…the unmistakable wail of a hungry child….the paralyzing fear of how many germs must be covering any surface area in sight…the all consuming effort of packing for the equivalent of a new world expedition and still forgetting everything you actually need… I get it, traveling with a baby can be scary. Either you’ve experienced all of those things already and are hesitant to try again, or you might find yourself afraid of all of those things and not tried it at all…yet!
Traveling with a baby isn’t the easiest on many fronts – there are pretty much no if’s, and’s or but’s about that. Just because it’s not easy, however, doesn’t mean that it always has to be hard and unpleasant. The beauty is that once you make peace with that, it opens up a whole new world of travel you might not have considered before. In fact, traveling with a baby can be a downright delight, and it is an adventure worth taking.
Traveling with a baby means that you see a different side to things as you explore. It means you come into contact with people and experiences that would have otherwise passed you by. And perhaps most importantly, it means that you lay the foundation for the next generation to be curious about what is outside of the home, so that they can figure out for themselves what home means to them.
As you get set up for this new kind of travel, you’ll have to make some changes, but these changes are mostly to expectations rather than to anything material. Traveling with a baby doesn’t require tons of new gear (regardless of what the baby stores tell you!) as much as it requires an open mind and a bit more patience. At least, that’s what we’ve learned in our family so far. We’ve always had the travel bug, and got our own kids started early. The year before my second maternity leave, I took well over a hundred flights, so it was inevitable that my daughter find herself on about a quarter of them. She’s five now and nearly a pro at the airline safety announcement after lots of practice. And now with our newest addition, our son born last year, we have gotten the chance to do it all over again. But don’t think that you need big airplane trips to see the world – we do just as much from trains and cars and walks as we do from airplanes.
Parts of the Traveling with a Baby seriesfirst appeared on Valentina Fussel’s Traveling Mama (who is now over at the very fab House of Valentina), but I wanted to share our few tips and tricks in the full set of posts here on the blog. This isn’t so much about the gear or anything like that because the truth is, you don’t need much of it, and it’s not about traveling with kids in general (although happy to talk about that too separately). This is a little more on on how to get started on traveling with a baby from a personal perspective, what to look out for, and above all, how to enjoy this new lens on seeing the world around you, both near and far! We keep our littles on the road a fair amount but we also like to keep things fun. And we’re always looking to learn from other parents so please feel free to share your travel tips and adventures below here too!
PS – The photo above is from one of our long time favorite destinations – Berchtesgaden, Germany – in fact, we just returned from there last week and more to come on the area next week if you’re thinking about a visit!