My holiday traditions each year seem to always go like…
The upside of a spouse who works for an international non-profit is that you get to travel a lot for his work. The downside is you sometimes have to get there on your own, with a baby in tow. Lucy and I flew to London last Friday to meet Rob for this latest European trip. I planned out my wardrobe the week before and packed our bags on Thursday night.
Easy: Packing as light as possible. My bag had a set of mix-and-match clothing in navy, maroon and yellow for this trip. Lucy’s bag was half empty with clothes, diapers and a couple blankets. A small carry-on was packed with milk supplies, toys, extra clothes, food and diapers for the baby. Our Mountain Buggy Mini stroller continues to be a great match for our travel and city life. Hard: Even with packing light and paying $5 to rent a luggage cart for 15 minutes, it was challenging to get everything out of the cab and across to the bag drop counter at the airport with Lucy in the stroller.
Easy: Getting to the airport early so Lucy could wear herself out. Hard: white pajamas. Airport floors are so dirty! I should have brought a change of clothes for her right before we got on the plane.
Easy: Getting Lucy a MMR vaccine early before we left for Europe. Hard: We should have done it a couple weeks earlier. Our pediatrician warned us that in the next week or two she would get a mini-case of measles. She started getting a rash at the airport and had a fever on the flight. Her jet lag in the UK has been made worse by the symptoms – poor thing!
Easy: Flying British Airways. They always do such a nice job and with a baby in tow you get an amazing upgrade to business class for free. I had a huge seat with lots of storage, meals with real dishes and silverware. Lucy fell asleep before the plane even took off and snuggled into her little baby cot seat comfortably for almost 9 of the 10 hour flight. She did so well! Hard: My seat-mate was grumpy about her for the entire flight, regardless. Oh well!
Easy: Bringing a well-packed carry-on. At this age, unpacking all the toys and blankets from the carry-on was the most fun game in the universe to Lucy. For the brief time she was awake, we played unpacking with toys stuffed in the seatback pocket, unpacking with blankets in the bag, unpacking with bottles in the storage bin. Hard: Bringing the Ergo carrier with us. Maybe we would have used it if she was more upset during the flight. Instead, it just took up a lot of room in the bag.
Easy: Getting picked up at the airport! It was so nice to see Rob on the other side of the customs screening after our long journey.