Thanksgiving travel tips for new families
As the year comes to an end, we look forward to spending more quality family time together. Whether you’re traveling to see old friends, extended family, or even just to explore new places — the holidays are a special time of the year. There’s nothing better than a long weekend filled with watching your child play in the snow for the first time, delicious outdoor thanksgiving dinner or bonding with the cousins.
But for new parents, holidays with kids can be more stressful than soothing. Celebrating your baby’s first Thanksgiving means to deal with long lines at the airport, time zone adjustments, and all the other issues that can come upon a trip. It can really dampen the experience but don't be discouraged! At Doona, we’re all about making parenting simple. That’s why we’ve created essential lists of celebrating Thanksgiving at home and Thanksgiving travel tips for new parents, to make sure you and your family can focus on what truly matters — enjoying the holidays with your loved ones.
1. Avoid peak holiday travel
Our first travel tip for new parents is all about planning ahead. You’ll want to be sure to avoid the busiest travel times when you and your family will have to deal with edgy crowds of other travelers; stressed-out staff at the airport, train station, or hotel; plus shortages of rental cars and other vacation necessities. Instead, try taking off work/daycare a day or two earlier or later, to avoid the rush times.
2. Pack light, pack right
New parents tend to overthink and overpack. And it’s perfectly natural — you want to keep your kids as safe and healthy as possible at all times. But that also means that anytime you go anywhere with your little ones, you’re probably packing their entire nursery and more. So when it comes time for a holiday trip, you’ll have packed every last toy, blanky, and snack you own, resulting in some heavy bags you’ll have to lug around with you. Trust us, you do NOT want to do that. Just pack what you need, you will want to bring along an Essentials Bag, and plan on buying some extras when you arrive at your destination. Chances are, wherever you’re traveling to will have diapers, wipes, and the like. Don’t weigh yourself down before you even get there. Click to learn more about baby’s travel checklist.
3. Break up long journeys
If you’re headed for an adventure halfway across the country and are taking the little ones with you, it might be better to split up your trip. Instead of one long drive or a quick flight, break up those trips into bite-sized, manageable legs. If there are nice towns or areas along the way, find some activities the kids might enjoy! Remember, it’s not always about getting to your destination as soon as possible. Sometimes it’s more enjoyable to let go and just enjoy the ride.
4. Don’t skip naptime
Sticking to a routine with your baby within the first year is key, and you don’t want to change things up just because you’re away from home or have family around. Even though it may be tempting to skip out on a nap, take the time to step away and put your baby down. Getting the rest they need will help them feel a little more comfortable in this new situation, and will help keep their sleeping schedule on track.
5. Stick to their schedules
Children need schedules. It keeps them grounded, calm and comfortable. But as everyone knows, the twists and turns of traveling, especially around the holidays, can bring up unforeseen changes you’ll have to deal with. But no matter what obstacles your trip throws your way, try to keep your kids’ napping and eating schedules on point. That way, though they’ll be in a brand new place, filled with potentially overwhelming sensations around every corner — at least they can depend on their schedules.
6. Ask for help
It’s not often that you’re surrounded by lots of families who just want to see your baby. If someone who you trust offers to help you, let them. You need to enjoy yourself too and letting your grandma or aunt hold your baby will allow you to take a well-deserved break. Remember to ask everyone to wash their hands or bring hand sanitizer with you. Thanksgiving falls during cold and flu season, so make sure you are prepared to keep your baby safe and healthy.
7. Bring the right gear
Another aspect of packing right for your holiday family trip is to choose the right baby gear. For infants, you’ll want to bring along a Doona Car Seat & Stroller. Transforming from a car seat to a stroller in seconds, this all-in-one travel solution is the perfect way to travel with the baby. Whether you’re moving by car, bus, taxi, plane, or train, Doona folds and unfolds at the click of a button, keeping you and your family moving. Plus, it fits inside any airline overhead bin! If you’ve got toddlers, you’ll also want to bring along Liki Trike.
As soon as you arrive or instead of a stroller on the go by plane or car etc. When referencing the modes maybe you want to say something about how it can serve a 1-year-old and a 3-year-old at the same time.
Most important thing - don’t stress!
If you let yourself be consumed by stress, and make sure everything goes to plan, you won’t be able to enjoy Thanksgiving, or any other amazing milestone in your baby’s life, for that matter. Things can always go wrong, from weather delays during travel to a screaming baby, or the dishes you’ve prepared not turning outright. Try to roll with the punches and enjoy this precious time with your family and your baby, because that’s what you’re going to remember.
We hope you find our list of family Thanksgiving travel tips helpful. And we hope that your holiday season is filled with nothing but joy, love, and discovery. Happy Thanksgiving, from the whole Doona family!