cornflake dreams.: traveling abroad with a baby -- should we stay or should we go?

7.30.2015

traveling abroad with a baby -- should we stay or should we go?

Lately H and I have been talking about traveling again. We love taking trips together and I get serious wanderlust whenever I look back on our old travel photosI made a travel wish list back in 2011 and another in 2012. We visited all of the places on my original list (Spain, Turkey, Greece, and Italy) and now I want to revisit the second list. Out of all of the places I included (Thailand, Switzerland, India, and England), London seems like it is the most family-friendly place to visit. Switzerland seems like the next best choice, but I've heard it's crazy expensive. 

We'd love to take a trip next summer, but I'm not sure I can handle leaving Violet at home. I think I would miss her too much, and I wouldn't be able to enjoy our trip if she wasn't with us. But then again I get nervous about flying with her to Chicago --- so the idea of putting her on a plane for 10+ hour flight to Europe seems crazy. And what about all the stuff she needs? Where would she sleep? What about a car seat or stroller? And diaper changes?! Is it realistic to think you can travel abroad with a one-year old and not lug around a ton of things? I think she will still be small enough that I can carry her in a baby carrier or wrap. Lauren (from Aspiring Kennedy) makes traveling around the world with her babies look easy. And it's not like Europeans don't have kids!

All of these concerns make me think that maybe we should start off with a domestic trip where we are familiar with the language and the flight is shorter. If we go that route we're considering visiting NYC, Portland, or San Francisco. 

I'd love to hear what do you think -- Have you traveled abroad with your baby? Should we wait a few more years to travel again or consider leaving our baby with her grandparents?
-xo-
Jillian

25 comments:

  1. I was going to say to talk to Lauren and then you mentioned her haha. I think you should do it. I mean, Europe is so close to us so why not?

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  2. My pick is San Fran with the little one first - it's a longer flight to see how she does :) xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  3. I obviously have zero experience with this but maybe try taking a longer domestic trip first? San Fran sounds amazing, so does NYC - I think we're heading there for a weekend in December so meet us there and we'll help with baby V :)

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  4. GO!
    ha. I just had to answer that first. Now I'll go and read the rest of your post.
    I obviously don't have any experience, but that's one of the main reasons I know we aren't ready to have kids yet.. I'm not done travelling. I know you can travel with kids (seriously, millions of posts on pinterest!) but I don't know if I particularly want to. However, it's not because I don't want to travel with kids, it's because I'll be staying home and we most likely won't be able to afford European vacations on one salary. So I'm getting them out of the way now! If we can afford it, I'd be all about it. I would definitely try a smaller domestic trip first, but babies grow so much so quickly that how she might react next month would be different than how she will react next year, you know? Either way, don't let Violet stop you from travelling, you'd make it work. Seriously, a bazillion posts on pinterest. A lot of hotels offer cribs / cots / pack n plays, so she'd sleep there. You can buy a cheap umbrella stroller so you're not worried about checking your fancy one. Plus you wear her, right? I don't know much about car seats and travelling, but on most airlines babies under 2 fly free, and they sit in your lap. Also, leaving her at home - no way jose! She's part of your family now, and she seems so laidback I'm sure it would be fine!
    Do it! Go! Have Fun! Then tell me all about it so I can do it too.
    Sorry, I just got super excited lol.

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  5. We're taking this one on next month -- 2 weeks in Mallorca and Madrid with a very-nearly one-year old. I'm a little panicky -- this will be his first flight -- but I also can't wait. I can't imagine traveling without him!

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  6. Clearly I think you should visit SF!! :) I say that's your lifestyle, she will adapt and be so thankful for it!! Jane from In the Pink and Green just traveled to Italy with her little guy. You could talk to her too!

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  7. I haven't gone abroad but we did travel to Oregon - altogether from here it's like a 10 hour travel day, it was exhausting but the kids did really well. We packed a lot of distractions for them!

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  8. I think if you decide to go you just have to mentally prepare for the flight to suck, but to keep in mind that it's going to be an awesome trip when you get there! Buy diapers there, just bring enough for a couple of days. You can buy food and everything else you need there really. The exchange rate is pretty good right now, enjoy it! That being said, I'm still scared to travel with the two kids...anywhere that involves a plane. I guess we'll be waiting till the youngest is at least 4, so 3 more years till we travel!

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  9. I'd say try a longer US flight first and see how it goes but I'm sure it'd be ok going over seas! A lot of parents bring ear plugs for the people around them in case their child gets worked up on the plane so that's always an option too?

    <3, Pamela
    Sequins & Sea Breezes

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  10. My biggest concern with traveling with an infant would be while you have great memories of having her there, she's not going to remember going to London when she was 2.

