The holidays are here! Whether you’ve already traveled with your tiny human and lived to tell the tale, or you’ll be traversing the country with your little one for the first time, it’s natural to have anxiety about travel. For those of you leaving home this holiday season, we thought we’d share a few of our favorite travel hacks to make the holidays easier and more enjoyable—as it should be!
Read on for travel hacks for new parents.
Parent Travel Rule Number 1: NEVER assume your tiny will sleep on the plane. Book a daytime flight—it’s easier to keep them entertained in the day on the plane and then get them to sleep when you arrive.
If you’re traveling with a tiny human, we recommend looking for an Airbnb, Kid & Coe (family-friendly vacation destinations), or another vacation rental with a small kitchen—this will make cooking and shopping for food much easier. Hotels tend to be ill-prepared when it comes to tiny humans.
Before you book, double-check that your rental has a bathtub, to make bath time, well, in the bath. Bring a couple of your tiny human’s favorite bath toys with you.
Stick with the classics. A little play dough and some crayons and coloring books go a long way. No need to bring the whole arts and crafts kit: a few shades will do.
For babies and toddlers old enough to grasp, get a big roll of stickers. They’re lightweight and endlessly entertaining, with very little mess. Plus, stickers are cute.
There’s an app for that! A simple bubble app like the one from Sago Mini will keep your tiny human entertained.
Presents for the win. Pull out a toy your tiny human hasn’t seen in a while, or give him or her something new to play with. A “plane present” is always met with pleasure.
For young babies, nursing or giving them a bottle during take-off and landing helps relieve the pressure in their ears, plus it’s a great distraction. Bring a small breastfeeding pillow if you can, so your tiny human can sleep comfortably in your lap.
Do whatever you need to do to make the flight bearable! If that means doing laps around the seats, or babywearing, that’s totally okay.
You never know what the “sound system” will be like when you’re traveling, so pack a noise machine to keep nearby where your tiny human will be sleeping. A sleeping baby will keep you both happy.
If you use formula, pre-measure and have it in the bottle ready to go so you can just ask a flight attendant for a room temp or slightly warm bottled water to mix.
Pack Raised Real packets as ice packets to keep your tiny human’s snacks cold on the plane—you can cook them when you arrive. It’s nearly impossible to find good ingredients in some locations, and in the quantities you need them. And when you’re eating out all the time, it’s great to have something for them that’s homemade.
Bring a travel clip-on high chair or a fabric one. This fabric chair, for instance, attaches to any regular chair to keep your tiny human strapped in and safe.
Pack your own drying rack! Travel drying racks are nice to have to dry bottles, utensils, pacifiers, etc., whether you’re staying a hotel or a home.
Baby-proof! Just like you would in your own home, as soon as you get to your vacation rental or hotel, make a point to babyproof the place and put your mind at ease. From the start, designate play areas, changing areas, and whatever stations you’ll need.
For long road trips and plane rides, put your tiny human in an overnight diaper. It’s more absorbent when you have to wait longer for diaper changes or bathroom access.