Hello friends, Today I am going to tell you all about our trip to Amsterdam & Paris with our one year old, Hudson, in tow. My husband had to travel over there for work and because our friends were currently living in Amsterdam we decided to make a trip out of it. Notice that I say trip not vacation ;). We went in July which was wonderful because the weather was gorgeous. Before we went I searched for any advice I could find about traveling with a toddler. I was so excited but so nervous about taking a one year old on a 8 hour plane ride. Now, I am no expert on traveling with kids especially because we only had one at the time so I am sure some of you could give me even better advice. I found some really helpful posts from Amber Fillerup Clark and Jenny from Fawn Design, and Oh Joy that helped me feel very prepared. However, no matter how prepared you are there are gonna be moments of stress and chaos which all of you mothers know! But a few helpful tips I found I have mentioned below. . . .
- Diapers & Wipes
- Clothes & Extra clothes!
- NEW toys (that they won’t see until the plane)
- Food (lots of different choices, plus new snacks)
- Ziploc bags (gallon size): These are your best friend! I packed all of our baby pouches in them and I brought extra in case of stained clothes, leaky toiletries & dirty diapers in case you aren’t near a trash can etc.
- Blankets: Bring a lot! Some for sleeping, some for airport & hotel floors for them to crawl on & some for the stroller
- Hat, Sunscreen & Bug Spray
- Baby Monitor: Make sure to bring an outlet adapter if going to a different country
If possible wear your baby through the airport and push your stroller. I brought our Ergo360 that way we could wear him a few different ways and my husband could wear him as well. We decided not to bring a car seat on the plane, that is a personal preference and I am sure some of you will frown on me not bringing it however, I did lots of research and did not think it was necessary. So our only large item was the stroller. I put my diaper bag in the seat of the stroller and pushed it so I didn’t have to carry that. I wore Hudson throughout the airport and then once we got to the gate I would let him crawl around or we would put him in the stroller while we ate. It is really nice to have options, especially because your babe will get tired of being in the same positon as well. When you get on the plane you can bring the stroller right on to the walkway. Before you step on to the plane to find your seat, an airport worker will take it and stow it away. When you land they will have it for you when you get off the plane, you may have to wait a few minutes longer for them to bring it up but it really does not take that long and it is worth it. It is SO helpful!
Food: I was still breastfeeding Hudson at the time but he was also eating solids so I packed about fifty pouches because I wasn’t sure if they would have the kind he liked in Europe. You CAN bring pouches in your carry on bag! I was so worried about this but they do allow you to bring them, however, when you go through security they do have to pull them out and inspect them so security can take an extra 5-10min because of this. I made sure that I had his pouches in a gallon Ziploc bag (about 15 pouches can fit into one gallon size bag) so that they would be visible and easy to pull out. I also put some in a gallon bag in our suitcase that we checked and there were no food explosions when we opened our bags when we arrived thank goodness.
Rent Gear when you get there! A friend of mine told me that when they were traveling to Florida they found a company where they could rent the carseat, stroller, pac-n-play etc. This was WONDERFUL news. Of course research the company beforehand so you can see what products they supply as well as cleanliness and availability. Before you leave you will need to reserve your gear so that it will be ready when you arrive. Depending on where you are going the rental prices are a lot cheaper then having to pay to fly all of that gear over plus you don’t have to stress about making sure it actually gets there. I think it is well worth it!
Diapers: Another helpful tip was rather than packing a suitcase full of diapers for eleven days, only pack enough to get you there and then purchase more once you are there and heading home. This way you still have room to pack regular things because diapers in bulk take up a lot of space.
Before you leave for your trip, look up “kid friendly” stores, restaurants, events etc. If it is a big city you are sure to find blog posts on this otherwise most places have a website for the town and you can find things on there.
The best advice I can give you about traveling with kids is that there are going to be wonderful memorable times and there are going to be very stressful times. However, the memorable ones always outweigh the stressful ones. So before you say ‘no’ to a trip because you don’t want to deal with the stress…just remember those memorable moments you will have with your hubby and kids and go on that trip!