So you’re thinking of taking a trip somewhere? So you have a baby? NOT A PROBLEM. As someone who has recently taken a 3 week trip with a 4 month old baby, I have tons of really helpful tips and advice on how to make your travels with baby run smoothly. You’re welcome in advance!
Tip 1: Don’t travel with your baby.
What are you, nuts? Taking a 3 week trip with a 4 month old? Have you completely lost your mind? Maybe the first step to traveling with a baby is having an in-depth psychological evaluation done on yourself to find out the exact nature of your mental illness. The #1, hands down, easiest tip for traveling with your baby is just to never do it, ever. It’s simple and cost effective. And you have the added bonus that you can do it in one of two ways—by just not traveling at all, or by traveling and leaving your baby with someone you either trust or at least sort of trust. (grandparents , acquaintances, passably-friendly yoga instructors, non-violent mailmen, etc.)
Tip 2: Keep Your Expectations Realistic—do not expect it to feel like a vacation at all (i.e. enjoyable)
Don’t go into traveling with a baby thinking, “I’m going to relax and have an amazing time.” Set realistic goals. Say things like, “I’m going to see how many people on this airplane I can get to passive aggressively put in their iPod headphones,” or “I’m going to invent a fun drinking game where every time the baby either vomits or cries because of pressurization problems on the plane, I take a shot. “ Know that even simple actions such as “leaving a hotel room” or “boarding a bus” will require MacGyver-like ingenuity and monk-like patience and that walking onto a plane with a baby is the equivalent of walking onto a plane wearing a sandwich board that says “I have bedbugs!” except that in the bedbugs example maybe there are one or two people who still won’t mind sitting next to you.
Tip 3: Go Somewhere Baby-Friendly
Nowhere you have any interest in going is baby friendly. But at least go somewhere that is less baby UNfriendly. Vacations to avoid while traveling with a baby include:
-A ‘hiking up Mount Everest’ vacation
-Anything that involves being on or near a boat
-Anywhere that requires getting numerous pre-trip vaccinations
-Any place where there are flights of stairs or nice restaurants where you want to enjoy yourself
-Any place with wild, violent animals that might eat a baby
-Any place with other people
Tip 4: Always Have a Backup of Everything
Brought food? Bring extra food. Brought diapers? Bring extra diapers. Do not underestimate the number of things that will go wrong. What’s that, you think you’re ok on an 8 hour day trip bringing along 24 diapers and 17 bottles of formula? Amateur. You’re an idiot. The baby will go through those in the first fifteen minutes. Probably your best bet is to bring an extra baby so when the one you have becomes waaaaaay more than you can deal with at that moment, hand him off to some friendly locals who seem ok with babies, pull out your spare baby, and get back on your tour bus.
Tip 5: Always Make Sure You Lock Your Stroller Wheels When Your Stroller is on a Hill
Ok so obviously it’s not like I’m speaking from personal experience or anything, but if your stroller is on any sort of an incline and you’re walking away from it for any length of time, LOCK THE WHEELS because otherwise there you are, running after it like an idiot, pulling your stroller out of the pond at Powers Court Gardens while hundreds of other tourists stare at you like you are the world’s biggest moron and worst parent. And again, totally totally hypothetical. I can’t imagine that anyone that anyone would do something this stupid so let’s not spend any more time on it.
Tip 6: Take the Baby to Outer Space
If you can get the U.S. Government to fund it, consider taking your baby into outer space. This solves two of the most frustrating baby/travel problems.
1.) Having to carry your baby and your baby’s stuff all over the place. (In zero gravity the baby floats! With the fun added bonus that if your pediatrician calls and asks, “Is he gaining weight?” you can say, “No, he’s gaining mass!”)
2.) In space, no one can hear you scream. With the added bonus that no one can hear the baby scream either! You’ll never worry that “his fussiness is bothering anyone” because you’ll be a hundred thousand miles from another human being.