Traveling with a child is difficult. And at least for us, it has nothing to do with many photos that can be found on Instagram, where travel with a baby is shown only in positive colors.
Here are some lessons that we learned after one year of traveling with our little son:
Split your trip plan in half
When traveling with a child, the situation can change in 5 minutes. Your toddler may not feel like leaving the hotel room, parents can also be tired after a sleepless night. It is worth preparing a travel plan and selecting places that you want to see first (must-sees), and those that would be nice to see in case your toddler let you do it.
Invest in a lightweight stroller
On our trip to Rome we took a large baby stroller. It was heavy, bulky, and caused problems at the airport. On the second trip to Malta we took a lighter stroller that can be folded in a few seconds. This swap really made our travels easier.
Take your mum with you!
Grandmothers are extraordinary. If you can, invite to the trip your mum or mother-in-law or any other family member who likes children. An extra pair of hands is always useful. We tested it on our mothers who were delighted that they could spend a few days with their grandson in a beautiful place.
Remember that your child has free extra luggage
It’s a great way to save space in your hand luggage and keep your hands free at the airport. If you have a stroller or car seat, invest in a larger cover. Thanks to this, a stroller or car seat will not be damaged when loading them onto the plane, and also you can put additional things inside the cover, e.g. big pack diapers.
Choose the right place to stay
Throughout the year of traveling with our little one, we tested dozens of different hotels and private rooms. Some of them were so small that there was no place for the baby cot, others, in turn, had several rooms and plenty of space to play. Choose a room in which both you and your child will be able to spend a pleasant time. It’s nice if you can put a baby cot in the room and the building has an elevator. Make sure you have a private bathroom.
Do not pay in advance
Believe us or not, but we have to cancel about 40% of our trip over the past year (for various reasons). Unfortunately, to save money, we booked most nights in a non-refundable option. Since then, we always book accommodation with the option of free cancellation. Even if we pay more, we will definitely save more if the trip will not happen.
Spend more time outdoors
Our toddler is too small to enjoy visiting large museums, which is why we have limited visits to such places to a minimum. Instead, we prefer to visit parks, gardens, beaches, or walking paths where you can easily take a stroller.
Increase your budget
Since we travel with a baby, we’ve been spending more money. This is not about food or souvenirs, but we often prefer to pay extra to book a room in a hotel in a better location or take a taxi from the airport, instead of taking a bus. These are more expensive things, however, they significantly increase the comfort of travel.
Choose a baby carrier
This advice is not for everyone and you may disagree with us, but tying the baby sling during travel was extremely uncomfortable for us, especially when entering and leaving the plane. The baby carrier occupies less space and it took us less than a minute to put the baby inside.
Enjoy your privileges
As a person traveling with a baby, you may have priority boarding and baggage check-in. This is not respected at all airports, but it is worth checking it out. We were let in without queues many times in places where you had to go through the gates or buy a ticket. Some families with children also have additional discounts. It is worth to remember about it.
Travel with a baby: Our last advice
If you plan to travel with a small child, remember that this way of traveling will be quite different from the one you have known before. It is not worse, but it is much more difficult (at least for us).
We decided to share our 10 bits of advice for traveling with a baby to make your travel easier. It may happen that they will not be useful for you, however, we hope that at least one of them will help you while planning your next trip with a toddler.