These days, there are so many products on the market that are designed to make you believe you are not only an ill-equipped traveler, but a rookie parent if you don’t pull the trigger and purchase, purchase, purchase! Truth be told, once children are in the picture, we moms know all too well that traveling light is as much a thing of the past as a guaranteed good night’s sleep. But traveling light-ish? Well that’s something we can work on.
So, let’s avoid putting ourselves in debt simply by succumbing to the pressure of “must-have mom goods,” not to mention the added cost of overweight luggage. Yikes! It’s all adds up quickly, doesn’t it? Here are a few tips we seasoned moms like to think may help.
Ditch it: Anything the hotel provides
If you’re staying at a hotel, let the hotel do the amenities. I’ve seen a lot of vacationing parents lugging along portable cribs, only to find that hotels not only provide them to their guests but often have full-on cribs that are just as luxurious as Mom and Dad’s King size. Some hotels also provide baby toiletries, such as shampoo and lotion, so calling ahead to confirm that these things are all available can really bring down the pounds on the dreaded airport scale.
Ditch it: Diapers
Don’t got crazy on the diapers. Diapers and wipes are base necessities that can be found practically anywhere you travel. So, while I’m not suggesting leaving them behind, what I am saying is chill a little bit when you’re packing them. Make sure your carry-on is stocked with enough — and a little extra — to get you through your flight (and whatever problems or delays that flight brings with it). But don’t fill your suitcase with boxes of the stuff and trust that no matter how far you travel, there will be diapers close by. Warning: If you are a diaper label chaser, you may have to leave your brand allegiances behind
Ditch it: Luxe travel gear
Admittedly, I’ve been sucked into paying top dollar for lavender rainbow toiletry bags and monogrammed soother holders, but the reality is that cute takes up a lot of space. There is nothing like a good old fashioned Ziplock bag to hold everything your child needs to make her sojourn comfortable, from Tylenol to teething rings and everything between. If you really feel you’re missing out on the personal touch that comes with monogramming, grab a sharpie and do it up!
Ditch it: Space-sucking sleep devices
Sleep is important, portable “sleep-aids” not so much. We all know how it is to be obsessed with our child’s sleep and travel often fills the weary parent with nightmarish imaginings of the dreaded “off schedule,” sleep-deprived child. But there are things we can do to keep our child’s sleep in check, such as bringing along a small white noise machine and a few creature comforts from home, like a stuffed animal or a favorite blanket. Still, there are a few products on the market that are costly, space-taking and unnecessary. Take portable blinds, for instance. Although, these smartly designed, suction-cupped black-outs do keep the dark out of the room, they also need to fit on the window, which come in all shapes and sizes. Figuring out a few MacGyver tricks, like how duct tape and garbage bags really keep out that pesky sun, can really help you out on budget and space and they also make you feel a bit like an action hero!
Trust us, we don’t blame anyone for getting caught up in the ever-growing market of mothering and we all love to shop. But if you do want to save room for that crazy deal on those Louboutins, we’ve got you covered! `
This post was contributed by Erin Hershberg.
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