You just hit the “Booked” button for your first hotel reservation for Baby’s first vacation! Now if you are anything like me there are probably a million questions running through your brain… How are we going to do this? What do I need to pack? What do I not need to pack? What are we going to do that is baby friendly? What will Baby enjoy? What can we do that isn’t going to break the bank? … and seriously the list goes on… and on… and on.
We took Jace on our first family vacation when he was seven months old for a road trip to Seattle. We took the road trip as an early five year dating anniversary celebration, and to just relax and unwind with some family time. A road trip to Seattle without a baby is about three hours including the border line up, now we knew having a baby would probably add on about two hours due to stops for stretching, feeding, changing, etc. This made me a bit uneasy especially because Jace was not the best “car baby” but a little bit of preparing and planning made the trip a breeze.
1. Pick out your attractions ahead of time…
Robert and I had both been through Seattle multiple times but had never actually played tourist there so we wanted to hit all the exciting tourist spots. Since we decided to go for two days but only one night we had to pick what tourist attractions interested us the most. I planned out which attractions we were going to hit first, looked up the hours and location of each one so we knew the order we should visit them in, and worked everything around Jace’s usual schedule for naps and feeding. Now, the nice thing with Seattle was that we were able to park in one spot (even though that one spot was ridiculously hard to find with all the traffic) and walk to and from most of the attractions.
2. Pre-Book Your Hotel Room…
Now, without a baby it may be okay to “go with the flow” enough to not even pre-book a hotel room and just see where life takes you; however, with a Baby pre-booking that hotel room will save you a lot of grief. When I was booking the hotel room we wanted some where outside of Seattle that was close to where we would be going before we headed home the next day – this way it minimized the amount of driving the second day since we spent so much time in the car on the first day. I also wanted a hotel with a pool so we could bring Jace for a little swim since he loved being in the water, and I also wanted a king sized bed with a decent sized room so we could set up the playpen, but have extra room in the bed if that is where Jace ended up sleeping. Pre-booking ensures you will not only get a hotel room you will get the hotel room you want which is definitely nice when you have a little one to take care of.
3. Pack all the Necessities…
This was a tough one to figure out for me so I really hope this gives you a bit of assistance in the packing stage before your family vacation! Vacation + Baby = a lot of stuff. Even though you literally will feel like you are packing everything but the kitchen sink, it is okay because at least you will feel prepared since you packed all the necessities.
One of the things I was glad we packed were pre-filled bottles for the full first day. We weren’t checking into our hotel until late that evening after we went to all our attractions, and I knew I wasn’t going to be near the car to put formula into the bottles at every feed, so I pre-filled all the bottles with the formula that Jace was going to need and we put them into a back pack, along with the pre-boiled water in water bottles that we boiled before leaving in the morning. In the back pack we also transferred everything from the diaper bag into it as it was going to be a lot easier to carry while we were trekking around by foot.
On the first day we got there, since we were walking around downtown Seattle, we didn’t want to use the stroller because it would be to hard to maneuver around the crowds so we brought our baby carrier. This was literally a life saver through the whole trip because it also made Jace a lot happier as he got to be “held” rather than sitting in a stroller the whole time, and he also preferred to sleep in the carrier as opposed to the stroller which made it a lot easier come nap time!
In the hotel, I would have to say the three things I am so glad we brought were, the playpen for Jace to sleep in, the kettle to boil water for his bottles, and the Bumbo to feed him breakfast, etc. The kettle seems like a silly thing to bring but honestly, most hotels do not have a kettle as they usually only have a coffee maker.
4. Leave Early and around Nap Time…
I was so nervous for the road trip because as I have said before Jace was not the best baby for being cooped up in the car. Thankfully, we left early and around his first nap time so by the time we hit the border he was fast asleep and slept about half way there. This was definitely a little tip I have used many times after our first vacation as well. If your baby sleeps in the car no problem – use that to your advantage!
5. ENJOY the Family Time…
Last but not least, enjoy the time with your family and take in all the memories. As with all the other firsts, your baby’s first vacation will never happen again so don’t stress Mama and enjoy the moments! Planning before you leave and using the tips and tricks provided in this post will allow for a much smoother, enjoyable, non-stressed vacation.
Let me know if these tips and tricks helped you for your exciting first family vacation and I really hope the vacation you are preparing for is everything that you hope for it to be! I always love to hear from you Mama’s so make sure to comment, send me a message through the “contact me” page, or check out my Instagram “adventuresofthegroots” and personal message me there. If you know any other Mama’s wanting to network or that are needing some tips and tricks for an upcoming vacation then make sure to share, share, share. Also, my fellow Mom Bloggers – message me – I would love to check out your blogs to and support each other through our Mommy journeys ❤
Well, I am off to enjoy some “me” time then hit the sack! Make sure you stay tuned for some more struggles, chaos & fun from this Mediocre Mommy! ❤