Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Preparing for a Trip with a Baby

This weekend Coco and I are off to Dublin to visit some friends for the weekend. J has opted to stay in Switzerland and ski, so I will be traveling solo with my little lady again. It's surprising how it gets easier and less intimidating as you go. Here are my five trips for an easy trip with a baby - or should I say toddler?!
1). Don't Stay in a Hotel
Room service and concierge service have their perks, but when traveling with a baby, staying in a hotel means doing nothing and sitting in the dark after 7pm. No, thank you! So instead, look for accommodation through airbnb or similar. We will be staying with friends of a friend thanks to being able to login to airbnb with my Facebook account. While scrolling available properties, every time someone had a mutual friend with me, I was alerted. I feel really good about staying with someone who is friends with one of my friends. That way it's less scary and it doesn't seem like we'll be staying with strangers at all. 

The best part is that we will have our own bedroom within the larger house. That means all the comforts of home, like a kitchen to cook in. And after Coco goes to bed, I can have friends over, make a big dinner, drink a glass of wine and watch a movie or just chat by the fire while she sleeps. Perfect!

2). Rent a Car
If you're traveling somewhere to see friends and not staying in a hotel, renting a car can make things a little easier. If you're staying somewhere outside of the city center, even more so, as public transport may not be plentiful or very frequent. I have had really good luck renting through Auto Europe. This weekend, our rental was only $23! Amazing. Pay with a credit card to earn airline miles and have excellent rental insurance cover. Our United miles card (which also covered our airfare) is good as primary insurance when renting. A must because we don't have car insurance normally. 

3). Get a GPS App
Obviously driving with a baby is more stressful than driving without one. Having speak-aloud GPS costs an arm and a leg from the rental car company, but now there are lots of good Apps available through the App Store. I got the Sygic UK & Ireland App for $23.99. There is nothing better than having GPS tell you where to go, when to turn and rerouting you automatically when you miss the turn. I love it! And it works with data roaming turned off. 

4). Pack Pyjamas for Each Night
Coco wears little footed zip-up playsuits to bed every night. When we go on a short trip and don't plan to do laundry while we're away, I pack a separate pair of pyjamas for each night. Typically, a playsuit can be worn for two nights before it needs to be washed. By packing one per day, if she has an accident or spill, it's easier to use a one piece outfit as extra clothes than to pack a bunch of extra outfits.  Now that she's a little older, we don't need extra clothes as a rule most days, so this is a good safety net without extra bulk.

5). Plan Around Naps, Meals & Play
As much as I would love to have plans back to back and see everyone and do everything, it just doesn't work with a baby in tow. Coco is happier and I end up having a better time when she gets her naps and meals on schedule and has plenty of time to play everyday. For a toddler, life is all about sleeping, eating and climbing on chairs. Well, that is life according to Coco anyway. She still needs two naps per day to be a happy, cheerful, active little girl. If she misses out, then I have a whining, unhappy, grumpy girl on my hands and it's just no fun for anyone. It means for a slower, but way more fun and infinitely happier trip.

What are you tricks for traveling with a baby or toddler? I would love to hear! xo

2 comments:

  1. Appreciate these tips! Planning to hire a car for the six weeks that we will be in Australia in Feb/March... we are usually way too stingy for that. :)

    Meanwhile, hubby just mentioned we could make it a round-the-world trip, seeing as he has teams in San Francisco, Tokyo and Sydney... Oh how the stomach churns with thoughts of loooong flights and jet lag with my bubba! You are becoming quite the traveller with Coco. It's great for me to read about :)

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  2. I hope you are having fun in Dublin!!
    I finally created a new blog- I don't love the template, but it's here to stay for the moment until I can get something better up. I also started following you on instagram :)
    (I used to be A Sunday Kind of Love)

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