When my husband first floated the idea of taking a trip interstate, I have to admit, I thought he was joking around. I mean really, taking a 7 month old child on a plane and staying away from home for two weeks? Who would do that! Think of all the things we needed to take and what if he had a melt down on the plane? This is supposed to be a holiday, not a nightmare. NO THANKS!
It took a bit of persuasion, but in the end I came around. I was still a bit apprehensive when we booked our flights and accommodation, but I guess you don’t know if you don’t give it a try (said the woman that regreted it the second I pressed ok on the credit card transaction).
In the end we had a great trip, very different to how we have travelled in the past, but still relaxing and enjoyable. So I thought I’d share what I’ve learnt about travelling with a baby for those of you that are toying with the idea, just in case you’re like me and think it may not be worth the headache.
ACCOMODATION: I honestly think this is the most important part of booking a trip with a baby. I did heaps of research on trip advisor about child friendly places to stay. My tips are to look for a self-contained apartment, so that you have a fully stocked kitchen/kitchenette to prepare any food for the baby. Another thing to look for is an on site laundry. I chose to stay at an apartment complex that had free laundry facilities for guests because you never know what kind of mess a baby is going to make. Plus this also means you can travel light.
TRAVEL LIGHT: We use and need so much equipment for small children and although most airlines allow you to check in strollers, car seats, portacots ect for free, but do you really want to cart all of the stuff around? The best option is to hire it. I hired a car set from our hire car company (look for deals though car clubs, if you are an RACV member, you can get the car seat for free when you book a hire car through their partner), and I hired a porta cot and high chair through the resort where we stayed. The only thing we bought along was a stroller, which was a small compact one that we borrowed off my inlaws (don’t take your nice expensive stroller, I’ve heard one too many stories of them getting damaged in transit). If you are still sterilising bottles, don’t take your steriliser, just boil them in a pot in your apartment.
PACKING: ok, so initially I thought packing was going to be a nightmare, but in the end it wasn’t too bad. I managed to get all of bubs and my stuff in one suitcase. Fortunately we were travelling to a hot climate, so I only had to pack for one season. I packed five days worth of tshirts, singlets and shorts, with the intention to wash while I was away. I also packed one sleeping bag, one light blanket and a couple of muslin wraps. With regards to food and nappies, I packed enough for just over a day. I didn’t really want to cart around a box of nappies or tins of formula, so I packed enough to get me through one night, then on the second day I went shopping and brought all of the consumables I’d needed for the two weeks away.
All in all it’s really not that hard, the key is to only take bare essentials, hire or buy everything else you need at your end location.
Now go at book that holiday! I’m already planning my next one.