Monday, February 4, 2013

Traveling with baby: Tips to Avoid Travel Woes

A guest post by Maire Hunter

We've all been there: you walk onto the crowded bus (or train, or plane) and suddenly you can feel all eyes narrowing at you at once. The baby you're carrying begins to squirm and fuss, just as you realize you left the diapers at home. Before chaos ensues, let's take a minute to rewind and go back to the day before where all of this unnecessary stress could have been avoided with the following preparatory measures.

1. Plan your trip for nap time

Traveling with a sleeping baby is infinitely easier than traveling with an active and wide-awake baby who needs constant entertainment. For shorter flights and trips, try to book around nap time so your baby will fall into his or her natural sleep routine as you travel. Longer trips are best taken at night, so there is a better chance that your child will sleep for an even longer duration. Whatever you do, avoid traveling during the "witching hours" between 3 and 7 p.m., as that’s usually when babies are the crankiest.

2. Purchase travel insurance

The risk of missing a flight becomes much higher when you're traveling with young children, which is why you want to have a solid plan B with a travel insurance policy. Sometimes flights get canceled, children get sick, luggage gets lost and other mayhem occurs that's beyond your control. Although you can't control these circumstances, you can plan ahead so that they don't turn into disasters.

3. Win over fellow travelers

One creative couple employed a tactic used by all the best public relations professionals: Stay ahead of the problem. The couple gave goody bags full of candy to every passenger on the plane, along with an attached advanced apology that was written from the perspective of the twin baby boys they were carrying. The note asked for forgiveness of any fussiness and guaranteed that the parents had earplugs for anyone that needed them. Who could get upset at a gesture that cute?

4. Bring extra everything

When you're traveling, you might be tempted to pack light, but this simply won't cut it with a baby in tow. Even though you think you might not need it for the trip, bring along extras of all essential baby items, such as clothes, diapers, wipes, formula, pacifiers, toys, books and even medicine. If you're worried about leaving something out, create a log a few days before of all of the items your baby uses in an average day and make sure to bring these along on your trip.

Most of us probably dislike traveling as it is, but adding a young child to the mix can turn an unpleasant experience into a downright unbearable one. But you will get through it in one piece, and be a better parent because of it. When the going gets tough, just remember that these minor sacrifices are the price you pay for getting to bring your little bundle of joy along with you on a new adventure, and that makes it worth all the passenger glares and piercing cries in the world.

No comments: