After sharing quite a few snaps of our travel down to Mexico last week on Instagram I was asked to do a little post on how I handled traveling with Mo. There are tons of more eloquent, detailed and likely helpful posts out there by way more saavy madres so I will do a quick hit list of what worked for us.
- Minimal Luggage: Ever since I was a little traveler my family really urged the 'only carry on' philosophy when it came to luggage and ever since that has been what I do. But in the past few years Mike and I have begun to share one big roller suitcase so we only have one piece of luggage between us and can truly travel light after checking the bag. For this trip Mike was traveling separately from Mo and I so I shared the big roller bag with Mo and had one backpack as my carryon. While checkin in for my flight I saw a few other families with at least six bags between them for mother, father and child. I was quite pleased with myself for being able to consolidate our needs into one suitcase. So pleased in fact that I asked a random stranger to take the photo of me in line to check in at the airport. My awkward smile, greasy post pool complexion and the angle really aren't doing me the justice I wish they were in the photo up top.
- My Carry On: I used a backpack as my one carryon item and it worked out great. I wrote a few posts before about what kind of diaper bag I was going to get for us and truth be told we still do not have one we use. I have stuck to using the American Apparel clutch and am very happy with it. I threw that in the backpack for diaper changes and had water & snacks for me, a computer, and bottle & blanket for Mo in there. For this trip I ended up getting a Poler backpack that is pretty basic, lightweight, no fuss and easy to use. We are very happy with it and will continue to use it when we travel with Mo.
- Travel Light for transportation: As I posted on Instagram I chose to not bring a stroller or carseat. Our destination was the beach and our purpose was relaxation so I assumed that we would not be doing much venturing outside of the condo and pool. I was right. I did however bring Mo's favorite carriers. In fact I brought three carriers and was happy in doing so. I brought two Sollybaby Wraps- two just cause I liked having the different fabric & pattern options and then I brought our ring sling. I actually used both the Sollybaby Wrap and the ring sling for airport/plane time. While using one I had the other in my backpack. The Sollybaby was great for walking around the airport but before we boarded I swapped it out for the ring sling because that is easier for nursing. We did end up doing some walking about the city and used the carriers again for those excursions.
- Travel light for naps & sleeping: A lot of people travel with or rent cribs or pack and plays for sleeping. Since Mo is still so small we knew we could avoid this and just have his sleep with us. It worked out really well and since he naps pretty much anywhere, as seen on my Instagram.
- Board Early & Sit on the Aisle: In my not so distant non baby days I always say by the window and was always one of the last to board the plane. But now with a kid I choose a seat on the aisle so we don't have to bother people when we need to get up for diaper changes or distractions. And I took advantage of the early boarding on our flight home because we were stuck with a window seat and I wanted to be able to politely persuade the aisle passenger to swap with us. It worked like a charm.
That's what worked for us. If you have more burning questions feel free to ask them, but I would suggest checking out Naomi Davis' posts on traveling with kids, infants and toddlers. She has lots of great advice especially for biger kids.