Happy Tuesday AirPretty travelers! Every Tuesday we offer you some helpful travel tips from our community of travel experts. Share your tips in the comments below and you might be featured as one of our AirPretty Travel Experts on Travel Tip Tuesday!
Here are some tips from DockATot founder & Family Travel Expert Lisa Furuland:
The words ‘luxury’ and ‘baby’ might seem on the surface to be the equivalent of ‘oil’ and ‘water’ but fear not! It is possible to have a fabulous vacation without leaving your baby at home with your mother-in-law. You just need to do a little planning in advance.
Ship the bulky goods ahead of time
A suitcase full of diapers? A crate of formula? Not necessary! Ship what you think you will need that is bulky (diapers, wipes), or where having different brands may cause issues (formula), to your trip destination. Companies like Luggage Free make this possible, and Amazon is a great resource too.
Exception to this rule? The car seat. Whether you bring it on board or check it at the gate, this is one piece of equipment that you don’t want to be without. While rules about car seats vary from country to country, safety does not.
Baby under two? Buy them a seat anyway
Even a relatively short flight can end up feeling like forever if you don’t have enough space to spread out. While infants can be carried on your lap, having a seat for them has its advantages. Bring the car seat and give them a place to rest, play, and be comfortable and safe throughout the flight.
You can try and get the seats by the bulkhead that often have a bassinet. But if there is more than one baby on board, you might not get that seat. A great way to leverage a separate seat with a baby is to bring along a DockATot lounger. Your baby can sleep on the airplane, safely and comfortably. For the rest of the trip, the stylish lounger can double as a beach chair and a hotel room bed. You can even get an awesome travel bag to carry the lounger in, keeping it clean and within easy reach.
Also- Nothing says un-glamorous than spit up on your shoulder. A great way to be ready for upsets is to wear multiple layers. This way, you can peel off the layer that has been soiled without having to become an airplane bathroom contortionist. And have a pashmina on hand. If you get down to the last layer by the end of your flight, you have an elegant way to cover up.
Be a VIP
Many airlines have VIP services that you can buy, and you don’t have to be a celebrity to get access to them. From curbside greeting by a representative of the airline and front of the line access at the security check to VIP lounges and an electric cart ride to the gate, you can fly in style, even if first class is out of reach. You can even get assistance with connections and arrivals for many destinations.
Family friendly airports
If you have to suffer a layover, see if you can manage it at a family friendly airport. Layovers are the part of the trip where even the most well-traveled toddler could begin to lose it.
What are your options? Here are just a few examples. Chicago O’Hare International has an aviation themed playground and LEGOs. Boston Logan has family friendly seating, including rocking chairs, throughout the airport and plenty of family restrooms. At Orlando International, the kids will be mesmerized with the 3,000 gallon aquarium tank, with over one hundred species of underwater creatures and fish.
Get the biggest space you can
Whether you’re renting an apartment in the Marais district of Paris or you are opting for a beach resort, get enough space so that baby has a separate sleeping space. That way, you aren’t required to go to bed at 7:30 too! Ideally, a suite with a separate bedroom will give everyone some quiet time in the evening.
While renting an apartment will lack the luxury in terms of services (room service, housekeeping), it can be a good choice for longer stays in large cities around the world.
If you do opt for a hotel, look for a space where you’ll also have not only a refrigerator but a mini-kitchen. That way, heating up a snack for your wee one doesn’t involve calling room service. Unless, of course, you want to!
If you’ve always dreamed of going to a five star resort, now is the time.
All the top hotel chains and resorts have locations around the world with a variety of activities designed for children, including kids clubs, camps and babysitting. The ultimate resorts are ones like the Franklyn D. Resorts in Jamaica or Turtle Island in Fiji, where a booking includes a nanny for the duration of your stay! So while you’re still having a family vacation, you can also sneak away for a couples massage or a dinner that doesn’t involve mushed peas and carrots.
The better the resort, the more amenities you will receive. From a beautifully appointed crib and baby bath accessories to changing tables, baby monitors and diaper genies, luxury family resorts want you to relax and enjoy your trip, not worry how you’re going to clean your baby’s bottles.
Whatever vacation you choose to have with your little one, do what you can to minimize the day to day stresses. Plan in advance so you can enjoy every minute of your trip.
Don’t forget to share your tips in the comments below for a chance to be featured as one of our AirPretty Travel Experts on Travel Tip Tuesday! Check back next Tuesday for more helpful travel tips!