We at Surf Stoked Moms think that traveling with a baby is the best. While many people fear any sort of baby travel: with a baby or near a baby, there are many benefits to traveling with that little bundle of joy. Beyond the emotional roller coaster that is kids on airplanes, trains and automobiles, many positives exist when you travel with a baby. Here are some of Surf Stoked Moms’ favorite reasons to embrace baby travel.
1. Babies Go With the Flow
Traveling with people who have conflicting interests can be a real trip killer. Just travel as a grown woman with your parents and you’ll know what I’m talking about. On the flip side, babies have no agendas, hidden or otherwise, besides eating, sleeping and pooping. If you can meet these basic demands as you do every other damn day of their little lives, you can pretty much take your baby along and they will do what you want to do especially the very small ones. Things get a little tricky when they reach the “no” stage but I usually just stay positive and carry-on with doing what I intended to do… extra slowly.
2. Babies Practically Fit in the Overhead Compartments
Babies are small; their gear is not. If you can simplify how much shit you really need to drag around the world with you, you’ll find that you can carry your baby in your arms easily. If not you can place them in the overhead compartment. All jokes aside, being small means they can make the most out of spaces like the long-haul bassinet (luxury lie-flat seat for baby) and the floor space between your feet and the seat of the passenger you are tormenting in front of you.
3. Babies Fly Free
Until your kid is two, babies fly free or at around 10% of the cost of an adult ticket. I have certainly taken advantage of this as Baby V has been on over 20 flights and is only one and half. This complimentary baby travel passage coupled with the fact they are lovely little traveling companions until about 9 months should be motivation for all the new moms out their to take that trip to see grandma, the Taj Mahal, or the Eat Pray Love trail. After two you’re buying that little demon a seat and an iPad so enjoy the perks now!
4. Babies Speed You Through the Rigamarole of Check-In, Customs and Security
In Australia, babies are like golden tickets (as are any young children). You can pass through customs with the wheelchairs and cut to the front of security. In the U.S., children are a little less prized. We definitely waited in the longest security line EVER at JFK in New York with not one extra smile of preference for Baby V. Here’s a secret that you may or may not feel comfortable using, but if there is a really really long line for check in and I’m with the baby, I’ll go straight up to the priority check-in desk, smile, show my baby and check-in. I’ll apologize profusely and claim ignorance but I will check in at that desk. Sometimes you have to demand the justice you deserve. Business people traveling alone can wait all day reading the newspaper and check their stock market wins but if I stand in that line my baby will sprint off and get run over by a massive luggage cart from China Air. Go ahead, ma’am.
5. Babies Help You Meet Locals & Make Friends
Without a doubt, in the last year and a half, I have had more real experiences and contact with local people because of Baby V. We are welcomed into people’s homes. We met moms, grandmas and babies everywhere. We learned about how kids are brought up everywhere from Australia to New York to San Juanico, Mexico, to Lombok, Indonesia. We relish in the places where children are treated as heavenly little creatures like Bali. At the end of day, traveling with a baby is the world’s greatest icebreaker as Baby V’s smile lights up the eyes of even the most grouchy old man, pissed off airline worker or posh Double Platinum executive.
6. Babies Slow You Down in a Good Way
My travel style is often hectic, trying to pack as many surfs, activities and drinks into a day as possible. But baby travel forces you to slow down. Babies don’t let you speed of on a motorbike, surf 4 times a day or drink yourself under the table. Things have changed. But what baby travel does do is make you slow down and be present in each moment. We take time to smell the same flowers EVERYDAY and when we’re on the road we try to enjoy the little moments that make traveling so great.
7. Babies Speak the Only True International Language: LOVE
It doesn’t matter where you are, babies can communicate in the only true international language, through love. That is the biggest perk of baby travel: that your baby can connect with people who speak any language, are of any religion, caste or from any country in the world and make them smile. You don’t need a translator to understand that kind of love.
as much as a pain in the ass babies can be on planes and in stressful situations, baby travel is worth it because your little best friend is your future best travel mate. Share the world with him or her and watch them flourish.