What I Forgot on Our Cruise

I usually am very prepared when I go on vacation. I have multiple lists to remind me of what I need to bring, and I use them almost every time. This time we went on a vacation during our vacation and apparently traveling without my toddler makes me forget a lot of stuff.

More Money- We spent tons more than I planned for. It was worth it though!

Stuff for Sea Sickness- We ended up buying Sea Bands and a small vial of tea tree oil, both of those totaled $30

Camera Cards- We had one, but forgot to transfer everything to the computer before we left

Laundry Soap, Quarters- I knew I needed to do laundry but forgot this stuff

Beach Bag/Purse- I haven’t been carrying a real purse, just a small clutch but I needed one while traveling. I ended up buying one at Bubba Gump’s.

Sun Screen & Aloe- Closer to the equator you burn easier.. we were in alot of pain for the last few days of the cruise!

Case of Water- We found out later that you could bring your own water to keep from buying their bottled water. I would have used the free water but it really didn’t taste that great.

Books/Magazines- I usually just read stuff online but without internet I was a little bored at times.

Walkie Talkies- We didn’t need these all that much but they would have been useful to use because I wasn’t paying to use my cell phone

Ballet Flats- I brought sneakers, flip flops and heels but I would have liked something to wear on formal night when my feet were done with heels.

Jacket- I would have really appreciated having a nice looking jacket with me, I was cold most of the time but didn’t want to dress down with my one long sleeve shirt

Watch- I needed mine because I wasn’t carrying around my phone. We always needed to know the time so we could get to dinner and shows and stuff on time.

Hair Ties/Clips- I took these with me but I needed the reminder to keep one on my wrist at all times, incase we wandered to an open deck

Swim Cover Up- I should have used this dress as one, but I just forgot it.

Goggles- It was so cool to see things in the ocean once we bought some goggles. I just wish I brought some from home instead of paying a ton at the beach

No Soda Card- We paid for the soda card for the week but found out it wasn’t worth it. It might be worth it daily but the days we spent at the different ports we didn’t order any soda or anything. The days we did order soda it was still kinda iffy about if we would have saved money on it or not.

Other Travel Tips:
Eating Out Of a Hotel Room: Vacation Money Saving Ideas
Airport Traveling Tips
DIY Personalized Suitcase
Motivational Credit Card Sleeves {Saving for Vacation Idea}

On Travel Tips

I recently went to go visit family for the third time in a year with my little one. The second time without having my husband’s help. The baby is a little harder to run around with now, but I was prepared.

First off, here’s a new travel tip: Don’t play with fireworks the day before you fly.

Apparently I would have been fine if I took off my baby backpack when I went through security. But I didn’t and that means they test your hands for explosive residue. So they made me sit and wait for them to test everything in my luggage and then made me sit and wait while they got a higher rank female to do a full pat down. It was fine though, they had me wait in a closed off room and it was excellent for the baby to run around in. After the pat down I was able to go get on my flight.

Don’t do this 26 hours before flying.

I also learned to use the baby backpack, even if you don’t think you need it. I thought I would be fine (and I was paranoid about having my hands tested on the way home) so I didn’t put him in the back pack through security and he crawled under the table and around everything it was bad. I guess since he’s bigger they weren’t too happy with me having him sit in a bin for a minute. They yelled at me. 🙁

Allowed in April 2012 but not January 2013

Yeah, it just wasn’t fun and was very embarrassing without the backpack. Especially because my father-in-law was there watching from the other side of security the whole time. I wanted him to think that I had it together like every other time I’ve been not running around to grab my kid in my barefeet.

With the baby in the backpack, even though our plane was delayed I was able to run across the entire airport to make it to our next flight with no time to spare. It was a nightmare but I was proud that I made it, even though I thought I was going to pass out when I got there and had to have a flight attendant carry all of my stuff for me. That too was an embarrassing moment.

Atleast I was smart enough to wear the backpack at the Farm

I was glad that I had painted my suitcase, because they made us wait (when I needed to get to the second flight that was taking off at any minute) to get our suitcases on the ramp to get off of the plane. They set mine down further away, and because it was so unique I was able to see it and go run and get it to be able to run to the next flight, while everyone else waited for their bags.

My son behaved very well, I brought along a bunch of “hush-food” as one lady called it, so if he had plenty of fruit snacks and granola bars. He had new toys to entertain him and he was able to get his energy out at the play areas before we got on the flight. I was proud of him! One of the flights he was able to get his own seat, he loved it. Soon enough we’re going to have to pay for him to have his own seat, so I was glad to get one for free.

He loves his free seat!

Other Traveling Tips:
Airport Traveling Tips
Mom and Baby at the Airport
My Packing List

A Packing List for Traveling Light but Comfortably

A few months ago we had to move up our vacation plans by 3 days, so I had one day to pack. A neighbor had a list they used whenever they need to go somewhere, and it was great to get my mind moving in the right direction. It has to be altered a little bit for road trips vs airplane trips but I don’t bring any more clothes even if we are staying longer. The only thing I will bring more of is winter clothes if we are traveling to snow country.

I would love to pack lighter- like Leo at Zen Habits– but I want to relax on vacation and not be worried about washing clothes every night. I also don’t like the idea of buying stuff I have at home. We usually stay with family and I will use the washer, but only once a week or after a few days.

