In exactly two weeks, we will be flying again with Theo—but this time we will be in transit for nearly 27 hours!!!! That’s including the flight transfers, lay overs, trip to and from the airport, waiting, and everything else in between. I am bracing myself for the longest travel experience with our baby! He will be about 11.5 months at the time, sooooo EEEPPPP!!!! Luckily, we’ve had a bit of practice with our short domestic trips but I guess I’ll be needing a ton of grace and an extra kilo of Patrick’s patience for us to survive this long haul journey. I am half part excited, half part @#$%^&*. Hahahaha! I have been doing a lot of research and trying my best to adapt a positive mindset about this adventure. I know there are a lot of newbie parents like us who are also trying to figure out this whole “travel with a baby” shindig, so I’ve decided to collate some tips that I’ve either learned through our own experiences, picked up from friends/family, or have discovered through my research online. Again, each baby is unique and so just take what you feel will be applicable to your own family. These aren’t solid rules, more just suggestions that hopefully will lead you to formulate your own travel system 🙂
- KEEP IT SLOW. This means you’ll have to build your itinerary based on your new pace with the baby. Prior to being parents, we were always on the go. I remember just living off our suitcases in our first two years of marriage, we were just shuttling from one country to another—either for work or for pleasure. These days however, we’ve learned to adapt a slower pace when it comes to traveling with the little mister. I personally subscribe to the baby-centric mindset of traveling..well, at least for NOW. This of course is because he’s still very little and I just want to make sure we put his safety and well-being first for the time being. It’s also because we are still learning the ropes as new parents, so I feel the natural progression is to take it step by step. Even if Pat and I are seasoned travelers and have been on a lot of cowboy adventures, it’s completely different traveling with a baby and we just want to start from scratch and work our way up slowly. Eventually, when we get the hang of it and are more confident in traveling with Theo, I do hope we can transition from baby-centric to just being regular travelers all over again as I wish to expose my son to all sorts of destinations and make him a versatile traveler. But for now, we’re going to take it slow and easy—zero pressure!
- COMMIT TO WORK AS A TEAM. Hay, this is easier said than done. As moms it’s easy to get carried away and want to HOG everything. I guess it’s both a good thing and a bad thing depending on how you look at it, but as moms it’s almost natural for us to take it upon ourselves to DO IT ALL. It’s almost instinctive. I’ve had a lot of mini mommy meltdowns when I tried to do it all and failed miserably. So now, I have learned that I need help and that I need to let go of some things to keep my sanity and to keep the peace too! So for this trip, I am committing to work hand in hand with my husband who thankfully is very hands on and willing to do almost everything for Theo. Let’s do this, Pat!
- TAKE TIME TO SAVE. To some extent travel is indeed a luxury, but if you give yourself enough time it’s possible to save enough for a trip without feeling the pressure. Instead of panic-saving (Example: you realize you need to raise 10,000 pesos for pocket money for a trip and you have only 2 weeks left! Acccck!!!!) you can save slowly but surely when time is on your side (setting aside 200 pesos a week for 50 weeks instead so it doesn’t feel like such a huge burden!). On this note, it’s also key to be realistic about your budget. Set a ceiling number and be creative. I always advice people to save wisely and be happy with the budget you have, travel is fulfilling and marvelous in ANY budget!
- SHOP AT TRAVEL SALES. I’m Miss Promo Girl. I love scoring deals, discounts and bargains. It gives me such a high to be able to get a good price cut. Iba yung kilig!!! With a bit of creativity and research, you too can avail of smart promos and maximize your budget for travel. Especially if you are traveling with family, if you can save on airfare and accommodations that means more pocket money for you to enjoy! Woohoo! More food allowance for me! I have two tips for travel sales: 1) Be sure you follow your favorite airlines on FB, Twitter, Instagram or better yet, subscribe to their mailing lists. They always have early announcements on their social media pages. We just scored 30% off promos from Etihad for our June trip and 40% off for another trip in November. Key is to book way in advance and off peak too! 2) Call your local bank and ask how you can score deals using their points/reward systems! I have a BDO Rewards Card now and have been earning points for travel through it. It’s not a credit card, so it works this way (click HERE). I actually just got an email about the BDO Travel sale this coming June 3 – 5 at SM Aura, June 17 – 19 at SM Cebu—so you might want to check that out.
5. HAVE A POSITIVE ATTITUDE AND BELIEVE THAT YOU WILL HAVE FUN. So cliche, but it does make all the difference. For weeks, I was actually dreading this June trip thinking it would be very physically and emotionally taxing. The worry wart in me was thinking of 300 possible scenarios and it was clearly robbing me of the joy of travel. Then I realized, hey, this is THEO’S very first out of the country trip! And just a week shy off his birthday too! What a blessing this is—talagang hashtag #blessed in it’s truest form!!! Yes, it’ll be hard. Yes, it’ll make us bone tired. Yes, it’ll be a test of patience. BUT it will be filled with golden moments for me and my little family. This experience will fill our memory bank to the brim and it’ll be a trip that we will fondly remember when we are old and gray! So my prayer now is that my heart, mind, and body will all be on board—that they will work in sync with each other and that I will be a happy mommy throughout this trip. I owe it to my son and my husband to make it a pleasant and memorable experience for them.
So there, those are 5 tips I just wanted to share when it comes to prepping for a trip. I hope you found at least one helpful! Hehehe! Once I get back from our very first long haul flight, perhaps I can write more extensively about the travel experience itself and tips/tricks/magic potions as well. Thanks for your time guys!!! 🙂