The Holiday Season is Here! We are taking a trip to my moms back in Colorado and then for Christmas we are braving a 16 hour drive to Northern Nevada to see my husbands family. I traveled a lot as a kid. My parents divorced when I was in 1st grade so I spent most of my living packing up and moving between two houses. On top of that my mom was flight attendant for United Airlines for 25 years. I am 25 years old so that just gives you an idea. I’ve watched her pack, unpack and make her self cozy no matter where she was.
Before You Leave:
Clean house yes seriously, there is nothing worse than coming home to a house that’s in disarray. Even if you just tidy up I know you will feel better after a long day of travel.
Put clean sheets on your bed and hang up a clean towel there is nothing like stepping into a clean shower with a clean towel. Then crawling into a made bed with clean sheets when you get home it’s all waiting for you!
Put a hold on your mail we have a mailbox thats just ours so it’s important that all of our mail gets to us.
Protect your home from intruders we have lights that come off and on via the wifi. We can control them from our phones and even Alexa when we are home. They have an “away” setting that turns lights on and off periodically to make it look like we are home!
For the plane:
Check your luggage curbside if you can. It’s so stressful trying to find where you’re going when you have a stroller, the carryons, the carseat(s), and the checked baggage. It’s so much easier to check the luggage outside and just walk in with you carryon items. Don’t forget to tip! (Typically its about a $1-$2 a bag).
If your plane seats three on either side of the isle choose to have your spouse sit in the isle you and sit in the window. We have found that if you are traveling with an infant (and they will be on your lap) the gate agent (the person in charge of putting people on the plane) will only put someone between the two of you if the plane is totally full. Your spot will probably be the last place they will seat someone; and if they do it’s usually an easy swap to have them take the isle or the window depending on what you want.
Pack a bag just for gear for your kid this means, a sound machine, the baby monitor, clothing, medicine, bath supplies etc. You will place this bag on the seat of your carseat and check this; for FREE. I would discourage you from packing the things that YOU need; this service really isn’t for that. Airlines know that kids take extra things and that’s really what this is for. Don’t be unreasonable.
Bring a stroller or a baby carrier you can check the stroller at the gate for FREE.
*NOTE* if you baby wear you don’t usually have to take them out of the carrier. If you take a stroller they will need to come out and the stroller goes through like a checked bag.
Wear slip on shoes for security and no jewelry.
Pack all the baby food/snack/food pouches whatever all in a gallon bag and stick it on the outermost pocket of your carryon bag.
Have a designated bag just for baby that will go with you on the plane. This bag should have lysol wipes, hand sanitizer, diapers, wipes, changing pad, a change of clothes for you and baby, snacks, toys, a bib, a jacket, nursing cover (if your child is still nursing) I would also bring a small neck pillow, the dvd player with a headphone jack splitter.
If you’re flying you should be able to board first. I wipe everything down before we sit down this includes the window shade, the buttons, and the seat back in front of us. Pull everything out that you will need for at least the first 45 minutes and put everything else up in the overhead bin. Things I personally would pull out would be a water bottle for you little for take off for his ears, a snack, a blanket and our dvd player and a couple of books.
For the Car
Get a portable DVD player and have a stock pile of DVD’s.
Bring a bag for Snacks and a separate bag of Toys/entertainment.
Travel around your child(ren)’s nap times. So for Daxton when we got to Nevada for Christmas we will get up very early (like 2am) to travel to Las Vegas where we will stop for the night. It takes us about 7 hours to get there. But we will have done most of the drive while he was sleeping! Traveling at odd times is great for traffic and it keeps on schedule for sleep.
Get out of the car during awake times! Know that traveling with kids no matter where you go is going to take more time. Their carseats aren’t as comfortable as our seats and they have limited mobility to keep them safe. This means it feels even better to them to stretch and take a break.
Roll the windows down. This totally works to calm a cranky baby the air from the window feels good and the sound can be soothing to them. We did this a lot when Daxton was a baby. He LOVES the window down!
Always travel with Extra Supplies this includes things like extra food, water, and blankets for everyone. It’s snowing this time of year and you would hate to be stranded. I have this in case of emergencies it can also charge your phone so you can call for help! Last it’s always good to have an emergency first aide kit and tire changing capabilities.
Before You Come Home
Grocery Shop online what I mean by this is, if your house is like mine it won’t have any good food left after you’ve been gone. Do yourself a favor and grocery shop online and pick up on the way home. For a small fee many Kroger brand supermarkets have Clicklist. For the first 3 times you use it it’s free! I also know that Walmart does the same for free!
This way you have a house full of food, clean towels, clean sheets and you’re ready to be home.
I hope these tips have been helpful! I wish you Safe Travels no matter where you are going this Holiday Season!