We are going to Hawaii in January for just over 3 weeks. Nathan’s parents generously gifted the whole family a warm destination for Christmas this year. We cannot wait! The original vacation with the fam is actually only 10 days, but we opted to fly to another island and stay an extra 2 weeks. 10 days just doesn’t seem like enough when you live in the Arctic 😉
One thing I have really valued my whole life is travel. I knew I didn’t want to feel “held back” by having a baby. My idea of travelling has significantly changed, but nonetheless, we are going places people!!
Since Drake has been born, we’ve flown with him to visit my sister, Tori, in St. George, Utah. We’ve driven from Fort McMurray, AB to St. George & back again. We have also flown to Palm Springs, California….all with our sweet bundle in tow. Travelling with him has actually been really simple*.
Here are some packing tips I’ve come up with to make sure you don’t feel like you need to bring the crib, every sleeper you own, diaper genie, and the bathtub.
- Diapers – Babies poop a ton, but I overestimate how many diapers I actually change a day. That being said, when I’m hanging out at home, I do change way more diapers than I do when we’re out and about. Anyway, I would say to pack 4-5 diapers a day. This won’t seem like enough, but trust me, it is. If you’re skeptical, load your diaper bag with 20 extras, or worst case scenario, buy a box wherever you end up. I always end up bringing home a full sleeve because i’ve packed too many.
- Sound Machine – THIS IS A MUST. If you don’t own a sound machine now, go buy one immediately. We bought this one off of amazon and LOVE it. This is honestly a game changer, especially if you’re sleeping in the same room as your babe and you don’t feel like going to bed the second your baby shuts their eyes. We usually end up putting Drake to sleep in the Pack n’ Play in the bathroom with the sound machine hooked up in there. I bring this wherever we go!
- Baby Food – Pack your own. You already know what your baby likes, and it might not be available where you go. Drake loves eating pouches and they are so convenient. He will usually go through 3 a day. Typical cost for 1 pouch is $1.25, but I get them on special when you buy more than 6. TSA lets you bring anything through security if it’s for your baby. Our past trip to CA, I brought through over 20 pouches and no one batted an eye. Saved me so much money! Your diaper bag will be way heavier because of them, but thank goodness they let you bring strollers through too, hey?
- Bathtime – Bathtime is an essential part of our nightly routine. I am a slave to bedtime because I crave alone time after entertaining my tiny human all day long. I didn’t want this to change when travelling, which is why sticking to the routine is necessary! Drake hates going in the shower, so we resort to a “sponge” bath in the sink (because he’s way too big for a real bath in there) to get by. Although if showers work for your baby and you don’t have a tub, you’re in luck!
- Laundromat – Don’t be scared of this word! Baby’s poop, A LOT. This is a fact. How they manage to go sometimes 8 times a day is beyond me. It’s impressive really. We try to fit all of our clothes into one suitcase when travelling because I hate paying for baggage on the flight. My advice is: pack some coins, take 2 hours and hit up your local laundromat and wash your clothes to save on baggage fees at the airport. We had packed enough clothes for the whole week on our last trip, but with D man being sick, we had to do laundry anyway, and I will do it every trip 1 week or longer from now on. So nice!
- Toys – Drake is way more interested in toys nowadays, so I was worried for our trip to Palm Springs that I would need tons of toys to keep him occupied. Little did I know, we would use the same 3 things the entire trip. I recommend bringing 3-4 small toys (that fit in your diaper bag)and that’s it. For example, a plush toy, a teething toy, one that makes sound, etc. I know that for future trips, we will not be bringing lots of toys…this made for a very noisy diaper bag as I was walking around the airport.
- Sleep – Anyone who knows me, knows how much I value sleep. Which is why I was PANICKING when I realized we would be sleeping in the same room as Drake on vacation. How was I supposed to be quiet and not wake him, but still be able to talk louder than a whisper past 7pm? Behold, the bathroom. In every hotel we’ve stayed in, we have managed to put either his tiny portable bassinet, or else the larger pack-in-play in the bathroom and shut the door. This enables you to utilize you room however you want while babe is sleeping. How are you supposed to use the toilet while he’s sleeping? No worries, you have the sound machine going on full force in there. Flush all you want, no one is waking up. (Tried & true peeps). Also – most hotels have a Pack n’ Play on site with no extra fee associated to use it. I recommend using theirs to save $$ on baggage fees at the airport.
- Stroller – BRING IT. This was the most used item on our entire trip. Baby needs a nap? Stroller. Baby is getting heavy? Stroller. You bought too much stuff and don’t want to carry it, stroller (lol). The airline guidelines say that the stroller has to be small and compact, but this isn’t the case. We brought my City Select and they didn’t say a word about it being big.