For years our wedding anniversary symbolized globe-trotting adventures to far-flung destinations. Even in 2020, the year that was a turning point, we made it back from Panama just before the Covid lockdown. Last year, we traveled to Jamaica to enjoy some sun and sand. This year, with our baby girl in tow, we decided to embark on a different kind of journey – a staycation right in our own city. It was an opportunity to test the waters of traveling with an infant and celebrate our love while exploring the comforts of home.
Our chosen destination was The Whitley Hotel, a luxury hotel nestled in our own city. We decided to have a staycation to experience what it's like to travel with an infant without the added complexity of long-distance flights. We figured that if we could handle a staycation, then future travels, even short domestic flights, would be a breeze. With our baby still very young, we hesitated about putting her on a flight or taking a longer road trip. As avid travelers, we saw this as a natural progression: starting with a staycation, moving up to short domestic flights, and eventually tackling the challenge of a long-haul domestic flight. I recommend this path for any new parents starting to travel with their baby.
Our staycation lasted a cozy two days – the ideal timeframe for this initial test. It didn't take long for us to realize that with a baby, less can sometimes be more. Despite our meticulous planning, we found ourselves slightly overwhelmed with the amount of baby gear we brought along. My husband and I exchanged bemused glances, wondering why we needed three suitcases for a mere two-day staycation.
This experience taught us a valuable lesson: pack lighter and buy what we needed, IF we needed it. The sheer volume of luggage, including a stroller and an array of baby gear, made us reconsider our definition of "traveling light." We discovered that, even when staying indoors, overpacking can lead to unnecessary stress.
At one point, we thought about venturing outside of the hotel, but the weather wasn't on our side. Instead, we decided to relax in the hotel lounge area. However, we soon realized that it wasn't ideal for a baby. Live music started, and the noise level became uncomfortable, despite our efforts to muffle the sound with noise-canceling headphones for the baby. This experience emphasized the importance of researching the hotel environment in advance to ensure it aligns with our little one's comfort.
We spent most of the weekend within the cozy confines of our hotel room, relishing takeout from local eateries that were typically beyond the reach of our usual Uber Eats delivery radius. As exhausted parents, this worked out just fine for us!
Our first staycation with our baby was indeed a journey of discovery. While we did have moments of feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume of baby gear, it was an essential test of our ability to balance our passion for travel with the responsibilities of parenthood. As we continue to embrace parenthood and the joy of exploration, we're more prepared than ever for the next adventure, wherever it may take us.
Stay tuned for more travel escapades as we navigate the world with our little one in tow!