New Parent? Finding it Difficult Travelling Around with your Newborn/Toddler?
Written by: Ryan Bigelow, Director – Capital Finance & Reporting, SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts
Do you love travelling? I do, but when my wife and I had our first child, I thought my travelling days were over for good. Within the first few months I don’t think we left the house much. We quickly realized that we needed to change our approach to travelling if we were ever going to see the light of day.
Our approach; keep it simple, local, and fun. As a result, regular trips to Hawaii, New York, LA, San Fran, Caribbean, Italy, France, and Spain were quickly replaced with trips to nearby destinations such as:
- the Vancouver Aquarium,
- Granville Island,
- walks around the Vancouver seawall,
- local parks,
- the beach,
- an aquatic centre,
- the Vancouver Zoo, and of course
- Grandma’s house!
A couple of useful tips I’ve picked up over the past two years getting out-and-about with my little one:
Give Yourself Time
If you are travelling long distances, add another 25% to your trip time. I always seemed to enjoy my trips when I gave myself more travel time and made frequent stops. Instead of rushing from point A to point B, stop and smell the roses. You never know what sort of local attractions you might run into along the way.
Travel with a Backup Kit
Always keep a bag with the essentials (i.e. water, formula/snacks, diapers, and blankets) in the car; accidents happen. For example, I was making good time through the Coquahalla Highway last summer on our visit to Grandma’s house… It was a cool 40 degrees outside when my car decided to call it quits. We were stranded in the middle of nowhere on a busy highway. After a delightful call with the nearest towing company, it was clear that we weren’t going anywhere for 3-4 hours. Unfortunately, I was in a rush to get on the road and my baby bag was still sitting on the kitchen counter; 300kms away… Having that bag of essentials would’ve made a world of difference!
A 10-25 pound baby sure comes with a lot of baggage. As a new parent, I had a tendency to pack for every possible scenario/outcome. Strollers, diaper bags, bottles, clothes, blankets, baby carriers, car seats, toys etc. can quickly fill any vehicle. Loading and unloading the car took longer than the trip itself.
The solution, pack the bare essentials. All you need is your stroller and a diaper bag with the following:
- 1 change of clothes,
- and in the summer: sunglasses, a hat, and sunscreen.
That’s it. Your baby doesn’t need as much as you think.
iPad/Phone/Watch is more than a gadget; it is a life-saver
An iPad/Phone/Watch can be your best friend in times of need. I wouldn’t suggest playing this card regularly, but desperate times call for desperate measures. If you are having troubles settling your little one, play some music or a movie. Don’t forget to sing along. WARNING: Don’t let your children watch the movie Frozen by Disney, there is something about that movie that gets kids hooked. If you ever want to watch TV again, please stay away from this movie. You have been warned.
Travelling is time consuming, so try to make the journey just as fun as the destination.