- Pack as little as possible. At first, all I could list was what I could bring, but then I realized how much easier it will be if I could see what I could not bring. For example, do I really need 15 pouches of baby food? I realized, there was a lot I could buy there.
- Leave your stroller and car seat at home, if possible. I wore Gavin in my Catbird baby carrier at the airport and had extra hands to help with luggage. We rented a car with a car seat and I made sure to do my research about the car seat and felt comfortable with the safety ratings the car seat had. As for the stroller, a friend told me her stroller got damaged once she checked it in at the gate, so I decided to leave my pricey stroller at home and once we got to Florida, buy a cheap umbrella stroller so I didn't mid if something happened to it.
- Plan travel around nap times. I was lucky (I am still thanking the baby gods) that Gavin slept on our flight to FL and the flight back. They were pretty close to his nap times so I think that helped in making sure he was sleepy once we were on the plane.
- Nurse or bottle feed for take-off and landing. Gavin definitely felt discomfort from take-off and nursing him on the plane with a cover helped him fall asleep almost instantly.
- Bring a baby carrier. If you don't have one, buy one. You don't realize how much you walk on vacation and you may not want to push a stroller on the beach (I sure didn't!) or around the zoo. Gavin had a ball in his Pikkolo by Catbird Baby carrier. It also helps in the airport when you have to drag luggage around and have your ID and boarding passes ready. Being hands-free at the airport is a huge advantage.
- Keep your little one on a similar schedule on vacation. It's impossible to implement a very strict schedule if you want to do a lot of things on vacation, but we tried to make sure Gavin got in his morning and afternoon nap, and made sure to follow a similar bedtime routine.