Travel light (when you fly with a baby)

Gone are the days when Alec and I could just go away for a few months with nothing but a pair of backpacks. Traveling with a baby requires more strategery, but this is one of my strengths, so allow me to share a tip:

You do not need to bring it all with you!

Tips for traveling with babies on airplanes

Flying with babies is a whole new adventure. And with luggage restrictions? Hold me. After a recent trip to Chicago (in which we did not travel light), I discovered that there are many ways to avoid carrying 17 bags, a stroller, a suitcase full of diapers, a carseat and a sleeping place for the baby. Here’s how:

  1. Call before you go. If you’re visiting friends or family, can they borrow a bouncy seat and a pack n play for a few days? Does the hotel already provide portacribs? Whitney and I bring our own sheets so the bed will smell like home (and a single sheet packs easier than the whole portible crib).
  2. Ship stuff ahead. Jet Set Babies makes send-ahead kits of diapering and feeding supply “bundles.” You can do it yourself on Amazon too.
  3. Shop when you get there. Do yourself a favor and carry on one diaper per hour of the flight and toss a few more in your luggage. Then plan to buy ’em when you get there. On this same trip to Chicago, we only packed about 10 of Holden’s #2 Huggies and the drugstore we went to carried only #1 or #3 (of every single brand!) but we managed.
  4. Rent some baby gear. After you’ve exhausted the free options, Traveling Baby Company and The New Parents Guide list many baby equipment renters across the country so you can have a high chair and a bag of toys ready when you get there. If you are traveling without your partner, you might want to consider doing this, as carrying all that crap AND a baby who needs to get changed or fed as soon as you get off the plane is pretty overwhelming.

Anyone else have tips to share about lightening your load when traveling with a baby?