So about a month ago we took a family vacation to the Bahamas by cruise ship. Yes that is myself, my husband, my daughter and my seven month old son. It was an adventure! This was our first big trip as a family of 4 and we decided to go literally across the ocean. Now it didn’t start out that way, my mom and brothers were set to come but didn’t make it, so needless to say I was a little nervous. I am an anxious person by nature but my irrational thoughts before we left had run ramped.
But I was prepared. I made sure everyone had multiple outfits to wear, swim clothes, toys, bottles, bibs, and yes at this point I’d given up the breastfeeding fight so formula was a must. We had a blast! Many people were surprised we brought such a young child along for the ride and others were just in awe of his calm demeanor. We went via Carnival cruise to the Bahamas and luckily the cruise we picked was very kid centered with Dr. Seuss events every day. We didn’t originally plan a shore excursion but a last-minute one became available since we had an emergency return to port the first day. We went to a private beach which required a ride on a smaller boat to the island but had a section dedicated to kids and parents so everyone got a chair and a shade umbrella.
Many people, myself included are never too sure on how or if they should travel and do big adventures with small kids or babies but I found some things that worked for me.
- Pre-pack. Yes I said pre-pack meaning a week or even a few days in advance. This gives you a chance to check and recheck to be sure you have everything you need. But of course in doing this you need to make sure you have enough laundry done to survive without a few items as well.
- If you are going on a cruise check their rules and options they have available for children. While carnival has a kid’s camp for free it was not for children my son’s age but my daughter was able to attend and play with other children her age. Also with my son being on formula we were allowed to bring nursery water for his bottles as well and an assortment of baby foods and snacks.
- Print all your documents ahead of time and have them readily available in your carry on or purse.
- Check for modes of transportation. For our cruise we took our double stroller to get the kids on and off without having to chase the older one. This also freed up our hands to be able to not have to check our luggage so once we got on the boat we went straight to our room and changed into our bathing suits and hit the pool. But this also came in handy when we got to the Bahamas and walked around there. But if you only have one small child a carrier works wonders as well.
- Speaking of luggage get you some rolling luggage. We contemplated just getting duffel bags but I mean come on duffle bags and two small children no thanks!
- And last but not least enjoy yourself. Have fun, roll with the pushes. No matter how I thought the day or trip was going to go it exceeded my expectations and was so relaxing even with the kids there, my phone dying and not coming back on, forgetting my mom camera and all.
I guess my take away would be don’t stress and don’t think just because you have kids you can’t do something. It may take some extra planning but it is worth it for the memories and fun times.