We’re traveling right now (and there are people watching our house, cat, etc.) and it’s been quite an experience. We’ve traveled with the baby before. Several times, in fact. But those trips have been 5.5 hours each way (made longer by baby, of course.) We took a trip a couple of weeks ago which was 11.5 hours each way. With other adults.
Talk about crazy.
I did my share of searching for tips before that trip. And I adjusted those tips to fit my needs. I figured I could share my own tips now. (Especially since we’re now in the middle of a 7ish hour road trip with the kiddo.)
Make a list. I created multiple lists of what I needed to pack – down to socks and underwear. I had a list for me, a list for the baby, a general list (camera, chargers, etc.) I had lists each day in my planner for what I hoped to accomplish (and my packing lists were kept in the back of the planner.) Side note: I ordered the Erin Condren planner last year and have absolutely loved it. I use it almost every day.
Start packing early. I started packing the weekend before our Wednesday trip to New York. I didn’t want to be running around on Tuesday night doing laundry or trying to pack. I wanted to be sure that I had everything, and once I had my lists, I was able to pull clothes out of the dryer, and fold them for suitcases. Oh, and check items off my list!
Organize, organize, organize. I had everything spread around our living room for an afternoon, and then realized the cat had nowhere to rest (except on the clothes!) I then moved everything to laundry baskets to keep the baby’s items together, my items together, and make sure nothing got lost or put back in drawers or closets. I also organized items so that we had easy access to them in the cars. The baby was always going to be in the same car, so his diaper bag, toys, clothes all stayed in that car. If I wasn’t in the same car as him, anyone could get to things he would want or need in a moment’s notice.
Entertain. We didn’t fly. We chose to drive and split our trip over two days each way. I needed things to entertain the baby. I tend to bring a toy on a trip that he’s never played with before. Nothing huge, but something that is new and exciting will keep him entertained longer. I have a large bag I received at one of my bridal showers and it’s been perfect for trips (and packing toys, blankets, etc.)
Expect delays. Build in a few detours/side trips. Especially with kids. I think we put a little too much pressure on ourselves to try and be certain places at certain times, and after the first day we quickly realized we were on the baby’s schedule. And after that many hours in the car, we started adding little stops at rest areas where we could throw down a blanket or sheet so the baby could play for a little bit. We threw in our own delays since it wasn’t fair to him to be stuck in the car for that long.
Have fun. Or, at least try to have fun!
Happy baby at the start of our trip to New York
What tips do you have for traveling?