Let me preface this by saying that I am not a great traveler. I love to travel, don’t get me wrong. One of our favorite things to do as a couple is dream of all the places we want to go. But when it comes down to it, I suck at traveling. It stresses me out. Leading up to it I’m excited. I research places to go, I pack way in advance, I get all the travel size everything. But then the day comes and I am a ball of stress. I worry about how we’re going to get from place to place. I worry about where we’re going to eat with multiple food restrictions. I worry about safety in such a big, unknown place. I worry about pissing people off on the airplane with a noisy toddler. I am not a go-with-the-flow kind of person. It helps me if I plan and feel prepared. Here are some tips I learned from this trip:
It’s All About the Gear
The first thing you need when you’re traveling to NYC with a baby or toddler or even an older child is a great stroller that is easy to fold down. We found our stroller second hand (which is, in my opinion, the best way to get strollers) and it is amazing. It’s not as skinny or as fancy as some of the others we saw people using in NYC but it served our purposes and it weighs next to nothing. It also has storage on the bottom which is a MUST for diaper bags and what not.
Listen, I know people have different ideas about the “leash” for kids. I know I did. Until I thought about my incredibly high energy toddler dashing in between an insane amount of people because kid is FAST. I decided to try it and it was super helpful at the zoo. It kept him close but still allowed him to move.
What to Wear
I have never walked more in my life. IN. MY. LIFE! Luckily we walk a lot at home so I was able to keep up and didn’t feel like I was dying. But the right pair of shoes are necessary. I learned from people watching that in NYC, there are very few people who are wearing heels or cute sandals. Most people we wearing cute tennis shoes. I brought my Sanuk sandals and through four whole days of walking almost all day, my feet didn’t hurt once. They’re amazing. Honest.
Layering is your best friend. I brought a light sweater (long cardigan style) for me and a zip up sweatshirt for Wyatt and we were comfortable when it was a little chilly.
Keeping Baby Happy
SNACKS FOR DAYS! When you think you’ve packed enough snacks- you’re wrong. Throw some more in there. We lucked out in that our hotel was blocks away from a Whole Foods so we were able to restock. Snacks got us through a lot of waiting, a long subway ride, too much time in a stroller, the list goes on. SNACKS. I can’t say it enough.
A paci holder (does it have a better name?) is a MUST. If your toddler is anything like ours, we lose pacis like I lose hair ties. They vanish! I think they live with the missing socks. We got this super cute one from a friend when we were pregnant. It’s monogrammed with his initials but really ANY paci holder will do. But it is necessary.
Lightweight blanket. I packed my Turkish towel that was given to me by a friend and is my best travel buddy. It’s super lightweight and great for warm weather. The mornings there were chilly so I was able to cover Wyatt with it and then also use it to shield him from the sun when he fell asleep.
For the Airport
Cover for your carseat and stroller. Per a tip from some friends on Facebook, I ordered a cover for our carseat and stroller and am so glad I did. Those things get thrown around. These covers kept our gear clean and in good shape. You can find them in the carseat aisle at Target too but they are cheaper on Amazon.
A great carrier. You can wear baby through security which is very helpful. We have the Tula and it is very comfortable. I wore him at the end of our trip to the Bronx Zoo so he could take a nap and he slept in it for the entire trip back to Manhattan on the subway and I wasn’t in pain. They are pricy, but worth it. Shout out to my sister who got us ours!
Stay tuned soon for a post about everything we did that was child friendly and the things we did that, well, weren’t.