By Lyndsey Smith

Travelling is not only a big part of our job—it’s also something we really value as a family. When we found out we were pregnant we took a babymoon to the Bahamas and it was one of our favourite trips together! We promised once Olson was born we’d continue our adventures with him and one day we’d all make it back to the Bahamas for a fun family vacation. Fast forward a few months and our baby boy is now here and we’ve kept our promise of family travels, which has been so much fun!

The newborn stage was a whirlwind, so we held off on any travelling until we got the hang of things and Olson’s first vaccinations were done. He was about eight weeks when we took our first road trip with him to the mountains and about 12 weeks when we boarded our first flight to Palm Springs. Not going to lie, Josh and I were both a little intimidated by the whole travelling with a newborn process. There are so many unknowns and you have no idea how your little babe will handle being up in the air, but I’m so glad we started early. Overall, it really isn’t as intimidating as it seems, and practice definitely makes perfect! 

It’s inevitable that travelling with a tiny human requires more stuff, but I really wanted to keep things as simple as possible. Running through an airport with an infant and tons of luggage did not sound appealing to me—so I did my best to narrow it down. For our first family vacation I think we did a pretty good job, so I’ve made a list of some of our go to essentials for travelling with a newborn!

Travel coverage

This first essential might not be something you have to pack but it’s definitely one that shouldn’t be overlooked. Anything can happen when you’re travelling, and we were not taking any chances on our first trip with Olson! Luckily, our friends at Alberta Blue Cross have travel insurance that is designed exclusively for Albertans—YAY!

Finding travel insurance to suit your needs and budget is actually so easy to do. Alberta Blue Cross has tons of information on their website and you can even get a quote before you move forward with your purchase. On top of this, they offer Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption and Baggage Coverage so no matter what situation you might find yourself in, you’ll be covered. 

Travelling to Palm Springs for the first time with Olson, we knew Alberta Blue Cross had us covered which gave us complete peace of mind during our trip. We’re not sure where our next adventure will take us but we will definitely make sure we’re covered with Alberta Blue Cross!

Baby carrier

Ever since our Doula taught us about baby wearing I was ALL about it! We started wearing Olson as soon as he was born, and it was a huge game changer for us, especially when travelling. Baby wearing lets you have your hands free while you’re running through the airport or on the go, which is a big bonus when you have passports and luggage to worry about. Plus, babies love being close to you, so it was a guaranteed nap during a hectic time which is always nice. Our carrier for travelling is the Baby Tula Explore Carrier as it’s very lightweight and breathable.

The husband of Lindsey Smith wearing a baby carrier with their infant while he hikes.

Travel system

Depending on where you’re travelling, you might get away with just bringing a baby carrier, but our first adventure required both a stroller and car seat. If that’s the case for you, I would 100 per cent recommend bringing a 2-in-1 combination. Luckily our Bugaboo Fox has adapters for our Britax carseat, so we were able to make that work for us. If using a stroller is your go-to, you can even stroll all the way up to the gate and check everything there. It’s super convenient!

*Another tip is to take advantage of priority boarding. Before Olson we were always some of the last people to board any flight, but we are now early for everything and get on the plane first! That way if you have your stroller you can pack that up at the gate and get yourself and baby situated before everyone else.

Stroller and car seat covers

A fellow IG mama recommended these to me and I’m so glad we decided to get them. I’m not usually one for extra “stuff” but strollers and car seats aren’t cheap, so keeping them clean and protected while travelling is a big priority for us. The one’s we ordered from Amazon were nice and compact, so they didn’t take up any extra room and they were so easy to use. 

Packing cubes

I’m late to the game on these but now that I’ve used them I don’t think I’ll ever go back. Not only are they handy for your own things, they’re especially great for baby items! With everything of theirs being so small, being able to pack and separate everything into cubes is so convenient. We managed to pack all of Olson’s clothes with Josh’s things and there was still room. 

Sleeping arrangements

When it comes to where your baby will sleep, it really depends on the type of trip you’re taking. For us, we were staying at a family member’s home, so we were on our own in terms of a bed for Olson. In an effort to travel with less we decided to wing it and purchase something while we were in Palm Springs. We ended up finding a travel sleeper from Target that was small, affordable, and easy to travel home with.

If you’re staying in a hotel you will most likely be able to request a crib. I also learned about baby rental services where you can rent items like beds, strollers and so on. It’s pretty genius if you ask me! There are also a wide variety of travel cribs or pack ’n play systems that are another good option. If you go this route I would just suggest getting it before your trip and letting your baby nap or sleep in it beforehand. They will sleep SO much better while you’re away.

The diaper backpack

If you’re flying I would definitely travel with a backpack style diaper bag because it allows your hands to be free which is always super convenient. There are a few items I would make sure you pack in your diaper bag:

  • changing pad,
  • sanitizing wipes,
  • wet-dry bag (one for diapers and one for soiled clothes),
  • baby dish soap if you’re bottle feeding,
  • stain remover
  • extra clothes for baby and an extra top for you (spit up happens).

White noise machine

For a baby, sleeping in a new environment can be a challenge so I’d bring something they’re familiar sleeping with like a white noise machine. They’ll recognize the sound and it will help them snooze better. The one we swear by is the Baby Shusher! Not only does it actually work, but it’s small making it easy to travel with. 

What NOT to bring

I would hold off on bringing any disposable items like diapers and baby wipes and pick up those things when you get to your destination. They’re bulky and at the rate newborns go through diapers there’s no use in packing them unless you absolutely have to! I’d also avoid anything heavy like large toys, books and bulky blankets. Keeping it simple pays off when you’re travelling.  

Our first trip to Palm Springs with Olson was definitely a memorable one! We learned a lot travelling with a newborn and had total peace of mind being away from home thanks to Alberta Blue Cross’s travel insurance. With up to $5 million in emergency medical coverage, we knew Alberta Blue Cross had our backs and to me that comfort is priceless!

This blog was written in partnership with Lyndsey Smith of Over My Styled Body. To read and view more of her work, visit Over My Styled Body

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