Traveling with an infant can feel overwhelming, but don’t let yourself be intimidated by it! As older millennials, we grew up traveling. We are comfortable traveling the world, and there’s no reason you can’t do that with children.
Getting started early gives you the confidence to travel with them. And if you put it off, it can just get more intimidating. Flexibility is key – make sure you’re being flexible, and allow your child to learn flexibility, too. It’s a really good challenge for the family to master! At 18 months old, my daughter Lily has become quite the traveler with 22 flights under her belt. Here are some tips for traveling with an infant!
There are the traditional tips like having a bottle for take-off and landing and giving them toys they’ve never played with before. But here are some of the tips I’ve found that are the key to our travels.
I had to wear Lily a lot during the pandemic as we all worked from home, and it has really become a safe space for her. Wherever we are — whether it's in a restaurant, on a hike, and throughout our travels — she'll snuggle right up. It’s all about creating an environment that feels comfortable for the baby.
If you can’t find a direct flight, get connecting flights with a longer layover and get a day pass to one of the airline clubs. There, they have space for your little ones to run around. I did this with my daughter during my trip from LA to NY to Rome. She tired herself out and slept the whole flight from NY to Rome.
I always bring a bunch of drawstring bags – one for toys, one for snacks, one for diaper changing supplies, etc. That way you can just grab the bag of what you need out of your bigger bag without needing to dig around for things.
“Family-friendly” doesn’t have to mean a place with a kid’s camp. For us, it’s a hotel with great service and easy access to restaurants.
We took Lily to Cabo when she was 9 months old and Italy when she was 12 months old. The key to international travel with an infant is to simplify your itinerary. Rather than always being on the go, take the time to slow down on these trips. Choose a few spots you want to hit and keep it simple.
Our trip to Cabo was all about relaxation. We stayed at the Nobu Hotel, which is a little bit outside of the city and touristy area, and we spent most of our time at the resort. We wanted two things: a relaxing stay and fantastic food.
I didn’t want it to feel like a family hotel with a child-filled pool. Nobu has bungalows around the pool that you can use for free. They provided us shade all day. We could jump in the pool as we wanted and have our own private space. It truly felt like we actually had a vacation.
Then, when Lily just turned 12 months, we went to Italy. Usually, my husband and I like to do a lot when we travel, but this time we chose to focus on three hotels in the course of two weeks, staying longer in fewer locations. Lily managed to master walking on the cobblestones in Italy!
In Rome, we stayed at The Hoxton. The Hoxton is more of a smaller, boutique hotel that was very family-friendly and had great service. In Tuscany, we opted for more of a resort-feel. We stayed at Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco and Belmond Castello di Casole, which were both great. We were able to do things like truffle hunting with Lily strapped on my chest and wine tasting. We had lovely lunches out, and then we would hang out at the resort for the rest of the day. By the end of the trip, everyone knew Lily’s name and she was the life of the party. They made us feel very welcome.
Our philosophy is that we want to bring our children into our world. It’s important for the child to fit into the family. Travel allows you to learn flexibility, balance, patience, and how to be part of a family unit. It might be intimidating at first, but learning to travel with your children brings so much value into your and their life!