How To Have a Stress-Free First Family Vacation

Monday, May 15, 2017
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When you’re a new mom, the first family vacation with your new baby can feel like a pretty daunting experience. It can be easy to see why many people don’t choose to do one for quite a while. Our first big trip with Emma came when she was six months old. We went to Captiva, Florida to spend a week at our timeshare. To say I was anxious about traveling with her on an airplane is an understatement. I didn't know what to expect from her. Would she be insufferable on the airplane for three hours or would she sleep like a, well, baby?

You want to feel confident and happy and reduce stress as much as you can when you travel. Isnt' that what a vacation is all about? When planned well, you can have a good family vacation and get a break from your normal routine (which can be very welcomed as a new parent). Here are a few tips I've employed over the years when traveling with my children:

Whether you are traveling domestically or internationally, it's a good idea to be sure your children have updated immunizations. It gives you peace of mind and gives your baby and an extra layer of protection which can be very useful, especially if you are going abroad or to somewhere where the risk of disease is high. Depending on your destination, it may be advised to have some extra vaccinations before travel. So that is worth checking with your doctor or a specialized travel clinic to make sure. There is also some advice online, somewhere like

Research Your Location
Once you settle on your destination, you will want to spend some time researching the general area and amenities. Familiarize yourself with what is close by to your hotel or accommodation, such as restaurants and grocery stores. Whenever there is a supermarket close by to our hotel or resort, I generally pick up necessities (diapers, toiletries, sunscreen) there. This way I don't have to pack large items or bottles. I always make a note of addresses before I go. Then, just in case I'm out and don’t have a good wifi connection , I can quickly find the things that I need. A pharmacy, walk-in clinic, or hospital are good to note, as well.

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Check With Your Airline
You've likely got a lot questions if you’re going to be flying with a baby. Can you bring a car seat and a stroller on the airline? What about a travel crib, for instance? If the website isn’t very clear (and quite often they aren’t), then call. Ask what happens with strollers and if they can be taken right to the gate. Can you retrieve it right at the gate at your destination or will you have to wait until baggage claim? All of this can help as it might mean you taking something like a sling or baby carrier as well.

Get Travel Equipment
When you’re thinking of all of the baby equipment that you need to take, it can be a good idea to get some travel versions. If you’ve got a travel system stroller like a Bugaboo, for example, it can be quite bulky to travel with. So it could be worth getting a more travel-friendly version like a compact umbrella stroller. They are lighter to carry and are much less expensive than a travel system. So if it gets thrown around by the airport staff, much less damage will be caused to it compared to a larger, more expensive version. A site like could be a good place to look for all things related to travel with babies. Then you can check what some of the best baby travel brands are, for example.

Plan Your Travel Times
If you have some flexibility as to when you can travel , then take some time to think about the schedule. If you can keep it to as near to nap time as possible, it can make a big difference to how well your little one will handle the trip. It can also be a good idea to perhaps fly at night too (if your baby is good at sleeping that is)! Then in most cases, they will sleep on the flight as it would be when they would normally be asleep.

Good luck as you plan your first vacation with your new baby! It is harder to be spontaneous when you have younger children. But it doesn't mean you have to forego traveling altogether. It just means you'll have to plan everything out, to make the trip as stress-free as possible.

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