10 nights. 3 cities. 1 toddler.
And a busy toddler at that!!!
Miss Bailey and I recently traveled to Houston, San Juan (PR), and NYC. I’m thriving on the energy from summer break, as I’d just returned from Chicago JUST AFTER we’d returned from Vegas. Yes, despite the perception of some, babies can travel to Las Vegas! I kept her out of the casinos and away from booze. 😊
The reason for being in Houston was not what I expected but you can read about the situation awaiting my arrival here.
As for travel with a toddler, in order to travel with just my two hands, feet, and an infant who automatically comes with major baggage, I had to be careful about what I packed. The necessities had no choice but to make the trip. One major need being her diapers. Bailey could go through up to 6 or so a day. Those take up a lot of space.
Tip: To alleviate the diaper space hog, I sent a package with my cousin when she moved from St. Louis to Houston just a few weeks prior (since it was our first stop). And I had a package delivered to New York City which was our final stop. This way I only needed to travel with a few to get me through the wait at the airport and the plane ride.
I had to take Bailey’s car seat, though I did consider borrowing from a friend in Houston and renting in San Juan (though that can cost as much as purchasing a new one). When visiting New York City I use public transportation the most but I knew they’d have more car services available that offered car seats. Bringing it was one more thing to carry but I knew it’d come in handy and be worth it.
As for clothing, there was a bit of repeating that had too take place. This saved on wardrobe needs. I knew in advance I could wash clothes in Houston and San Juan.
Tip: find an Airbnb with a washing machine.
Being that it was summer, I didn’t need bulky clothing so I was able to get our items into one small and one medium sized packing cube. Then this was tossed into a bookbag. This along with the diaper bag and stroller completed our baggage.
Additional packing info: I only packed one extra pair of shoes for myself and two for Bailey. I did travel with enough baby food for the week and bought a few perishables for the fridge in each city. We wore stretch pants and tunics/dresses each time on the plane, as well as sweaters, as these were the bulkiest items. This Amazon list has other ideas for what to buy.
^My hand is by the largest bag. Both fit perfectly into a carry-on backpack along with toiletries.
I was asked often by those on the plane if I’d like assistance and if time permitted, I allowed it…but as noted by many I really had it down to a science. Strap the baby to my body, put a backpack on each shoulder, and check all the baby items! Let me also add Bailey slept for long periods of time on most of the flights, THANK GOD!
Tip: Make the baby stay awake until you’re ON the plane and it’s taking off. This has worked for all our previous flights. Bailey receives raving reviews once the planes land.
((Don’t forget you can check up to three infant items FOR FREE with most airlines. I dropped off what I could at the outdoor skycap so I wouldn’t have to lug it through the airport.))
I won’t share about Houston or New York City because plenty have traveled there and you can easily find things to do with youngins with a few strokes on the keyboard.
But here’s my San Juan recap:
-Y’all been holding out on me with mofongo! I fell in love. The eateries were great. I even found $3 mimosas on a weekday. (Yelp enhances lives!)
-Google maps was wrong OFTEN and bad driving was all around me. That I can do without.
-Odd gas situation: I couldn’t pay at the pump which sucked because I had my child in the car…using AMEX came with a $25 fee or $25 minimum (I don’t speak Spanish, so I’ll never know)…and you had to be buzzed in but the lady worked on her own time rather than that of the buzzee doing the buzzing. BUT on the bright side it was like $0.65 a gallon. I wanted to put some in my luggage.😜
-The Children’s Museum was worth the cost. My child is a busy one year old but she was occupied for close to 3 hours!
-El Yunque National Forest was a beautiful site to see. I found myself wandering out that way for the $3 mimosas mentioned above and figured why not stop and check it out since I was so close. You can venture through the wooded area on your own or pay for a guided tour.
-Isla Verde Beach was clean, not busy/overcrowded, and enjoyable. I heard there were beaches more beautiful on another part of the island and next time I visit I’ll explore more beaches.
-This was my 9th time in two years using Airbnb and every time was a hit (which is why I keep coming back to the site). Carolina is a tourist spot, but that for me added to the safety. And it meant there was plenty to eat nearby in addition to a Walgreens and super market.
Enjoy these pics of our travels and don’t be afraid to get out there solo with a baby on your hip!! Just pack smart!
Hermann Park (Houston)
^Christin of Mocha Kids and Christin Shoots People stopped by to see us, I mean, Bailey lol. It’s all about this little one. I was hoping to get Bailey in front of her lens but the timing wasn’t right for us…next time, Christin!
^Chimere allowed me to write on her magazine, Naturally Happy Hair for a couple years. It was great meeting her and #TheyCallHerKenzie in person (as we have only connected via social media up to this point).
Layovers should be avoided when traveling with kids…but we had one to Houston and to San Juan…
I almost traveled with Bailey’s pack and play (adding almost 20lb to our load) but I was able to borrow in two cities and she slept between her god mother and I in NYC…this really helped!
Our Airbnb in San Juan.
El Yunque National Forest (the bamboo and waterfall made the journey worth it)!
The spot with $3 mimosas on a Thursday at noon!! 🙂 🙂 🙂
Hope to never fly into JFK again…it’s so far and their Delta agents almost lost Bailey’s stroller! Maybe it’s just Delta I should avoid…
^Bailey kept her church fan!