Summer is fast approaching, and with it: vacation season. We’ve done a fair amount of adventuring and vacationing with Graham in tow, so I thought I’d share our best tips to make your next family vacation as awesome as possible!
Whether you’re flying or driving, try to be strategic about when you travel. We’ve found that planning travel during nap time or nighttime sleep is perfect because it usually means Graham will sleep for a good portion of the travel time (that airplane/highway noise always does the trick).
If you’re flying and have your pick of seats once you’re on the plane, try to go as far back as you can and, if it’s not a full flight, you might end up with a row to yourself. I can neither confirm nor deny whether I’ve let Graham fuss a little during boarding on an almost-full plane to deter people from sitting in our row… Don’t judge.
Leave the stroller at home and wear your baby around town if at all possible. Strollers are often more hassle than they’re worth if it rains, or if you’re visiting local shops and restaurants that are tightly packed.
Pack the Essentials
- An empty water bottle to refill for yourself and another for baby
- Disinfectant wipes because: airplane/gas station germs
- Just a couple of books or toys (don’t go overboard!)
- Snacks that will keep them occupied but won’t fill them up. Goldfish and puffs are our favorites.
- An electronic device (think of this as your “break glass in case of fire” savior). Pre-loading it with a cartoon (word to the wise: Daniel Tiger has entire seasons on Amazon Prime for download!) is strongly advised.
Plan Baby-Friendly Activities…
Try to attend a local sporting event and become a fan! They’re perfect for babies because they can be noisy, there’s plenty of space to walk around in the concourse, and there’s lots to look at. Even some major league sports often have really reasonably priced tickets and don’t require babies to have their own seats! Some of my favorite ideas are here and here!
Parks are always great for burning off energy and letting babies explore in a safe area. Lots of cities have park directories, so make sure you check them out while you’re planning your trip.
… But Don’t Be Afraid to Branch Out
You might be scared to take your baby to a nicer restaurant (or even a brewery during the day!). I can assure you we’ve gone to some very trendy places with Graham, fully expecting them not to have high chairs, and were pleasantly surprised to find that not only did they expect babies to visit, they welcomed and enjoyed having them.
Plan Down Time
Probably my favorite tip of all is to plan one night where you just hang out in the hotel room and order a pizza. We’ve done this on several of our vacations because sometimes you just need a little extra time to chill. Don’t feel like you have to do everything in the city while you’re there. It’s definitely more about quality time than the quantity of sights you see!
Do you have any other family travel tips? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!