Marc and I just came back from a winter escape vacation to Bermuda, a gorgeous British island in the North Atlantic Ocean. Famed for its pink sand beaches and turquoise water, we loved our island experience and came back feeling completely recharged.
Even though we flew with Baby Peanut for the very first time, traveling with an infant was surprisingly pleasant.
Bermuda was the perfect choice for Peanut’s first big trip – it’s zika-free, the flight is only three hours from Toronto, it’s warm this time of year without being overly hot, and unlike the Caribbean, we didn’t have to worry about the quality of the drinking water.
All my friends with kids assured me that it’s the best time to travel when babies are still young since they are so portable and can’t run away from you yet. Sounds logical, but I couldn’t help picturing Peanut wailing in my lap, surrounded by strangers and trapped 35,000 feet in the air. (Which did happen…but more on that later.)
It started out great at the airport. We were directed to the express lane at security check and greeted by staff with beaming smiles as soon as they saw Peanut. Peanut was so intrigued by her new environment and all the attention. Whether she liked it or not, I’ll never know – she’s a serious baby and only engaged in intense staring contests with strangers.
Take-off and landing are challenging for babies because of the change in air pressure.
But I had a plan.
I picked the flight time around Peanut’s nap so I could nurse her during take off to help with her ears. She would then fall asleep peacefully in my arms, we would get an award for Best-Behaved-Baby before enjoying some quiet time as we fly into the sunset.
Yeah…so that didn’t happen. Not even a little.
Our flight got delayed for an hour, which led to one overtired and cranky Peanut. Trying to make her nap on the plane was a nightmare. Nursing didn’t help, earmuffs didn’t help, bouncing her didn’t help, other screaming babies definitely didn’t help. A lot of fellow passengers were kind and sympathetic, making the whole situation a little less stressful.
Finally, after a long, hard battle, Marc and I won! Our prizes were a bunch of sore arms and backs, from cradling baby and holding up a sweater to block out the light while she slept.
Ahh the joys of parenthood…
Family Friendly Hotel
Arriving in Bermuda, you feel the warm hospitality of the locals right away. Everyone is super friendly there. After getting Peanut’s passport stamped for the first time (I was really excited about this!), we took a 30 minute taxi to the Fairmont Southampton.
Located on Bermuda’s gorgeous south shore, Fairmont Southampton is a beach resort with plenty of amenities and activities on site. Since our days now revolve around naps, this was a great selling point for us. The best part? It’s located right next to Horseshoe Bay, voted as one of the Top 10 Beaches in the World.
When we weren’t hanging out at Fairmont’s own private beach, we spent our time at Horseshoe Bay. The beach was clean with fine pink sand, crystal clear waters and interesting rock formations. Being off-season, Horseshoe Bay was also quiet with the feel of a private beach.
I’ll never forget watching Peanut discover the beach for the very first time. From crying at the ocean waves crashing towards her to the joy on her face when she played with sand (and then ate some), this beach vacation was full of watching my mini-me grow and experience many of her firsts.
We learned from our mistakes after Niagara Falls and planned a much enjoyable hotel arrangement this time. We booked a large suite with a walk-in closet, which we used as baby’s sleeping space. It was great to be able to hang out alone as a couple and watch a movie after baby fell asleep. Our suite also had a balcony overlooking the ocean, which served as another option we used to relax. And most importantly, this time around we made sure to eat before baby’s bedtime! If you visit Bermuda at some point, be sure to try the Bermuda fish chowder, a yummy tomato based fish soup served with Sherry Pepper sauce and rum.
Overall, we had an amazing time. We were able to keep Peanut’s routine the same as at home without issues. With all the new things and people around her, she even came out of her shell and happily smiled at many random strangers on the flight back.
I think she’s ready for a long-haul flight next! Fingers crossed… 😉
Here are some tips that I found useful traveling with baby for the first time:
- Pack light and leave the non-essentials at home. I left behind things like baby toys because I knew Peanut would love ordinary things (water bottles, a piece of ribbon, paper napkins…go figure!)
- Choose your flight seats wisely. Marc and I picked an aisle and a window seat and were lucky enough that no one picked the middle seat.
- Use your new privileges. Priority security line, unlimited baby liquids allowance, priority boarding, gate checking your stroller – use them all!
- Bring a baby carrier or a lightweight stroller. We actually purchased a Summer 3D Lite travel stroller for this trip and I’m glad we did. It’s much lighter and more compact to carry around. Bonus point for still working like new after taking a beating in the sand.
- Book a separate sleeping area for baby if you can. Trust me, this will save your sanity. There’s nothing worse than sitting in the dark and not being able to do anything after 7pm.
Lastly, don’t stress too much. There’s definitely more planning and coordination required when traveling with a baby, but it’s easier than you think – so don’t let your baby deter you from taking that vacation.
Do you have any tips on traveling with your little one? I’d love to hear from you!
Thanks for reading et à la prochaine!