My husband and I love to travel and we've been fortunate enough to have traveled to many places together. I've also been very fortunate that I've been afforded the ability to travel the world through work. The ability to come and go as we pleased, just the 2 of us, required less planning. Now with a child, traveling has REALLY become a luxury but it hasn't stopped us! Luca is under 2 years old and we've toted him along on a few flights and are looking forward to more travel this year!
I wanted to share the trip that was most recent for us, our family New York City trip. We traveled there for my cousin's wedding and Luca was just around 15 months old. The first mistake we made was booking a red-eye flight. Here we were thinking, save some money, but planning a flight that went against his sleep routine was not the best plan.
I'm a really good packer. With all the traveling I've done, I've really been able to distill things down to the basics. Packing while traveling with your baby should be the same. We were staying at a hotel in Mid-Town and knew everything would be within reach for us, so we packed just enough to get us through the flight. We bought everything else we needed there like diapers and snacks. We even kept the toys to a minimum as well. Kids can be entertained with just about anything, remember that!
I also got to test out this awesome Mountain Buggy roller suitcase. So get this - It's a carry on suitcase and it also doubles as a "toddler carrier on wheels". An extra set of wheels pops out from the back, it comes with a 5 point strap you place over the handles and VOILA! Tug along your little toddler when they do not want to walk and I can tell you my little guy thought it was a hoot! He kinda preferred it over the stroller and perfect while transporting him around the airport.
Find it at www.bestbuy.ca
New York is a walking city and the best way to get around is via the subway. There are very very very few elevators and a shit tonne of stairs. Aside from mapping out your day and trying to keep the subway rides to a minimum...you can not avoid the up and down of the stairs. Luckily traveling as a family, my husband did all the heavy lifting but this wouldn't have been possible if we didn't have a compact travel stroller. If your child is under two years and not really walking, bring your carrier and if your little one is walking....bring a compact stroller. We have the Mountain Buggy nano stroller and we love it. Folds up easy, it's compact, light-weight, has an amazing big hood, reclines back for naps and has a decent storage on the bottom. (Oh, you can carry it on and also fits in the overhead compartment in the plane.
You can buy both the stroller and the luggage from Best Buy Canada!
Ok, so you made it to New York, now what? I can give you a huge laundry list of places to eat and things to do because there is no shortage of places in NYC. Traveling with a toddler doesn't necessarily mean changing the way we do everything...but it does mean having to find a few more activities that are family friendly. So here are a few places we took Luca:
1. Everyone will tell you this - You have to hit the Highline, especially on a nice day. I first visited the High Line when it opened and it was QUIET and serene. NOW - It is bustling with people - Fair warning depending on the day, it can get a little crowded. The High Line is a 1.45-mile-long elevated linear park, greenway and rail trail on the west side. It's a nice stroll, spanning between the Meat Packing District towards Hells Kitchen.
2. The American Museum of Natural History. WOW - I've hit every major museum in NYC as well as some smaller galleries and this is the first time I've visited this museum. I can not believe it took me so long to do so! Luca loved this place. There is so much to see, explore, with open spaces to roam around. We practically spent the entire day there. It was truly amazing.
3. Museums - The Met - We got so lucky, there was a wonderful Irving Penn exhibit when we visited the MET. We are huge fans of museums as a family. We get to enjoy it as parents and the little ones love running around from exhibition to exhibition. The MoMA was a good one to visit as well. It wasn't as busy as The Met and there were many wonderful spots with natural light that made for some great photos.
I was able to check out some new stuff, all these places were first time visits for me!
1. Cha Cha Matcha - Oh this place is awesome. The name says it all, these guys are all about the matcha and they infuse it in just about everything - pastries, candy, hot beverages, even cocktails.
2. MOMOYA - My girlfriend Amy, founder of Renew Break Up Boot Camp, took me to this lively Japanese restaurant in the Chelsea hood. Flavour explosion! We waited for about 40 min, but well worth the wait. The dish that stole my heart, the Crispy Rice signature roll. My mouth is salivating as I write this.
3. The Smith - If you are looking for a bustling brunch place in the Mid-Town area, head on over The Smith Restaurant. They have it all on their elevated menu offering - fresh shellfish, eggs, steak, burgers and pancakes and more.
4. Locanda Verde - I'm always ready and willing for Italian food. This hip joint is located in the Tribeca neighborhood. We went here for my cousin rehearsal dinner. I can not say enough about their food. If you a looking to host a large party they have this amazing back room to entertain a large group.
NYC, I'm heading back for you this February and looking forward to finding some more little gems!