4 Tips for Traveling With a Baby

by Sean Bryant on June 5, 2012

With our first child only a few months away, my wife and I are fully aware that our love for traveling will not come quite as easy as it has in the past. Traveling with a baby can not only be stressful, but also expensive if you are not well prepared. If you follow some of these simple tricks you can easily put the fun back into traveling with a little one.

Make Checklists

Before you start packing for your family vacation, the first thing you need to do is complete a checklist. There are so many additional items that need to be packed once you have a baby, therefore it is essential to have a checklist or you are guaranteed to forget something. This does nothing but add additional costs that could easily be avoided. If you need a comprehensive baby packing list check out the one that Trekaroo has put together.

Leave the Big Stuff at Home

When traveling with a baby it is much easier if you leave the big items at home. Most major cities have rental companies (babysaway.com, babystay.com) where you can rent items such as cribs, car seats, high chairs and other items. If you are going to be renting a car, you can also talk to your rental car company since they typically have car seats available for a small fee.

Adjust How You Think

Before you prepare for a family vacation the most important thing you need to do is adjust how you would normally approach it. You need to fully accept that a road trip will take a lot longer and that getting through the airport will take you twice as long. If you can do this you will end up becoming a lot less frustrated.

Check Your Items

If you are worried about not being able to have a stroller while going through the airport, don’t be. You can easily check it once you have reached your gate. If you have a connecting flight then they can bring it back out for you to use during your layover. Having a stroller in the airport is a must because it helps to ensure you can get from point A to point B a lot faster.  If decide that you just don’t want the hassle than you can always choose to use a Baby Bjorn or a Moby Wrap instead.

Unpredictable events are always going to occur while you travel, but if you follow these simple tips you will find the entire process much easier and more enjoyable.

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Sean Bryant

Sean Bryant created OneSmartDollar.com in 2011 to help pass along his knowledge of finance and economics to others. After graduating from the University of Iowa with a degree in economics he worked as a construction superintendent before jumping into the world of finance. Sean has worked on the trade desk for a commodities brokerage firm, he was a project manager for an investment research company and was a CDO analyst at a big bank. That being said he brings a good understanding of the finance field to the One Smart Dollar community. When not working Sean and he wife are avid world travelers. He enjoys spending time with his daughter Colette and dog Charlie.
  • Good stuff. We just bought a camper this year and will be taking some trips around the state, anywhere from 2-4 hours. These are good tips. Thanks!

    • A camper is a good idea. It allows you to stay close if you want but also gives you your own space.

  • That’s gotta be tough! My friends had a baby a little less than a year ago and they have finally come to terms with having to leave her with their parents when they travel. Lots of trips just aren’t as fun with a baby there and they had a hard time accepting that.

    • Our plan is to start small and gradually work our way into bigger trips. My wife was all over the world as a baby so we both want that for our Children as well. Parents do make great babysitters though 🙂

  • Timely tips! We’re also having our first baby in a few months.

  • I think be flexible should be added! Babies are a lot to handle, and there’s no doubt that something will not go according as planned. Although this may tie into the “adjust how you think” point. Great tips.

  • Yeah I bet traveling with a baby must be pretty stressful. I would recommend avoiding any long flights when they are particularly young though. You wouldn’t want to annoy the entire plane with a screaming baby throughout the flight. Plus they would just need to be changed too often. It’s probably best to wait until it is a bit more manageable. I didn’t realize you could rent stuff like high chairs, cribs and strollers, but I guess that makes sense. Who is going to want to pack that when traveling.

  • Good thoughts…
    We are currently on our third adventure through baby-time..

    You HAVE to be flexible when you have a baby.. Don’t make too many plans, and build downtime into every day. Accept that sometimes, things just wont work out and you will have to cancel plans. There will be occasions when you have to leave a restaurant and instead eat fast food in the car (gross), there will be times when you just have to sit in your hotel room, instead of that planned trip to the amusement park.

    Babies can’t communicate and are quite fickle, but for everyone’s sanity.. You have to be prepared for anything.

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  • Great tips as I am adjusting to my first two month old. It does take much longer to get ready. Thanks for the tips and good luck with your deliver!

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