Our Little Travel Buddy at NAIA Terminal 2. Meet ‘kulisap’!
The first time the mister and I tagged along our son (then 8 months old) for an out-of-town trip, we had AN EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME. At first, I was so nervous and worried. What if he cries the entire flight? What if he won’t be able to sleep in our hotel room? What if I forget to bring something very important? What if he gets bitten by insects? What if the water (swimming and bath) is not clean? The list goes on and on. But, I just know that these concerns and fears must not stop us or our son from living life to the fullest. As a parent, I am protective but I do accept the fact that I could only shield my baby up to a certain extent. I just have to do my OC-best and let the Lord take care of the rest. So with faith, we brought our l’il travel buddy with us in Cebu!
Our trip to Cebu was no doubt a tiresome one (we don’t have a nanny). I had to carry my 8.5 kg. son with me all the time. We had to adjust to his schedules. It’s worth mentioning that traveling with a little one is SO MUCH different from traveling solo or as a couple. We had less couple time, something we used to enjoy. Don’t get me wrong, family time is great as well but it can be so draining especially when the tantrums and whining start. If it’s too much work taking care of him at home, then double it or even triple it when you’re on the road. We have to feed him, change his soiled nappies, clean him, change his clothes, put him to sleep (hardest of all for kulisap) check for sweats, make sure he’s comfortable, be sensitive of his needs (rest, stand-up, sit, crawl or nap) since he cannot talk yet and everything else in between like ENTERTAINMENT. But just like I said, it was AN EXPERIENCE, A GREAT, UNIQUE, CHALLENGING AND FULFILLING ONE which outweighs all the hardships it entails.
Here are my notes of some handful tips from our Cebu family vacation aka travel with a li’l buddy!
1. Pack light. Pack right. Pack creatively. Packing things for a solo trip is a challenge alone, what more if you need to pack for two boys, the mister and the li’l man. It was a major headache! Pack light but pack right. Before, I live with just the first principle (pack light) then cure whatever is wrong by buying in the locale or making do with what’s available or going for the substitutes which cannot be the case for babies. Remember the golden rule, NEVER ever experiment for your baby while you’re away from home especially on milk formula. The good news is that packing light and right is doable through CREATIVITY. Instead of carrying his bottle sterilizer, we just brought our travel-sized electric airpot for sterilizing and hot coffee purposes. I also purposely bought (over time) clothes made of thin and soft fabrics since my boys won’t wear such fabrics! Rolled clothes also take up lesser space. Versatile clothes and footwear are the way to go. Cut down on personal stuff such as books, because believe you me, you won’t have much time for yourself. Engage the mister in packing, he might have some valuable suggestions and that way he would know where to find stuff on his own and not depend on you all the time. I tell you, it’s stressful and irritating to be asked for everything especially while you’re doing some mommy duties. One huge luggage is I believe still advisable, one hand-carry and one small baby bag. You can’t afford to carry too many items since you still have to carry the li’l man.
2. If you’re traveling with a teething baby, bring Xylogel or Xylitol. I cannot count how many times I’ve been saved by those gels. It’s useful not just for his gums but also as a great help during flights. They tend to munch when they have the gel in their mouth hence lessening the ear discomfort from the change in altitude.
3. Bring functional toys, meaning the one that can hold their attention for quite long. It’s wise to experiment at home or observe what really interests your child. I prefer to bring new ones but when in a budget, I just hide his favorite toys one week before our vacation and bring them out in our travel one by one or as needed to keep him excited. I have a low-maintenance son, that’s a revelation during our trip as he got glued on the free in-flight magazine for a good 45 minutes! Only, I kept talking for the same duration. hehe
4. Bring everything in travel sizes! Do I need to say more? Tried and tested, after all, they won’t be called travel size for nothing, right?
5. If you’re a natural clown, lucky you, but if you’re not (like me), then practice at home. Only clowns or people with creative minds and willing to be laughed at can entertain the little ones. Mimic sounds of vehicles and animals, make faces, be a singer, dancer and be a cartoon. If I could do acrobatics I would!
6. Be cool. Take it easy. As I said, it’s tiresome and stressful but don’t let those take the better of you or affect your bonding time. Keep the happy vibes by keeping that sweet smile and thunder laughter of yours. ENJOY!
7. Don’t forget your kids’ vitamins and medicines. Bring his baby book in case of emergency. Make sure you also have his pediatrician’s contact number. Equally important are your own vitamins and meds if any. Take care of you so you can take care of others.
8. Another wise thing to do is to prepare an itinerary beforehand. Though it’s more adventurous to go with the flow (I did that already and yes it’s liberating!), traveling with a little one needs more wise choices, time-management, and caution. I can imagine a disaster when while thinking about where to go/ride, you’re making your baby a milk while he’s crying and then suddenly he poops. Get my drift?
On our next trip (God-willing), I’m excited to incorporate all the lessons from our Cebu trip and to make the necessary adjustments. The mister and I have to do/be better. We need better communication and connection. We need more patience and exercise a seamless team-work. And the li’l travel buddy, oh yes our little man who we fondly call “kulisap” (firefly), he needs to be more cooperative, behaved and ADORABLE, if there’s more room for that!
I hope you find this post useful mommies and daddies. Share your family travel tips!