Flying to Turks & Caicos was the second time traveling with Charlie but the first time visiting a place where we felt like we had to pack everything and/or didn’t know what would be available to us once we arrived. I feel like I walked away with a whole new appreciation for those mom’s I see traveling alone with three kids at one time – you mom’s rock (all mom’s rock).
Here is what we did to prepare and a few tips that helped us throughout the trip….
First of all, we called our resort ahead of time to see if they had a crib or pack and play available for their guests. Luckily they did so that saved us an extra piece of luggage. Also, google what is available to you around your hotel. We had never visited Turks & Caicos so I wasn’t sure about the grocery stores and what we would be able to purchase there (i.e.: formula, diapers, baby food). We ended up packing all of this but it turns out the grocery store was beautiful and had everything we would have needed! Knowing this ahead of time would have saved a lot of room in our bags. Also, check to see if laundry is available to you. We had a washer and dryer in our villa so I packed travel size laundry detergent and fewer clothes for our entire family.
We took an Uber to the airport which of course meant that we had Charlie’s car seat (we also planned on driving while on vacation). We ordered this car seat cover and checked it with the rest of our luggage. I was a little worried about the car seat not being cushioned enough for travel but actually the ticket agent marked it as an awkward shape so someone came and picked it up and literally carried it to the plane. It was also included in the fragile luggage upon arrival so I think the bag actually made the crew take better care of it. Apparently a car seat is not required in Turks & Caicos so besides the car ride from the airport to the hotel and back, we never used the car seat again (he sat on my lap for the 3 short taxi rides).
We used our City Mini GT stroller as soon as we got to the airport, through security and checked it at the gate. We used it everyday to go down to the pool and the beach and Charlie comfortably napped there in the shade. The City Mini has a huge canopy which has SPF50 protection. We took his stroller to every dinner, too. Charlie hung out and played with his toys before falling asleep. I love City Mini because it is lightweight, easy to maneuver and Charlie can go from sitting to completely reclined super easily.
I was so glad we brought the Baby Bjorn for morning walks along the beach. If you’re deciding between the Baby Bjorn or the Ergo Baby 360, I like both for different reasons. The Baby Bjorn is easier to put on yourself, smaller and I think Charlie is more comfortable in it (he always passes out), however, it doesn’t have great back support for the lower back. The Ergo 360 is bulkier which makes it not great for packing and I think is really hard to put on yourself, but it has WAY better back support. I can wear Charlie much longer in the Ergo than I can in the Bjorn.
The Fisher Price Ultra-Lite Day & Night Play Yard was another item I was so happy we brought. Charlie is on the move these days – sitting up, rolling over – and it’s hard to get a moment to yourself when you’re constantly holding him, picking him up or keeping him corralled. I was so happy we brought a play yard because it allowed us to sit on the balcony and let Charlie roll around in a cushioned area (our entire villa was wood/marble floor so I was so grateful for this soft spot) while we enjoyed a glass of wine to ourselves. We also carried it down to the pool so Charlie could hang out in the shade. This one is so easy to put together, comes in a travel case so basically already packed, it is lightweight, it comes with a portable changing station, and reclined sleeper (think Rock & Play), and the padded play yard. It is not bulky and honestly just made our lives so much easier.
A few other items – extra blankets, light up toys that aren’t super bulky, download a sound machine on your iPad or phone, and soft toys (Charlie LOVES this soft book).
To help all of you momma’s out there, I’m excited to giveaway the Fisher Price Ultra-Lite Day & Night Play Yard to one lucky reader. Not only was this used on vacation, but it is set up in my office every day so Charlie can enjoy himself while I get some work done. It’s honestly been a great item to have at every stage thus far!
To enter, leave a comment telling me your travel experience with baby, any tips or what you would use the Play Yard for! A winner will be announced on Monday morning on my Facebook page. Good luck! *THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED.
In collaboration with Fisher-Price.