OUR TRIP TO CALIFORNIA
I have traveled in the past with a small baby which is one thing, but last week we embarked upon our first travel experience with a 1 ½ year old. This is a whole different ball game which brings new challenges and tests your patience in ways only Mother Theresa or Gandhi could handle, but we made it through and you will too.
There are many travel methods people use to accommodate their child and that particular trip so do what works for you, but here are few little nuggets from our trip that you may want to use.
One of my biggest travel mantras is “Less is more”, some people believe they have to bring their whole house with them which is such a pain to lug around an airport. I don’t like to travel with my stroller or car seat for a few reasons;
1) they are nice, expensive things that I don’t want getting broken or dirty as they get thrown under an airplane.
2) It’s more luggage to keep up with and drag around.
“But I need my stroller and car seat.” Yes, you do! Did you know you can rent these things at your destination! We have always requested a car seat with our car rental at the airport and have had no problems doing this, usually it’s a small fee of $8-$15 per day.
This was the first time we rented a stroller and going forward we will do this EVERY time!
We used the Traveling Baby Company and it was awesome! The agent met us at the airport to deliver our clean stroller and gave us a demo on how to use it. We rented a jogger which was perfect to stroll around California and take to Disneyland. They offered many different kinds of strollers and a variety of baby necessities from car seats, pack’n plays, highchairs, toys and everything in between. This company operates all over the country in all the tourist rich cities.
Something that we do if staying in a hotel is request a pack’n play from the front desk. I have done this 3 times at different hotels and each time the hotel had the pack’n play set up and waiting for us in our room with clean crib sheets at no extra cost.
We also don’t pack diapers and wipes, we just bring enough for the flight in our carry-on bag and we buy everything when we get to our destination.
A new item I have always laughed at but now understand and decided to try was a child harness. We bought a backpack harness on Amazon by Brica for $9 which was enough to spend just to keep it on hand, even if you never use it, it’s better to have it and not need it then need it and not have it. We pulled it out a few times and were absolutely thankful to have purchased it!
Something I would have done differently is to bring a small, cheap umbrella stroller that weighs close to nothing just for the airport. This would have been nice to have at times when Dexter got tired of walking or standing.
As far as the flight goes, this can play out in many scenarios depending on the endless possibilities of situations. This particular flight was fully packed and lasted three hours. Dex slept both ways as long as we kindly asked the passengers around us if they wouldn’t mind closing their window shades, they of course were happy to do so if this meant the baby would stay asleep.
Aside from that, all you can do is make sure your tablets are charged and loaded with movies, games, soothing music (which turned out to be the most crucial element for us), pack snacks, some new dollar store toys, and have a positive attitude.
Traveling with a small child might seem overwhelming but the memories you make on family vacations are precious and worth every small hassle of getting there. They are only little once and you never get that time back so I encourage you to take every opportunity you can, big or small to invest in experiences, spend quality time and make memories!
Happy Traveling, see you out there!
Noelle and Dexter