I often hear from my friends “I don’t know how you do it” when they hear about my various travels with the kids.
A lot of research, a lot of preparation and a sound strategy. That’s how I do it.
I’ve been an avid reader of the Travels With Baby blog since my son was born. The site is a great place for parents to get tips on traveling with children, research ideas on places to go, and read reviews gear that makes travel easier. Over the past few years I’ve come up with a list of gear and must haves that I use to handle trips and I thought I’d take a moment to share what keeps me sane.
Carry On Help
I always think through what we will carry on, working to reduce the number of items we drag through the airport. For this trip we will bring the following:
–Backpack: the backpack will contain all the essentials we need at our fingertips for the flight such as extra diapers, snacks and of course distractions. This trip we purchased a LeapTop and a Thomas book as the new toys that we can use as distractions on the flight for my son.
–Camera Backpack: Carries all my husband’s camera equipment and the iPad. The iPad will be loaded with new videos and games for our son. However the iPad is the last item that comes out on the flight. It helps keep away breakdowns but if it comes out too soon, it wont work at the end of the flight.
– Large Rolling Backpack: You could also use a 22 in carry on suitcase. This will have blankets, travel pillows, and a set extra clothes for everyone (in case the luggage is lost).
– Preschool Backpack: This trip we are experimenting with having my son take his own carry on. The small bag will have his plane toys and snacks. It’s small enough to attach to our rolling bag if he decides not to carry it any more.
– Car Seat: My 2.5 year old son is active and can not be trusted in a regular airline plane seat. Even though the car seat likely won’t be used in India it is worth bringing to make our 15 hour flight to Dubai tolerable. We have a GoGo Kidz cart to convert our car seat to a stroller allowing us to check the stroller with our baggage.
– Baby Carrier: Our Baby Bjorn with back support is the easiest option to carry the baby and have your hands free. You can now wear it through security which makes life easier.
Other Helpful Gear
To make our travel in India easier, I have a few items that are essential for our trip and will be in our checked in luggage.
–Travel Brest Friend: Inflatable version of the Brest Friend for nursing sessions.
-Stroller: We use the UppaBaby G-Lite for travel. Its light, only 8 lbs, and has a shoulder strap so its easily carried up stairs. My son is too big to carry for long periods or to nap in a carrier any more. But he still naps in the afternoon and naps well in the stroller.
–PeaPod: This travel bed works as a safe place to put the baby down and folds up compact enough to fit in any suitcase.
– Ergo: I prefer the Ergo carrier as the baby gets older. Also, it has a 45 lb weight limit, if we find that we need to carry our son for any reason.
– 22 Inch Suitcases : We have two 22 inch suitcases that have both wheels and a backpack feature for our internal trips. The backpack feature is useful in India for the many train stations where stairs are a plenty.
However, no matter how much you plan, something you weren’t prepared for always comes up. But those situations are what force you to be creative, find an alternative and get out of your comfort zones. And isn’t that what travel is all about?