This Monday Session focuses on family travel, specifically travelling with a baby. My very good friends Richard, Jean, and baby Nate (5 months at the time) spent several weeks in Europe, mostly in Germany as well as some time in the Netherlands and the Czech Republic. Here is a bit about their preparation.
WTW: You were taking a long flight and then travelling around Germany, Czech Republic and Netherlands. How did you prepare for this trip with a baby?
Jean: We didn’t really prepare as the time change was so significant, however we made sure we were on a night flight. We paid little more for bulkhead seats and reserved a bassinet from the airline. We put him to bed at his normal time so when we arrived he had a pretty good sleep. We as parents did not have a great sleep. It took about 3 days for baby to get used to the time change. Us, it took about a week.
WTW: The little extras can make a difference. How did Nate travel? How was he during the flight?
Jean: Nate travels really well. As long as we don’t interfere with his nap time and especially bed time. If he’s on the plane during nap time then no problem. Picking up baggage or waiting to board could lead to some crankiness. He loves looking at people and flirting with flight attendants.
WTW: Sounds like he’ll be a world traveller like his parents. You and Richard travel a fair bit. With the birth of your son, have you ever considered travelling less?
Jean: No. We live a life of exploration. It would be crazy to not include our son in other cultures and learning opportunities that traveling gives. We are a family and together we will experience new things.
WTW: That is fantastic! What was the most enjoyable part of the trip and travelling with Nate?
Jean: The small things that as adults we don’t appreciate, he sees. Trees, planes, and people of all ages.
WTW: The world in his eyes. Any future travels planned?
Jean: We would love to go back to France and the U.K. We want to go to Cuba and do a ton more sailing.
WTW: That life of exploration really is grand. Do you have any tips or suggestions for parents travelling with a baby?
- Buy and bring a Jolly Jumper. It takes up little luggage space and it provides exercise and fun for baby.
- Depending on age, if your stroller has a bassinet feature, bring it and have baby sleep in it. You can bring your stroller right up to the gate then goes on the plane for free.
- If co-sleeping buy a Dockatot. A little pricey but best money spent.
- Have enough diapers for the flight and for a few days. You can buy diapers all around the world.
- Have a few different baby carriers so when a baby gets sick of the stroller you can shake it up. When going to museums and historic places it’s advisable to check if it’s stroller friendly and whether they have a baby change tables. However you will have to change diapers on the ground, on church steps, on park benches. Baby doesn’t mind.
- Lastly be sure to bring extra sets of clothes for you and baby. For the blow out that WILL happen while going through security at the airport and it gets all over your shirt. Or the large vomit on the plane.
To conclude, we are a family with love, it doesn’t matter where in the world you are, as long as you’re together.
WTW: Thank you so much Jean. These tips are very helpful and I’m sure many will appreciate having this info. Also thanks for the photos of your family (all owned by her and used with permission)