After nearly 900 miles of travel in the car, a week at my parents’ home in Vermont, and one night in a hotel room, I wanted to come back to reflect on a few things we learned while traveling with A. First and foremost, A was a rockstar when it came to travel. She had a few rough spots (after about six hours on our initial trip to Vermont), and about twenty minutes before the end of our four hour drive to Freeport to meet Jason on Saturday, but all and all, she rode pretty comfortably. Thank you Graco Snugride 30!
A few things that I think helped were the toys. She had her Jellycat, whom she has had since she was two months old and a few jingle bugs. What surprised me was that she wanted her old, familiar toys, not the new things that I’d picked up for the trip. On the way to Vermont, we fed her at her usual intervals, and that helped until she just grew sick of the car after her second nap would have normally ended. Going to Freeport, we were so close that we pushed it a bit to just get there in one nap since I knew it would have been way too hard to get her back into the car seat (she began to straighten her back and resist the car seat a lot more after that first long drive).
The greatest joy of the trip was that it came at exactly the time we needed to get her out of the swing and into her crib, and as long as she was in her sleep sack and rubbing her eyes, she slept like a little champ in her Pack & Play at my mom’s. When we got home yesterday, she went down not only for a crib nap but also bed for the night without a hiccup, and I think that had a lot to do with the consistency we had to develop in Vermont because there wasn’t a swing and we were, largely, going cold turkey. Today, I plan to disassemble her swing and store it for future use.
A few thoughts on successful hotel travel with tiny people:
- If your vacation or trip involves a lot of car travel, try to stay within walking distance of shops/restaurants/beaches. We were lucky to secure a room at the Hilton Garden Inn in Freeport, and A was so happy to just stroll around after a long ride in her car seat. It’s settled within two blocks of the flagship LL Bean store and has a lovely park within 200 yards for crawling and lazing about in the shade.
- The close hotel room meant that after lunch and a bit of shopping, A was able to go back to the room with me and my mom and take a much needed nap before we met Jason and some friends for dinner. This absolutely saved us.
- Call ahead for early check in. I called the hotel and talked to a lovely young woman at about 8 a.m., so they knew we might be early. She said she couldn’t promise us anything before 3 p.m., but when we arrived at 12:30, she had our room ready and the Pack & Play pre-installed.
- Hotel P&P’s are okay, but not always the cleanest. We brought our own sheets, but they didn’t fit. A also sucked on an interior tag that I hadn’t noticed (yuck!). Next time, I’ll check first and make sure all tags are tucked safely away! At the end of the day, the hotel P&P was fine for one night, but I would probably bring my own for an extended hotel stay.
- Relax! I spent so much time worrying about how A would do. She was great! Sweet, gentle, generally awesome. Babies are a lot more flexible than we give them credit for.
This wraps up my short series on traveling with A. If you have any questions or other tips, please feel free to comment!