• Sarah Nantel

OUR CURIOUS PIGGY: FAMILY VACATION TRIAL RUN



My husband and I love travelling. We went to many places before we decided to settle down and have a family. Aside from seeing new things and trying new restaurants, there’s something just refreshing about getting out of our own house and sleeping in a hotel bed (and wearing their white comfy bathrobes). We forget about getting up early, working and doing dishes for a little while.

Until we had Anders. The thought of travelling with a baby was terrifying.


I am not sure if I was afraid of the crying on the plane or the fact that his whole entire routine was going to get out of whack. That he would become overtired and not sleep. Then we wouldn’t be able to sleep.

Since I knew that we were going to have to go overseas to visit our families in a few weeks, I decided that we needed to go on a vacation as a trial run. To practice travelling with Anders.

We literally pulled out our laptop and searched for direct flights from Calgary to any destination that was about 3-4 hours of flight time. Palm Springs, California. Perfect- anywhere warmer than Calgary. I also knew that we couldn’t be able to stay in a hotel like we used to. With Airbnb, we found a place that had all the amenities of home, like a full kitchen and laundry (we ended up doing laundry 3 times while we were there!).

This trip definitely took much more preparation than we could have ever imagined. The checklist for what to bring was extremely long. We wanted to be really prepared. His favourite toys, diapers, portable crib and high chair, feeding supplies, warm clothes just in case it got cold, wipes, his security blanket that he can’t go to sleep without, snacks…..more diapers (and the list goes on). I think we may have over packed. Anders basically had his own full suitcase plus a stroller and car seat for a 6 day trip. My husband and I just shared one.

So how did we do? Looking back, I don’t know why I worried so much! Anders did great on the plane-yes there was some crying at first but he was entertained by the buckle on the seatbelt, the meal table and the plastic cups we got our drinks in (instead of all the toys I stuffed in my purse, of course). He enjoyed looking out the window and watching the clouds. He fell asleep from the hum of the plane.


We were able to go out and enjoy activities and try out restaurants. Anders loved taking in the new sights, sounds and exploring his new “home”. He did a good job of charming others on the plane and at the places we went. While we knew that it was impossible to stay out until 11pm, we stayed later some nights. We tried to stick to his routine as much as we can (we did not want to deal with an overly tired cranky babe), but I knew we had to be flexible at times. Anders adapted and slept like a baby.


Although it really is a lot of work and we felt like we needed to spend the next few days sleeping after we got home, we were so happy we took the vacation! Anders totally enjoyed spending that extra time with us and we enjoyed being present for him (and not be distracted by our responsibilities for a few days). The one thing I enjoyed the most was making memories as a family.

As a new mom, I tend to worry. A lot. But after our vacation, I learned that our babies are able to adjust and adapt (may I add- sometimes better than we do!) We just have to trust them and give them time to do just that. I am now really looking forward to our trip to Toronto and Beijing to visit our families. 12 hour flight? No problem. I think we can handle it.





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