My husband and I recently took a 14 hour road trip to Florida with our 9 month old that rendered us coffee guzzling zombies for days. Now that I am home and slowly resuming human form, I am able to identify several major lessons learned about traveling with a baby under the age of one.
Prior to having baby co, I was fortunate enough to take several trips within and outside of the U.S. My mindset in planning these trips was to plan a five star vacation on a two star budget. Sometimes that meant sacrificing some time on layovers, driving instead of flying, and hoofing it to main attractions. After several trips with baby co, I’m realizing that the sacrifices that once led to affordable quality vacations will now only lead to a coffee addiction and early female balding.
I know there are moms who exist famously on the motto have baby will travel, but I have to assume those moms are accompanied by babies very different from mine. Babies whose lists of hobbies include sleeping in the car, playing with any toy for more than a minute, and people watching without feeling compelled to scream demands at said people. These slightly less than charming characteristics of my little prince make this motto seem outright laughable.
The things that afford us a five star trip with baby co come with a five star price. The non-stop flights during prime time nap time or bed time with our little love strapped snugly in his Ergo carrier. Accommodations ideally located with limited travel times to main attractions and include a separate bedroom area for baby to sleep undisturbed. And of course, a carefully packed bag of unlimited puffs, creativity, and wet wipes.
Thus far, the mistakes we have made have been failing to take into account the person our son is. He has never been someone who enjoys the car. He struggles to sleep in the car with the bright lights, passing trucks, random bumps, and occasional fuel stops. It was a mistake to think that an overnight car trip to Florida would be met with anything less than a sleepless night and lots of crying and frustration (on his part and ours). Sure, we saved $200, but I have to think a few more trips like that would lead us to re-invest the money into anti-aging remedies, an exchange that’s probably not worth making.
I think it’s time to admit that the days of the affordable five star vacation are behind us, at least until we have an older, more flexible kid.