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  11. Definitely bring her! And I think starting with a U.S. flight first could be good (let me know if you come to Oregon!) but I wouldn't let the fight deter you from traveling internationally. Henry did really well on our flights to and from Europe, but he had already flown to Michigan a few times so I think that helped. And honestly even if the flight doesn't go well, it's one day of your life and you'll never see those people on the plane again :) Most of all, I think traveling with baby in tow makes the experience that much better, we found we engaged with people around us a lot more on our trip thanks to Henry. And just pack light, they have diapers and baby things in Europe so you can buy anything you need once you're there. I'm already thinking about where we can go next and I'm excited to kee traveling internationally with Henry!

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  12. We took our daughter to Europe for the first time when she was bout 20 months and she is about to go on her second trip next month (she's 4 now). Traveling with a baby is certainly more challenging than an adult vacation, but it's still fun. My biggest advice is not to get hung up on what your trips used to be like. You have to change your expectations. We usually walk the cities we visit from one side to the other...10-5 miles a day. We know that we won't be doing that with our daughter on this upcoming trip. I will say that going with a baby is far easier than with a toddler as they can be carried and they nap nearly anywhere. It will only get harder as your baby gets older. I say go for it! We live in Portland, so I am biased and think it is also a great destination, but it's not switzerland! :) We stayed in a hotel called Hotel Emmy in Italy that really catered to families with babies and children, cribs, strollers, etc were provided along with a special kids meal at dinner. You might want to look into something like that. Europe is extremely family friendly. They also had a kids club and babysitting. It was a small and charming hotel.

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  13. I’m zero help on this, but a domestic trip even to the west coast sounds like a great way to test the waters. Plus I love San Fran and know y’all would have the best time!

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  14. My best friend is in Portugal right now with her husband and 5 month old son. It's their first trip with him and she said things are going really well! Even though I have no experience, I feel like travelling with a toddler might be more difficult than with a baby.

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  15. Although, I haven't traveled overseas with her I would say go!

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  16. It was definitely rough leaving Camden at home with my parents while we traveled to Germany/Austria for 10 days. I think the only thing that got me through was talking to my mom everyday and her reassuring me that he was fine, being able to facetime with him and the fact that he will not even remember us leaving since he was only 8 months old. However, I think if you are thinking next Summer then maybe at that age baby V would be easier to travel with. The thought of bringing Cam with us on a 10 hour flight and allllll the stuff he needs gave me too much anxiety... Even more than leaving him at home! Totally a personal decission!

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  17. I obviously don't have kids... but I say yes to traveling! I think looking back, you'll be glad you went, through the stress of it all!

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  18. I think traveling with a baby is far easier than traveling with toddlers. So go now! My parenting style is part of what makes it easy... We don't need the "stuff". Co sleep then you don't need an extra bed. Baby wear and you won't need the stroller. You'll most likely only be on public transportation, so no car seat or you could rent one if you rent a car. My son was on 20+ flights in the first two years of his life and I'm so glad we did it. Buying an extra plane ticket when they turn two is no fun either.

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  19. I would def try it! They say start early right? Try the closer ones first - you can mold little into the traveler she's meant to be!!

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  20. I think it's a great idea to start with a short trip somewhere close and go from there:) Happy start to the week, lovely.

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  21. you should do it! parents need a break too!!!

    xo,
    Sandy
    Sandy a la Mode

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  22. Yay for getting back to travel! We did a solo trip when Hendrik was a year and a half and we had SUCH a good time. Definitely missed him, but he was so happy with his grandparents, they were so excited to have him, and it felt sooooo nice to have whatever schedule we wanted for a week. The baby gear is what has held me back from doing more traveling with him, besides visiting family and some road trips to Florida where we stayed in a big house... it seems easier to stay domestic and rent a condo/house that has some stuff in it, like a portable crib, and so you have kitchen access. And while long car rides are annoying, you can pack way more gear more easily that way! A relaxing type of vacation (equals beach to me) rather than one that involves lots of sightseeing (Europe) seems easier too because you don't have to worry as much about working around baby schedules or whether they'll get sick of being in the stroller so long or how they'll do at dinner at restaurants, etc. But I have no actual advice yet having not done a long flight or sightseeing with Hendrik yet - we're going to do our first big trip with him this fall though, to an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean. We'll let you know how it goes :)

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  23. I don't have experience in this arena, but I'm going to say go for it! It'll be an amazing experience for all of you! But I agree with the other girls on trying a longer domestic trip first to see how she does on the plane, I definitely vote for San Fran :-D

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  24. I don't have any experience traveling with kids, obviously, but I say go. And I also say leave her with the grandparents. At this point, she won't remember the trip anyway and you and your husband will be able to spend time doing what you want and reconnecting with each other.

    http://bedknobsandbaubles.com/

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