Vacation: Hell yeah! Travel with a toddler: What?

I have been a travel-freak and got married to another travel-maniac. Our journey began by exploring far and wide, multiple places in our homeland and across continents. But I must say, the most beautiful and adventurous travels of ours have been the one with our little Miss K.

We had our share of travel woes with a new-born to a toddler and believe us – it’s always been adventurous.

How to perfect a vacation with a toddler? Is always a question on every New Parent or Parent-to-be. Planning the first trip or subsequent trips can be very much overwhelming for any parent. There are lots of questions running in one’s mind while prepping for the first travel.

Let us help you with your ‘New parent woes’ with our handy tips and tricks to make the vacation actually an enjoyable timeout for the new parents and little ones together

Start early – Don’t think of your little one turning 1 year old to begin planning your vacation. The key is to start early and we are loving it. Little Miss K’s first travel was when she was 90 days old and it was a train journey in the suburbs of India. She is hooked to travel now and looks forward to each vacation.

The earlier you travel, the easier it will be for you to plan the next one! When you feel as a new parent you need that break, spend some me-time and breakaway from the mundane parenting advice that people around you showers without a penny charge!

“Our new humans are really very adaptable and we as a parent, firmly believe in giving the taste of our wanderlust to her as much as we can so that it helps in her overall development as a confident and matured human being who is aware of her surroundings and wealth!

Tip 1: Ask questions – It’s always good to ask questions and not be guilty of it later. Make a list of essentials, in our case this job is with RG, he is a meticulous planner and ensures a list is ready with questions. Some common questions while booking the travel we usually have is shared below:

  • Check with airlines for bassinet seats (yes they come with awesome legroom for parents too), stroller carriage process (some airlines allow until the aircraft and some charge the same – so check beforehand), support staff at the airport to help you in check-in smoothly etc.

  • Check with the hotel staff on the basic essentials like electric kettle, microwave, bar fridge, extra bedding, room temperature controls, baby sitter arrangements etc.

  • Transit essentials – check on the basic requirements of car seat as per the law of the land you are travelling to. North American countries have a requisite of car seat until your child is of a certain weight and height.

Tip 2: Pack light Cabin baggage – Reality check – Handbags/Cabin baggage should ideally be four wheeled ones which can be easily dragged along while you are holding on to your new human in your arms or should just be a baby bag which you can tuck it away in the stroller. Once I traveled along with Little Miss K from Toronto to New Delhi with 3 handbags and it was very uncomfortable, since then I have always kept it light and handy.

Few very essential handy stuff for cabin baggage or call it a diaper bag (personally I never called it a diaper bag as I didn’t own one!):

  1. Age – 0-18 months :
    1. One set of extra clothes,socks
    2. Wet Wipes
    3. Diapers, (atleast 2 for a 3 hour flight)
    4. Disposable changing pads, burp clothes
    5. Diaper pail bag dispenser (I preferred Playtex from the shelves of Walmart for $5.)
    6. Rash cream travel pack
    7. Hand sanitizer travel pack
    8. Formula Milk & feeding bottles if little one is not breastfeeding anymore
    9. Hot/Cool water flask (to avoid water infections – carry water)
    10. Ready to use baby food travel packs
    11. 2 toys – teether or rattles (don’t overpack toys, let the little one explore around while travel)
  2. Age – 18-24 months : List can be exhaustive as above. It is applicable based on your baby development, potty training needs etc. Little Miss K was potty trained at 9 months so we were off the load of the diapers and other stuff took that space in my cabin baggage.
    1. Crayons and few loose paper sheets
    2. Stuff toy which your child like to cling to sleep
    3. Fruits like bananas, strawberries for snack breaks
    4. Neck pillow for yourself (don’t forget you are travelling too)
    5. Ipad/Ipod (Not for her, but for us )
  3. Age – 24-48 months : Basically now your little one is a well-traveled LO and has its own seat in the aircraft and can carry a little bag on its little shoulders too! So the list goes lighter and much more adult like. Crayons, reading books (2 is enough)
    1. Baby Headphones
    2. Baby neck Pillow
    3. Baby goggles/sunshades/cap
    4. Baby Cream travel pack
    5. Must pack Crayons or modeling Clay!!

Little Miss K ensures that her travel bag is filled with her favorite snacks, crayons and a stuff toy. I sneak in Wipes and one set of clothes into her bag. Do check the weight of the bag – should not be heavy at all and your toddler can carry it on her shoulders easily.

Tip 3: Basic research on travel destination: This surely helps to save time if you are travelling with your toddler, before you board the plan or a train to your destination or while being in transit, try googling activities and kid friendly places around or inside the hotel. We always do that and figure out there is so much to explore from the eyes of our new human.

Tip 4: Avoid being a backpacker: We do miss our back-packing trips as a couple and hoping that when Little Miss K turns 6 we can start them again.
Until then, we plan and keep a lot of leisure time in our trips. Like after transit to hotel, we keep 2-6 hours of rest-in-room depending on our travel time. In a trip of 7 days, we also keep a relaxed schedule and don’t make it a bucket-list-tick-off trip. Specially toddlers tend to have their moods and too much of walking around or sightseeing might make them tired and weird at times. So to avoid that, plan a relax schedule.

“Our moto whilst on travel is to see less but enjoy more as a family.”

Hope this article will help all new parents to whisk away the #newparentwoes on their first travel with the little ones. Keep flowing in the feedback and your experience of travelling with you tiny-tots. We would love to hear from you and build this list further.

Until then, Keep exploring your parenthood and keep Sane!


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