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14.8.23

TRAVELLING WITH A TODDLER



Picture: Waris's trip to Fairmont Whistler

You have not experienced early parenthood to the fullest if you have yet to travel by air with a 
toddler. At around 5.5 months, Waris accompanied us on a 14.5 hours flight from Vancouver to 
India (related blogpost here). At 11 months, we took him on a 2.5 hours road trip to Whistler 
(blogpost here) and at around 13 months, he was our favourite little companion on a 9-day trip 
to Los Angeles and San Francisco. Nonetheless, I have so much more to learn - I recognize that
 as he's growing up, travelling with him may become more challenging until he is prepared to 
self-entertain and adapt to new environments with new faces and new experiences. Since Manjot 
and I have had our fair share of travelling experiences with out little one, I thought of sharing 
some tips with my audience looking to travel with their bundle of joy.

PLANNING IS KEY

Spontaneity is a luxury best left to pre-parenthood. When you're travelling solo or as a couple, 
you are happily responsible for the preliminary planning of a trip which, depending on the 
situation, may include finalizing the travel destination, researching excursions and attractions, 
booking flights, preparing an itinerary, co-ordinating outfits for you and your partner, etc. In 
early parenthood, add all of the aforementioned tasks on your plate in addition to planning 
most of the trip around your baby. The ideal situation is to take everything that you think your 
little one may need. However, because you are working with limited baggage capacity or 
trunk space, you really need to, first, plan the necessary items to take, followed by things you 
anticipate your toddler using. Therefore, it goes without saying, planning is key for a good trip.

ORGANIZATION WILL SAVE YOU

Organize the items as much as you can. Keep items that you know you will need during 
the road trip or flight within reach. Depending on the age of your toddler, this may include 
diapers, wipes, food and snacks, toys and activities, a change of clothes, pacifier, children's 
medicine, etc. Organize all of these items in a diaper bag or a bag pack to help you distinguish 
the children's necessities from yours. I have been using the Dagne Dover Medium Landon 
Neoprene Carryall Bag in a beautiful Camel color as a diaper bag and absolutely loving it. 
It has various pockets for maximum storage that assist in keeping things organized and easily 
accessible. One of my favourite features of the Dagne Dover bag is an exterior phone pocket, 
which you can use to store your IDs and passport while travelling. My other favourite feature 
of the bag is the luggage-handle sleeve which allows you to slide the bag directly on the handle 
of your Carry-On Luggage. The trolley sleeve has certainly helped us in reducing the weight 
we inevitably need to hold from check-in counters to the departure gate. 

 TIME, TIME AND MORE TIME

One major lesson we learned from our travels with Waris is to leave plenty of time including 
leaving a few hours earlier than the recommended check-in time. When you have reached 
your travel destination, continue leaving extra time for the unexpected interferences such as 
frequent diaper changes while out in public, unforeseen bathroom stops for the older children,
 etc. Depending on the age of your child, the sooner you recognize that strict adherence to your 
daily activity itinerary may not always materialize, the less disappointed you will be. Depending 
on how your child is coping with the new environment, it is possible that you may not get an 
opportunity to check everything off of your daily activity list. And, that is ok. 

BUDGET IT OUT

It's no secret that travelling can be costly. This added with the cost of traveling with a child can be immense. Therefore, it's best to pre-plan so as to avoid unnecessary costs as long as convenience is 
not sacrificed. For example, we found renting a car during our LA and San Fran trip more economical 
than taking an Uber. We also cut expenditures by taking Waris's car seat rather than renting one from 
the establishment. It helped that this was a more sanitary option and saved us the hassle of clipping and unclipping his car seat for every ride (if we were to stick to Uber as our mode of travel). So, with a bit 
of research, we were able to save money (by taking our own car seat) as well as preserve convenience (save the trouble of installing the car seat for every Uber ride). So, be prepared to put in the extra work.

HAVE FUN

Once you're finally at the destination for which you have planning for months, forget everything and 
enjoy well-deserved quality time with your family!

Thank you for reading and see you soon with another blogpost!

Maninder Sandhu Grewal
xox













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