5 steps on how to prepare for a trip with small kids
We’ve all been there: you’ve been busy all week, it’s Thursday night and you realize that you’re going on a trip with small kids in less than 24 hours! Yikes! Do not panic! This has even happened to the best planners among us, right?
Well, I am here to break it down for you. I am giving you the 5 steps you need to think about to prepare for a trip with small kids, while keeping your sanity (if at all possible 😆 )
Step 1: Where and when are you going?
The content of your suitcase or carry on will highly depend on the destination you are headed to. If you expect cold weather, you will have to pack more and heavier clothes. In warmer destinations you can get away with tank tops and shorts, which won’t take much space in your suitcase.
Step 2: What to pack?
Think practical and comfortable: this is not a fashion show. Gone are the days when you had to wear your Sunday’s best to get on an airplane. Nowadays, you are highly encouraged to rock your flats and yoga pants.
For babies, go for onesies or sleep & plays. These will make diaper changing easier for both of you.
Bring something to entertain your little one on the plane. From favorite toys (introducing a new toy can also keep him happy), to games, books, tablets (use headphones for kids: spare the other passengers from having to listen to Elmo during the whole flight).
Step 3: Transportation
Will you be renting a car at your destination or will you mostly be walking around? The answer to this question will help you determine if it’s necessary to bring a car seat.
Look at your stroller. Do you really need to bring the whole travel system or should you rather use an umbrella stroller? In cities with reliable public transportation systems you can easily hop on and off buses/subways/trams with your little stroller. Note that some cities are less stroller-friendly than others, so make sure you pay attention to the stations equipped with elevators/escalators.
Another suggestion would be to use a baby carrier. This will be particularly helpful if you plan to walk in crowded areas. Just think about Time Square…
Step 4: Accommodation
When you book your hotel room, make sure you put in a request for a baby crib or playard. If you’re a bit obsessed about germs, just wipe them with disinfectant wipes and spray them with some Lysol as well before use. You may also feel more comfortable bringing your own baby sheets. If you’re not comfortable using the hotel’s crib, feel free to bring your playard from home.
Some hotels can also provide you with baby tubs and toiletries. That way, you can avoid bringing the inflatable tub.
Step 5: Food & Entertaiment
Make sure to pack enough food and snacks for the flight and arrival at your destination, until you get a chance to buy more at the store. Go for dry and healthy food like fruits, veggie sticks, and bars. Avoid to open the spinach pouch on the plane. Keep it for the hotel or restaurant, where you can have more control over the splashes.
Check out the local newspapers at the hotel for free and kid-friendly events in town. Groupon can also be a great resource.
If you plan to spend a lot of time in the hotel, pack 1 or 2 swim diapers and hit the pool.
Make sure your devices are fully charged and have your chargers accessible. Little kids don’t understand that electronics need a break too 😉
Now tell me: what step do you find least/most challenging? I would love to learn more about your own experiences.
If you want to know more about traveling with kids, check this post.
Linda is a travel coach for busy, career-driven moms who wish to spend more quality time with their little ones. She writes about inspiration, encouragement, and training on why and how to travel around the world with babies and toddlers. Check her website and follow her on Facebook and Twitter for more updates on all things kid travel.