This feels a little strange to be writing this, as I’m not really aiming this to be an advice blog; more a ‘oh, yeah, me too’ blog. However, I know that when we had E every trip suddenly changed. I’m not even talking about the big trips, I mean even the ones to the supermarket also meant carting along nappies, wipes, nappy bags, a change of clothes, a muslin cloth and the pram! So, going on a road trip to Ireland would obviously entail a LOT of stuff. It did. It was a logistical nightmare, but we did it and I thought I’d put down my top tips for travelling with a baby.
E was 6 months old when we took this trip, but I think a lot of this will still apply to older children too.
1. Don’t overpack
Seriously, try to make a comprehensive list and stick to it. I’m usually one that will pack for ALL eventualities and as our trip was to Ireland, the weather isn’t the most predictable, so I thought I’d pack for everything. In theory, a great idea. In practice, not so much. We had to fit all our suitcase into the car, plus the pram, plus E’s tub seat, plus her carrier(s), plus her bag of stuff, plus her next2me cot… we have a roomy boot and we struggled (I’m using the ‘royal we’ here, as my husband did most of the packing and unpacking). So, I would say ask yourself, “Do I really need this?” with everything and you’ll be surprised how much time and space you’ll save.
2. Always have a back up
Now, I realise this my contradict my last point, but bear with me. I don’t necessarily mean a back up pair of leggings (though, a must for your child). I mean a back up plan. Weather is never guaranteed, nor is how you’re feeling. So, always have an alternative for plans for the day, so you’re not left feeling deflated and disappointed,
3. Plan travelling around naps
We had a lot of driving to do on our Ireland trip, so we tried to time the journey’s we needed to do around E’s naps. In case you’d not noticed from my previous posts, she’s not the greatest sleeper, so getting her naps right can help. So, if you’ve got a 2 hour journey, try and do it when your baby needs a nap!
4. Expect disturbance
I was dreading holidays, because of how E sleeps, so was preparing for the worst. Thankfully, a lot of the time, her sleep wasn’t much different. We had the odd night where she woke up a lot, but thanks to co-sleeping every night (apart from one) she still had a relatively decent night (for her). If you expect the worst, then you’re pleasantly surprised if it doesn’t happen.
5. Try to enjoy it
I know this sounds ridiculous, you’re on holiday, BUT it’s not the holiday you had when you were childless. It’s fun and relaxing, but in such a different way. It’s not relaxing in terms of having a lie in, leisurely breakfast then lounging by the pool (not that we would’ve done this in Ireland), but it’s relaxing in that you’re making precious memories with your family and that makes you smile just that little bit more.
Obviously, some of these tips might not apply to holidays to sunnier climes and that don’t involve a car, but at least 4/5 I think would be helpful to me if I was doing this again.
Let me know if it helps and if you’ve got any tips for me!