Tips for Traveling in Santa Barbara
Traveling with a child can be a challenging experience. Baby equipment is not tailored for the nuances of travel and often becomes cumbersome and bulky luggage. For those on flights, airlines often require you to pay surcharges for extra luggage. In addition, excessive luggage creates a longer check-in process, and more baggage to manage, in addition to your child. Loose equipment checked onto flights can lead to damage or loss. Claims with airlines are tedious to file and rarely cover the actual damage or loss.
Packing Check List for Visiting Santa Barbara with Baby:
- Car seat (or Rent at www.SBBabyCo.com)
- Lightweight collapsible “umbrella” stroller (or Rent at www.SBBabyCo.com)
- Portable crib / Playpen (or Rent at www.SBBabyCo.com)
- Baby Sunscreen
- Diaper bag
- Diapers (or Purchase at www.SBBabyCo.com)
- Disposable swimming diapers (or Purchase at www.SBBabyCo.com)
- Diaper rash ointment
- Changing pads
- Baby food & spoons
- Bottle & nipples
- Cool clothing
- Sleeping clothes
- Light jacket
- Bathing Suit
- Bathing toys (or Rent at www.SBBabyCo.com)
- Soaps & shampoos
- First Aid Kit
Below are a few suggestions for items that travel easily with children. Always bring items that you can sacrifice in the event that they are lost.
- Bring along just one favorite blanket or toy to help children adjust to the transportation as well as the destination. Keep a close watch on the item as it can easily be lost.
- Make travel mealtime more exciting by bringing along snacks that the kids do not eat routinely. Colorful and fun shaped snacks are always more amusing.
- Resurrect a few toys that have not been used in a while and bring them with you for the flight or drive. Toys that have been neglected for a while in your home are almost as good as new toys.
- Books are rugged and provide lots of adventure in a small footprint.
- Print out coloring pages or simple games from online web sites and bring them along. Try NickJr.com, Noggin.com, or Highlights.com
- A Magnet board & magnets such as Magnadoodle can keep the kids entertained for some time, however, you must keep the magnets away from any computer hard drives as it will erase the content of the computer.
- Play-doh travels easily and is a relatively clean art project.
- Coloring books and crayons are always a standard. The invisible ink felt pens are also a nice option, however, you must use the specially made coloring book or paper in order for these pens to operate.
- Stickers and a book or notepad in which to place them are a nice addition to coloring.
- Colorful Bandaids can also serve as stickers in which the kids can unwrap and place on themselves – you will be surprised at how much fun this provides.
- There are many boards for doodling such as the Doodle Pro and Etch-a-Sketch that are self-erasing, require no loose pens or paper, and make no mess.
- A supply of simple, wrapped toys can be used as rewards for good behavior and given out periodically during your travel.
- Bring along a small piggy bank for each child. Periodically reward the kids with coins to fill the bank. They can have fun spending their earnings when you reach your destination.
- There are many travel game books for children with fun ideas and games to play while you are on the road.
- There are many flash cards like Brain Quest, and cards especially made for travel in which a child can match objects on the card with the real object during the journey (airplanes, cars, trees, road signs, etc..)
- Each child will enjoy their own individual backpack filled with their personal toys and entertainment. It fosters independence for the child and they will enjoy organizing it repeatedly.
- Children under 2 are not required to purchase a seat. However, some airlines offer a discounted ticket to children under 2, be sure to inquire with an agent before purchase.
- If you do not purchase a ticket, try to choose a flight that will not be full. This will allow you to use an extra seat for your child. Usually these flights are midday departures that do not cater to business persons. In addition, book the aisle and window seat only – most people will not book the middle seat and you have a better chance of getting the whole row. In the event that it is booked, the passenger will surely swap for your aisle or window seat, or even move to another seat elsewhere on the plane.
- The advantage of purchasing a seat is that you can bring your child’s infant carrier or Sit’n’Stroll and place it directly on the seat so that the child can rest comfortably. The child airports have special changing rooms for babies – make sure and seek these out. will also have a seat belt.
- If you bring a stroller to the airport, check it in right at the gate while boarding your flight. Otherwise, travel minimally with a Bjorn or sling and rent a stroller at your destination.
- Rent or borrow as much equipment as possible at your destination. Traveling with equipment is cumbersome. Many airlines charge extra fees for excess luggage and loose equipment on flights is more likely to get damaged or stolen.
- Be prepared for flight delays: bring extra formula, diapers, wipes, clothing, snacks… and a DVD player!
- Try to burn off energy with your children before you board the plane. Many airports have children play areas. Check with the airport information kiosk.
- Seek out other children on the flight. There is nothing more amusing and time consuming for children than playing with new friends. It will make the flight much easier.
- Bring along a chewy snack for the ascent and descent of the plane. It helps childrens’ ears pop and adjust to the altitude change.
- Consider the hour of departure. Travel while the children sleep. However, if you travel by evening while they are sleeping, you will arrive tired and need to sleep-in while they are perky and ready for action in the morning. If you are two adults, then one should sleep with the children and, in turn, be available in the morning to tend to the children while the driver gets rest.
- Make routine stops for bathroom breaks. Many children will not give you enough warning before they have to go and you may not make it to an exit in time. Some children may not warn you at all.
- Locate parks and points of interest along the way that will entertain your children. Allow yourself enough time during your travel to enjoy the amusements along the way.
- Bring children sing-along or educational videos– there are many available that introduce letters and numbers, as well as other educational material.
- Rent or borrow equipment at your destination location. Most rental companies have web sites. Don’t overload your car to the point where you can no longer locate anything. You will need easy access to many items during your road trip with children.