Traveling can be fun for families, especially with kids. Going on vacation or a road trip with a baby requires lots of additional considerations, though, especially in terms of what to pack. From diapers to car seats (and more), it can be hard to know what you genuinely need versus what is just extra baggage.
Oftentimes your packing depends on the method of travel you’ll use and where you plan to go. Luckily, these packing tips can help you make sure you pack correctly without bringing too much along on your trip with your baby.
Packing For A Car Trip
When it comes to packing and travel with your baby, sometimes car trips can be the easiest to manage — especially if your baby is under six months old. Car travel allows you to stop frequently and places almost no restrictions on what you pack. However, since traveling by car typically takes longer, you’ll need to plan ahead for that.
According to Bethany Mandel of What To Pack, you’ll want to plan ahead for the car and pack items like a car mirror, a sun cover, and a toy for the road. You may also want an outdoor blanket so you can stretch out in the grass at a rest stop and give your baby a break from their car seat, and small snacks if your baby is old enough for them.
When packing the car, you’ll want to think about all of the possible items you could need mid-travel too, like diapers and wipes, pacifiers, burp cloths, and even bottles. You’ll want to make sure nothing is in a place that requires you to pull over the car and retrieve them, especially if they are items that will help keep your baby calm.
Packing For Air Travel
Unlike car rides, air travel requires many more packing considerations because of the restrictions on the number of items you can take and the regulations for carry-on items for the flight. When planning your flight, be sure to check your airline’s baggage policy and read up on restrictions for carry-on items and security.
Blogger and mom Beth Kirby suggest that parents pack as light as possible for air travel. According to Kirby, babies mainly just need food, diapers, and a safe sleeping space. She also says that you can always buy diapers and other items at your destination, so it may not be worth your time or energy to overpack those items. While you do want to have enough to make it to your destination, you don’t want to bring an entire year’s worth of diapers for a long weekend trip.
However, think about the worst-case scenarios, like blowouts or other accidents. For these, you may want to have some extra clothes and a Ziploc bag easily accessible so you can take care of those issues without any. You may also want to make sure you have something to soothe your baby in case the airplane ride upsets them in any way.
Also, items like strollers and car seats can make air travel complicated, so if you can avoid bringing them along, it might be worth it. Babywearing makes navigating busy airport terminals and other locations a lot easier than a stroller, and many rental car companies offer options for renting car seats. However, if you do bring these items along, consider gate-checking them to prevent damage or loss.
Packing For Your Destination
Depending on your destination, you may also need to pack special items for that location. For example, if you’re going to the beach or other sunny destination, you’ll definitely need a sunhat, baby-safe sunscreen, and other types of sun protection like a sun tent. You’ll also need a baby swimsuit and swim diapers if you plan to get into the water with your baby, and a good place to lay your baby down so they aren’t directly in the sand.
If you’re going to more wooded areas where you’ll be outdoors a lot, don’t forget to pack some bug spray and breathable clothing so your baby doesn’t overheat. Babywearing also works great for hikes and outdoor activities, so consider bringing at least one carrier for that. If you’re specifically camping, you may also want a pack-n-play or similar item for the baby to sleep or even just relax during the day.
Regardless of the destination, pack with the weather in mind and any possible weather changes that may occur while you’re there. Also, think about any medical needs your baby may have and what might be best to have with them.
Traveling with your baby can be a great experience, but packing can seem a bit stressful if it’s your first time. While there are tons of lists out there on what to pack, these tips can help you avoid unnecessary packing and make sure you have everything you need for your trip.
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