place, maybe 1 to 2 hours different from where you live, to avoid upsetting our baby’s schedule.
If you really have to travel that far, try shifting your baby’s sleep schedule over a few days leading up to your departure and exposing him/her to sunlight once you reach your destination. Also be prepared that it’ll take some days for everybody to adjust to the new time zone.
3. Avoid the Wonder Weeks
Wonder Weeks are times when babies “learn” new skills and “perceive” the world around him/her. A wonder week is like a growth spurt for the brain. It happens quickly and over a relatively short period of time. And it is really upsetting to a baby. Thus, try to avoid travelling during these weeks if you can.
This Wonder Weeks Chart outlines when each “wonder week” happens so that you can plan ahead.
4. Make a checklist
Because we mothers tend to forget EVERYTHING after birth. Ne pas?
For freshly-baked parents, you can download my ultimate printable packing checklist and start packing like a pro.
5. Pack extra
Always pack extra when you travel with kids, as it can be impossible to find the right size of diaper your kids are using. Or if there’s any diaper leak, spit-up, or other mess might require a change of clothes.
6. Bring only ONE big luggage for everyone
Pack everything you (I mean you parents + your little ones) need to ONE big luggage. It’s less tired having one big luggage than having small luggages. Remember you have a pram + a kid/kids on it to push also.
7. Bring extra (ready-to-use) formula
If you’re not breastfeeding, you know you have to bring along (ready-to-use) formula. But even when you’re breastfeeding, I suggest that you should bring some extra formula with you. Why?
Because there can be some unexpected reasons that may affect your milk production (stress, lack of sleep, new food that upsets your stomach, and so on).
Also because there will be some circumstances in which you cannot or should not breastfeed. The last time we travelled to Gothenburg for the wedding of my roommate, I bottle-fed my baby instead of breastfeeding as usual, after “disappearing” for half an hour during the ceremony to feed her, which totally failed as she wasn’t full enough to sleep.
You may say you will not travel for any occasion like that, but my advice is that it’s always better to have more than less.
8. Check with the transportation provider about luggage
You probably need a pram/stroller/car seat/pushchair/travel cot when you travel with kids. Usually, you can have them as check-in luggage without paying any extra cost. However, check with your transportation provider(s) to avoid misunderstanding.
If you’re travelling by plane, review the policies for bringing formula on board and hand the formula to security officers when you go through screening. Security officers may ask to test or screen the formula, however.
I’ve never travelled by plane with my baby, so I actually have no experience in this section. Please leave a comment if you have some and want to share with everybody.
9. And the last thing is that… you don’t have to travel with your kids
What I mean is that if you are not ready, you DON’T HAVE TO travel with your kids, just because that gorgeous kid travelled since 5 months young or this adorable baby travelled the world before turning one. Don’t let the peer pressure get you!
The most important thing is that you are relaxed and comfortable with this brand new experience: travelling with babies. If you are not now, well, then you still have 18 years more to travel with your kids.
Having a kid, to almost everybody, is more than the fact that we now have a little human that relies 100% on us and love us to the moon and back. It is a life-altering experience. To me, it’s also the feeling of having my life extended.
Of course, saying goodbye to our previous lifestyle and welcoming the new one with a baby is not easy at all. We first-time parents have to change ourselves from the littlest things. Also, the way we travel. Where and how we should go, can the little giggles stand the flight, is he/she tired, does it have enough food/sleep… and other tons of questions.
I’m not any baby expert, nor travel-with-kids one. But I hope this basic information and tips may help you preparing and planning a nice trip with your sweetpea in the future!