If you are like most parents, you may feel nervous about planning a holiday with your baby. It is natural to worry about how your baby will adjust to the new place, if his feeding and sleeping schedule will go for a toss and if your vacation with baby will actually involve any fun. Nevertheless, a vacation is the perfect way for you to take a break from your daily routine and introduce your baby to a new experience outside home.
Planning a baby-friendly vacation is not as easy as planning a regular holiday. However, it is possible. With a little preparation, your travel and stay will be smooth and pleasant. Here are some tips to help you with this.
Choose from baby-friendly vacation destinations
You will have to cater to your baby’s daily feeding and sleeping needs, even while on vacation. Baby-friendly vacation destinations have facilities to accommodate such needs. Choose a destination where your baby will also be entertained and relaxed, and the entire family will have fun. Infant and tot-friendly places are clean, calm and with all necessary amenities. So, skip the noisy, busy vacation spots and jam-packed itinerary tours. Instead, choose nature places, beaches, farms and child-friendly theme parks.
Prepare well for travel with baby
One of the biggest challenges in your vacation plan will be getting to your destination. Traveling with a baby isn’t easy, especially if it is to a faraway place. If this is your first trip, try to keep it close to home. Take all that you need to keep baby engaged and comfortable on the journey. Carry enough change of clothes. If you will be traveling by flight, the following tips will help you.
- Stock up your diaper bag with enough essentials to cope with delays. Carry extra clothes, diapers and food supplies to keep your baby comfortable throughout the journey and at the airport
- Choose your outfit in such a way that it gets you through airport security easily. Avoid clothes and accessories with metallic parts and keep your hand luggage well-organized to avoid unnecessary delays.
- Carry spare clothes in your hand luggage for yourself. You may need them if any accidental spills or stains happen and you have to change what you are wearing
- Put all essential travel documents like passports, tickets and boarding passes in an easy-to-reach spot
- If you breastfeed your baby, do so during take-off and landing. If not, use a pacifier or bottle for him to suck on. This will enable him to handle the change in air pressure better.
- Use your baby’s stroller till you board. It will be easy to transport baby at the airport and can also be used to hold all your bags till you reach the plane.
Book all-inclusive resorts with childcare when possible
If you really want to enjoy your vacation, it is best to avoid regular hotels. These do not allow access to the kitchen, and that can be a handicap when traveling with a young child. A home-style rental or resort that has a kitchen where you can heat, prepare and cook food is ideal. Baby-friendly accommodations usually have cribs, toys and other basic equipment. So, you can avoid packing these from home. It is also likely that you will have access to a laundry area in such a facility. Your baby will find it easier to adjust to a place that feels like home, and he will have more space to move around and enjoy. If the resort or hotel offers childcare facilities, consider booking it to enjoy some time alone. If your baby won’t let you out of sight, plan for childcare around her nap time. This way, he gets the rest he needs and you can get away for a bit.
Plan a sensible family vacation itinerary
You may look forward to sightseeing, going on long shopping trips and indulging in the entire holiday experience. However, your baby may not be up for too much activity and stimulation. It is best to stay close to home during your first few trips and go easy on outdoor activities. Don’t interrupt baby’s sleep and feed routines too much, or the little one may throw up a fuss and spoil your plans. Start by exploring places nearby, so you can hurry back if he gets exhausted. Carry her toys, snacks and books on every trip so he stays entertained and is quiet for longer. Visit places like museums and galleries that are calm and quiet when he will be asleep in his stroller. You can enjoy the views while he has his nap, and everyone is happy.
Move on to more ambitious plans after a successful baby-friendly vacation
Your first big trip with baby is an adventure. Get through it and both of you will be better equipped to take on more. Not only will your baby know what to expect, so will you. This will help you plan your consecutive trips better. After a few overnight trips,you can slowly plan vacations for longer duration. If your baby had fun on the first trip, it is likely that he will be eager to travel again. This can work to your benefit.
Planning a baby-friendly getaway is tedious and involves many details. You have to look at many more factors than you would if you didn’t have kids. However, it is a rewarding experience. A family vacation is a great opportunity for the family to bond. Not only does it give your baby a chance to get to know the outdoors, it also allows you to enjoy quality time together. So, make it a priority. Say yes to family vacations when your child is young, and over time it will be a family ritual that everyone eagerly looks forward to.