We recently had the opportunity to spend a week in Captiva, Florida while I was hosting a Team Retreat for some of my Coaches. My husband and I decided to make it a family vacation (well – it’s because we had no babysitter), but it truly was a great experience and an incredible opportunity that I’ll cherish forever.
Traveling with an infant or toddler is no easy feat, but I’m hoping to help you all with some tips now that Jack is 18 months old!
Tip #1 – Plan For Travel
Not much has changed since I gave you guys my 1 year old travel tips, but you can check those out HERE. Sure there are plenty of things you can do to prepare and over-prepare, but the best thing you can bring with you is PATIENCE and a good easy-going attitude.
I had to wake Jack up at 0230 for our 0545 flight, and he didn’t sleep – AT ALL. Not in the car, not in the airport and not on the plane like we expected. We ended up with an overtired, cranky toddler, but it passed once he napped later in the day. Patience was the only thing we needed to get through that (not the 8,000 toys, snacks or devices that you’ll see on Pinterest Posts).
You just have to accept that things might be rocky, messy or stressful – but you can only control how you react to the cards you are dealt.
Tip #2 Surviving The Airport
As far as the airport goes, we’ve flown Jet Blue with Jack twice and never needed his Birth Certificate. I couldn’t find it this past time, so I had our pediatrician write us a letter stating his DOB with a vaccination history, which supposedly works just as well!
TSA was honestly wonderful on both flights. I feel like the second they saw I had a toddler, they pulled me out of the line and got me through. Getting through with his bottles and food was a breeze as well! This was the least stressful part of our travels.
As far as strollers go, we use the Uppa Baby Vista day to day, but it’s an expensive and very large stroller. I’m a bit territorial with my things as it is, but never wanted to chance that getting damaged during travels, so I purchased the Silver Cross Jet Stroller! This stroller is amazing in that it condenses to fit in an overhead bin of the plane!
Once we landed in Fort Myers, we got our rental car and carseat. Like I mentioned above, I didn’t want to bring a lot of our home items because I was worried about damage (plus the Nuna Rava is HEAVY), so we decided to rent a car seat. I’ve have to be honest here though – the car seat through Hertz, was NOT good. The carseat was old, and probably was unsafe god forbid something happened. It was definitely a judgement call, but we knew once we got on the island, we wouldn’t be driving much, so we just went with it. If you anticipate driving a lot on your trip – you may want to look more into this, or ask more questions. We did complain and were refunded for the carseat and further discounted 25% off our reservation.
Tip #3 Preparing For Your Hotel or Vacation Rental
Make sure you check with your hotel or vacation rental on whether they have cribs, high chairs, pool floats/toys etc. You’d be surprised how much places actually have. If where your staying doesn’t have what you need, ask your hotel or rental company if there are companies in the area that rent equipment. Make your life easier and not harder by renting this stuff, instead of traveling with it. We used Island Rental Services to get a baby gate and crib, but could have gotten various toys or other items. They were extremely nice, helpful and had everything delivered within an hour. If you call ahead of time, I believe they’ll have everything set up for you when before you get there, and they pick it up when you leave!
Tip #4 Things You Want To Bring/Buy/Rent
- Sound Machine
- Baby Monitor, so you can relax by the pool, beach etc during naps, bedtime
- Disposable Bibs, will save you time and hassle!
- If you are visiting Captiva, there’s a great shop by Cantina Captiva that has all kinds of pool floats and toys for kids! It’s a must stop if you need anything for pool/beach.
Be flexible, patient and easy going. I know I mentioned this in Tip #1, but it needs to be repeated. There is no way of predicting how your baby or toddler will be. Whether it’s the actual traveling, eating out, staying in or venturing out – just do what you want to do, and have a great time.
Towards the end of the trip, we had to change from our home rental to a hotel and missed Jack’s nap because of it. He was an absolute nightmare, and we ALMOST cancelled our favorite dinner reservation because of it. I was so worked up dreading him being a bear and affecting others, but we just went and said “f it.” Would you believe he was wonderful?!? You just never know – so seize opportunities, make the effort, take the chances and get the most out of your trip! Great memories are hard to come by, and the bad ones will make for great stories when you are home!
1 more thing…
Book ASAP, if you have any interest in staying in Captiva, Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa is giving all of my followers a 10% discount from 11/5-1/30, excluding Blackout Dates (11/26-11/30; 12/24-1/1<<by using the code “Beachbody.” You can read more about my thoughts on the resort, here from our stay earlier this year!
Hope these tips helped you guys!