The biggest fears I have when packing are “I hope I’m not forgetting anything” and “I hope I didn’t bring too much for X amount of days”. I bring about 5 days worth of clothes for me and my husband(I re-use pants and shorts) and a few more sets for the baby because he dirties stuff faster. Even if we are gone a month we don’t need any more than that. The baby is one now, so I don’t have to pack as much extra stuff like bottles and spit rags.

play pen(road trips only)
baby carrier backpack
stroller(If space, not necessary)
cloth high chair
heavy blanket (I carry this hung over the messenger bag when we were at the airport, so we can use it on the plane. I mean, so the baby can use it;)

camera
phone charger
laptop
headphones/splitter (for the two of us)
notebook/postcards/pens/crayons
small first aid kit
safety pins

gifts (I made some cloth high chairs for some of our families new babies the last few times we traveled.)

me/hubby:
5 shirts
4 underwear
5 socks
1 jeans
1 shorts
1 pj pants
1 sweatshirt
1 pair sneakers(I wear flip flops to the airport)
swim suit

toothbrush/toothpaste (for the baby too)
shampoo/soap
bo juice
make-up
feminine products
medications/vitamins
disposable razor

baby:
7 shirts
4 pants
3 shorts
2 sweatshirts
5 socks
4 sleepers/pajamas
swimsuit
30 diapers (I buy these when we get there if needed)

snacks
water bottle
sippy cup
drink mixes
wipe-able bib
pack towel
changing pad/wipes

small toys

When flying, our ride to the airport will take home the car seat and when we get to our destination our Aunt had plenty of baby stuff for us to use, all we needed this time was a play pen and car seat. For our road trips I bring my own play pen as well as a small stroller. The stroller isn’t necessary because I have the backpack, but in the car if I have the space I may as well use it!(Thanks again Aunt Cindy!)

In my picture you may see that I have a toy that isn’t so small- the stuffed animal hangs on a hook on my bag, so that we can try to convince my son to sleep in places that aren’t his own bed. My water bottle has a loop too and it hangs off of the same carabiner on my bag.

For a road trip I also bring more snacks and drinks in a cooler. I will even bring cold lunch stuff to save money on going out too much.

Check out these other Traveling posts:
Airplane Travel Tips
Mom and Baby in the Airport
Decorated Suitcase

Mom and Baby Brave the Airport

My son just barely turned one, and he’s not walking yet. We went to go visit my in-laws and enjoy their under 100 degree weather. We just went out there in April, so I kinda have the drill down, except that this time I would be flying without my husband. That meant there would be no passing the baby back and forth through security or when the bag or baby got too heavy. Or during the 5 hour flight when he wouldn’t sleep or got too fussy.

What I Took:
I brought two bags with me. One was my new messenger bag, the one I made so that I could easily bring my laptop. It fit in an outside pocket so I could easily slide it out through security.

The other bag I brought was my carry-on suitcase. It wasn’t easy bringing both bags, but it was reassuring that it wouldn’t get lost or stolen. I also had the opportunity to get something out of it if I needed.

I also was wearing the baby on my back, using this carrier. If you are going to wear your baby be sure that you are familiar with it, and that you can handle the weight there for awhile. The carrier I have puts most of the weight on your hips like when you would normally carry a baby, so it made it a bit easier. I had other carriers that I would have never made it through the airport with.

Going Through Security
I was well aware of the fact that they may ask me to take the baby off my back, but both times through security they let me walk through with him. They did a new test though, they swabbed my palm and tested the sample for explosives. It was quick and easy.

They also let you bring in liquids for the baby that are more than 3oz. They don’t make you drink them or anything crazy but they do test them. The test doesn’t touch the liquid either. I had an unopened box of liquid children’s allergy medicine, and they did open the box to test it.

For children under 12 they are able to keep their shoes on. I also found it interesting that people over 75 can keep their shoes and light jackets on as well.

Before the Flight
At some airports they have play areas. Take advantage and let the kids (no matter what time it is) get some of their energy out. I let my son crawl around the seats as we were waiting and make friends with the passengers. It was almost 10pm the first time because we took a red-eye flight. I followed him around while keeping an eye on my luggage and moved him back when he got too far away. Other people were very understanding and they wanted me to let him crawl around too- so then he might be quieter for the ride.

I also made sure to get our drinks ready, but I didn’t let my son have anything to drink at that time.

My son had to go back on my back as soon as they mentioned boarding, and we were able to pre-board.

On the Plane
During take off I tried to get my son to drink from his sippy cup. He was thirsty because he hadn’t had anything to drink in awhile, but he drank it too fast. The goal was to get him to drink while gaining altitude so that his ears wouldn’t pop or start to bother him.

The first flight we took was overnight. It took the baby a long time to get to sleep and then he didn’t stay asleep for long. If you baby falls asleep on you– don’t move– even if you are dying, it’s not worth it! On the way back we flew in the late afternoon to night and it went much better. He slept some but was happy when he woke up or wasn’t sleeping.

I had plenty of new toys to cycle through as he got bored of them and tried to let him sleep. We had the blanket from his bed, as well as his stuffed animal to try to make him know that he could sleep.

If he was too fussy or if we had some grumpy seat mates I was fully prepared to buy drinks or give out ear plugs if necessary. I also had brought a cheap set of headphones for the baby in case that would entertain him, and it didn’t. The headphones did come in handy when the baby fell asleep and there was someone behind me playing loud music without headphones.

Overall my flying experience with the baby went well. It doesn’t beat having my husband to help, but I am proud that I managed it alone!

See some of my other Traveling Posts:
Airport Traveling Tips
Messenger Bag
Decorated Suitcase
Packing List