We regularly receive questions from travelers wishing to go around the world with a baby (or an infant), or simply go on a trip or vacation with their little bit a few months after birth. I believe I have already answered in an earlier article on the ease and necessity of undertaking such a journey with a baby , so for this article I will devote myself to a practical case: ours! We’ve been traveling around the world for almost 11 months with our little Eleanor (and before that, we had made several trips since birth!). At the age of 2 years and 3 months, she was 1 year and 4 months old at the time of our departure in September 2016.
And I will tell you why and how we get to make this trip a great adventure where no one, parents as a child, feels wronged!
OUR EVERYDAY LIFE
I will therefore reveal to you our daily life with Éléanor while traveling . It’s true, we change places regularly, we visit a lot of beautiful stuff, we meet great people … But, overall, our days are similar and are modeled on the rhythms of Eleanor.
In the morning we let her wake up . No forced awakening, we follow its natural rhythm (except, very rarely, in case of imperative like a plane to take). Sometimes it’s 6am, sometimes 9am (jet lag can play). This is very important to us, and it allows us to have a child (normally) well rested. So we limit the crises. Besides, why would we force her to wake up at a specific time when we do not have schedules?
Then, the morning is devoted to walk, visit, explore, play …
After lunch, it’s time for the siesta. Wherever we are, whatever we do, we never blow a nap. It is still important at her age, and in any case she claims it. We do not want it to fall asleep from exhaustion, so we systematically create good conditions for the afternoon dodo. Most of the time, we try to get her to sleep in a real bed. So we go back to the hotel, hostel, apartment, camper-van, tent (…) so that she has a good restorative sleep. What is also top to proceed like this is that we also can rest (or read, or respond to emails …)!
However, we do not forbid ourselves to sleep in a baby carrier while we walk or visit a place. However, this is an exception, as it does not sleep as well and as long as in a bed and it is tiring for us (especially when it’s hot!). Other exceptions: sleeping on the beach, in a park, in a restaurant …
If we plan to change places, that day she can not sleep in a bed. So we always arrange for the transport to coincide with the siesta. So we usually take plane or train tickets at the time of the dodo. The same goes if you are traveling by rental car or by taxi: the departure is usually after lunch for an almost immediate dodo (thank you digestion!). The road lulls it, and we must not hide it, it also allows us to spend a pleasant time transport!
After the siesta … We explore, we visit, we play … again. 🙂
In the evening we eat (either in the restaurant or, if we have the possibility (airbnb, camping …), we get to eat) generally early (between 6 pm and 7 pm), not to have to sleep too late . The ritual is always the same, no matter where you are: you eat, you take a shower, you get ready for the dodo with a little history and activities calm and … dodo! In general, she is lying around 20h-21h. This also allows us to go to bed early and take time to read (what a great invention electronic reading lamps!). So, generally, we are all in shape in the morning!
MUCH TIME FOR BABY, LITTLE FOR PARENTS?
You may think that we have little time left to visit during the day . Or that we do not enjoy our evenings. This is true, but it is for us the deal of traveling with a baby .And we accept it. Then, as long as it’s not a 2-week vacation, but a one-year world tour, we do not feel frustrated. We finally have time! And for
binge drinkingevenings, we will catch up later (and we already enjoyed it before !!).
Besides the visits, what is important for us is to spend time all three. And let all three be happy. The fact of seeing a new landscape through our window every morning or almost this is finally only a bonus !!
SMALL ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON OUR DAYS OF TRAVEL WITH A BABY
Besides having a rhythm that respects that of our child as I described it above, there are other little things that we attach importance to make this trip enjoyable for Eleanor.
We avoid traveling too long. In general, whether by bus or car, we do not exceed 2 hours in a single day. Besides, we prefer the train to the bus when it is possible: it is generally more comfortable and one can move in the aisles. By plane, we make the long journeys at night and the shorter journeys at the time of the nap so that she can sleep.