One of our favorite long weekend getaways is to Long Beach, WA. We enjoy biking along the Discovery Trail, eating at the Pickled Fish, staying at the Adrift Hotel and in general having the beach to ourselves. Since welcoming our little guy four months ago this is only the second trip we have taken together as a family, the first we took a few days before his two month birthday to the North Cascades. I will be the first to admit traveling with an infant is a game changer, but I will also be the first to encourage all you homebodies to take the leap of faith and travel with your little one. With a little planning ahead of time, altered expectations and flexibility it can prove to be a wonderful experience and create lasting memories for all.
One of the keys to comfortable traveling with an infant is to over prepare. Some of these might seem so obvious they are no brainers, but you'd be surprised what "mommy" brain will do to even the most formidable traveler.
- Bring extra clothes and diapers. Depending on the daily needs of your child plan on an extra change of clothes for each day and an extra days worth of diapers and wipes.
- Pack an assortment of toys. In my experience what was fun yesterday is old news today. I like to pack several soft, quiet and yet visually interesting toys. No batteries required and something you can easily shove into the nook and crannies of your bag without being concerned it might break or get damaged.
- Plan for the worse. Assume your child might come down with something and bring a thermometer, nose sucker, and baby tylenol. There is nothing worse than needing something specific for your baby and being in a panic to find it.
- Bring the comforts of home. Pack your baby's towel, washcloths and blankets to prevent any harsh chemicals from the hotel's sheets or towels irritating your baby's skin.
- Bring a collapsable bouncy chair or play mat. There are not a lot of safe places for your baby to play in a hotel room. So plan ahead and bring something for them to sit in so they can entertain themselves.
- Inquire with the hotel. Most hotels are happy to provide a pack and play for your child to sleep in, if this does not suit their needs be prepared to bring something for them to sleep in.
- Make reservations. Like it or not having an infant means leading a fairly scheduled life. There is nothing worse than having to wait at a restaurant for a long while before your meal.
- Go somewhere you have been before. When traveling with an infant you are not able to accomplish as much in a given day. For your first few adventures I recommend visiting places you have been before so you do not feel like you are missing out on anything.
- Room upgrade. With a baby, especially if you are breastfeeding, you may find yourself spending more time in your hotel room throughout the day. I find it worthwhile to spend the extra money on a room with a view, so you can enjoy a breathtaking sunset or taken in a beautiful vista while your child feeds or naps.
- Take turns. Since our child is still too young to be pulled behind a bike we could not both go bike riding at the same time. In order to still be able to spend time together as a family we brought our jogging stroller and while one person biked, the other one walked along the path with our child.
The smoothly paved and easy to ride bikes on Discovery Trail.
Adrift Hotel Lobby; complete with free beach cruiser rental for guests.
Down time means play time for this little guy. In the corner room we stayed in, we not only were we able to see the ocean, but it had spectacular light.
The breakfast buffet at the Pickled Fish.
Our three wheeled jogging stroller is awesome an off roads adventures, like taking in a sunset.
The Adrift Hotel offers fruit flavored water, tea, coffee and hot chocolate all day and night in their lobby.
The boardwalk is the perfect place for an evening stroll or a picnic lunch.