Reading about celebrity holidays is great fun. Beyonce and Blu in matching bathing swimsuits on a yacht in NYC, the Duchess of Cambridge’s first trip to the Caribbean to a luxury villa with full staff in waiting. Yeah well that’s not you and me. For the mere mortal new parent, traveling with an infant can be a terribly daunting concept. Read our travel tips for new parents to calm your nerves and get some perspective.
1. Make it Easy on Yourself. Let your first trip not be a hike down to Machu Picchu, no matter how desperate you are to kick it off your bucket list. I would recommend a beach, or a visit to family.
2. Plan Early. If you are hoping to take a plane, book early to get the seats you want. If you have a wee one, a bassinet can be a huge help, but those seats are limited so booking as early as possible will help. See what you can get out of your frequent flyer miles. Read all you need to know about airplane bassinets here.
3. Expect Delays. There is just no way around this. I marvel at how much faster I get things done when my kids are not around me. Whether you are driving or flying, with an infant or a toddler, remember that you will move at half the speed you normally do.
4. Don’t Overpack. Please, please, please. With tight baggage allowances these days, packing every hat and pair of shoes in Little Morgan’s wardrobe will only cause more stress than it’s worth. Unless you are going to the middle of nowhere (see point 1), you can actually buy most baby supplies at your destination. Take the basics and enough to last you for your first say or so, till you can go sourcing. While you’re prepping, download some these great free mobile apps for travel.
5. Fly right. Choose the best airline to travel for your needs: budget, service-oriented, convenience.
6. Don’t be Too Nice. Be considerate towards other passengers, but not stressed. All the research has shown that it’s parents that let their kids run amok that frustrate fellow travelers the most. Be considerate and do your best, but remember that your primary concern is the comfort of your baby, and if at all possible, yourself. Read: Ten Things Worse Than Kids on a Plane.
7. Remember: Babies are much easier to travel with than toddlers, so calm your nerves and get planning.
8. This too shall pass. Whatever your fears, remember, things could be worse.
Have other travel tips for new parents? Let us know in the comments below!