Top 5 Tips to Lighten Your Load

It is always shocking to see what is required to take young children on a vacation.  Since most airlines are charging $15-$25 for EACH bag in EACH direction, lightening your load makes travel more efficient and more affordable.
baby suitcase
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) Jan 12, 2010 — Delta Air Lines Inc. and Continental Airlines Inc. will begin charging customers the highest fees in the industry for checked bags this week, setting other carriers up to do the same.

Baggage Price Increases

1) Reserve a crib through the hotel.

Most hotels have cribs available for free or a nominal charge. Ask the hotel what type of crib they have.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions to make sure it’s a safe, clean, comfortable place for your little one’s slumber.  Most hotels use a Pack-N-Play.

2) Check into gear rental services.

Baby’s Away (www.babysaway.com) has locations in 70 locations throughout the U.S.   They rent high chairs, cribs, strollers, exersaucers, etc.   They also have some excellent travel tips on their website.

3) Purchase consumable items when you arrive at your destination.

Unless you’re packing in preparation for Armageddon, it’s nearly impossible to bring EVERYTHING you’ll need.  Pack enough diapers, wipes, and baby food for the first few days of the journey and purchase the rest when you arrive at your destination.  If you have a car, you can plan to do the shopping yourself.  If you don’t have a car, consider a delivery service like www.babiestravellite.com.  They will deliver everything from diapers and baby food to sunscreen and bath products to your destination of choice, worldwide.  You can also use the concierge at your hotel or condo to find someone who can shop and deliver groceries to your door.  There’s nothing like checking into a condo with a loaded fridge and decanted bottle of wine!

4) Plan to do laundry twice a week.

Most hotels have laundry facilities, as do most condos.  Though “laundry” and “vacation” don’t usually belong in the same sentence, doing a load or two is actually less hassle than you might think.  If your little one is still taking naps, nap time is a great time to cross this task off the list.  You’ll come to appreciate the value of packing efficiently.

5) Choose toys wisely.

Since packing toys is a daunting task, many parents procrastinate in tackling this chore.  Your child’s preferences are a moving target, so it’s difficult to decide which magical combination of toys will transform your child into a perfectly well-behaved, self-entertained little cherub. Like many things relating to vacationing with children, reality is often less idyllic than the dream. To make your job simpler, choose a number of toys you would like to bring.  This number should probably be more than 3 and less than 7.  And don’t be surprised when the hotel notepad gets more attention than Nuffle Bunny.

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