Traveling with a baby: what to expect?

Ford and I recently became parents, which we couldn’t be more excited about. With our son, Miles, not even two weeks old, we’re already starting to think about planning a trip with him, so I was hoping to get some advice from OMAAT readers who are parents.

Family travel is complicated (obviously)

It is undeniable that traveling as a family is much more difficult than traveling alone or as a couple. I’m excited about the challenge, because it’s a whole aspect of travel that I can’t wait to learn.

Having a newborn is really special, although travel-wise I can’t even express how giddy I am when Miles is a bit older and we can see the world through the lens of a kid. I remember when I was quite young, and how excited I was every time I went on a trip, the first time I visited cities I had only heard of in school, etc. .

Realistically, however, we are several years away from that. At the moment, we just have a ridiculously cute thing that sleeps, drinks formula, and poops all day.

The bad news is that the travel experiences probably won’t be very rewarding for him in a year or two. The good news is that infants cost you nothing extra to travel with you domestically, while internationally you only have to pay 10% of the adult fare (although they do have to also sit on your lap and do not get a seat).

I no longer expect travel to be carefree!

Is there a great place to travel with a baby?

Obviously, people will have very different opinions about baby travel, although I’d like to know where OMAAT readers who are parents stand.

The advice I’ve received most often so far is this (or maybe I’m just hearing the advice I want to hear… hah):

  • The ideal time to travel with a baby is before he starts learning to walk, because you can take him everywhere with you; once they start walking it gets much more complicated
  • If you have children traveling with you from a young age, they will be better travelers and the task will be less daunting in the long run because they will be so accustomed to traveling.

As I begin to consider possible baby trips, this brings me to some questions and things I’m considering:

  • What time is too early to start travelling? I ask this question in terms of general child development, the immune system, various vaccines, etc.
  • Is it better to stay in roughly the same time zone, or what do young children do with jet lag and long-haul travel? I mean, he sleeps about 20 hours a day from now on, so is there really a schedule change that could happen? 😉
  • Are there pros and cons to the types of destinations you visit with a baby, whether it’s a resort destination or an urban destination? My gut tells me resorts are better because you can just enjoy the fresh air and not be around too many people…
  • Is traveling with a baby just a recipe for having a bad time? Obviously caring for a baby takes a lot of effort under normal circumstances, and when you add in the potential stress of travel, does that add up to more trouble than its worth?
  • Presumably, with a baby, you commit to being with them 24/7 when you travel, but is there ever a time when you feel comfortable finding some sort of babysitting service? kids (through the hotel or any other source) so you can go out for a nice dinner one night, or has it just been on the table for a long time?

These are just a few of the things that cross my mind. Realistically, I think we’re going to start slow and progress from there. Maybe we’ll do a local stay first, then we’ll take a short flight to somewhere, and then maybe we’ll try a long-haul trip soon enough.

Just as I hope Miles will become a good traveler over time, ultimately half of that equation is becoming good traveling parents, because I recognize there’s a huge learning curve there- down.

Finally, I’m sure some OMAAT readers are wondering “does this mean there won’t be any more international travel reports for the next two years?” No, my plan is to continue doing review trips like I did before the pandemic, where I might just travel for several days, reviewing a bunch of airlines and hotels. I’m lucky enough to be able to work from anywhere, so I’m usually home 24/7 with Miles. I think it’s also reasonable to take review trips – after all, this blog is my livelihood.

When can I collect Miles on its first Lufthansa 747 flight?!

At the end of the line

It’s a whole new world of travel for us, as we now have a newborn baby. Although we’re not quite ready to travel with Miles just yet, we’re ready to start planning some things. I just don’t know what timeline makes sense to travel with, what kind of destinations are best, and how do newborns cope with jet lag given that they sleep most of the day?

To OMAAT readers who are parents – any advice?

#Traveling #baby #expect

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