We took our 5 month old baby long haul – hand luggage only!

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The story starts months and months before when we were invited over to the states for my cousins wedding. It would be a once in a lifetime opportunity so we said yes! Even being pregnant I thought it would be great. It wasn’t until we had her and she was just over 3 months old I started to get cold feet, really cold feet. And about everything. Flights, waiting around, food, heat, money. You name it, I worried about it however a few things came to pass, I had some conversations that put my mind at ease so the flights were booked with help. We’d made the crazy decision that as we were out there anyway and the fact that flights were cheaper to fly to Orlando and do internal flights than straight to our original destination that we’d visit Disney too. And we’d take our baby who was to turn 5 months old whilst we were away. Even now I look back and wonder how we did it. Two Brits used to 90% overcast cloudy days and a Winter baby going to America in May. It was going to be warm.

Remember those times where you had to pack everything into a big case and your 2 pieces of hand luggage? Well we had booked the low cost flights that came with hand luggage only and again, with a baby that takes over half the house on a normal day we must have packed like Mary Poppins herself. Two hand luggage cases, three bags the pushchair and a travel cot later we were off with the reassurance that if we needed anything there were shops.

Two small cases, 2 overnight bags, 1 rucksack and the travel cot

It sounds easy I hear you say. It probably would be have been a lot easier however I wanted to pack plenty of nappies and wipes (we still ended up buying two packs), and formula as the USA were struggling with a formula shortage and I wanted to stick to the same brand we use at home and bottles, pumps, sterilising equipment and all the other bits that we have for babies everyday.

We had some saviour products that even now I’m so grateful we took with us. Our portable fan being one of them. We wrapped the grips around the pushchair so it faced baby and she was so much happier. Such a good pre-holiday purchase for sure and we’ll be using it again and again.

Secondly our Deryan travel cot. I looked at loads, I literally cried over the stress of finding one suitable and I got annoyed that something classed as a travel cot was actually not as lightweight as you’d want them to be. I eventually found the travel cot we purchased thinking if I wasn’t happy it could be returned and little did I know I would actually be sad to part with it now after it suited us so well. It was light for me to carry, Darcie was happy to sleep in it and I felt comfortable her sleeping in it even at a young age. We’ve also used it since we’ve been home which is great.

Just pulled the handy mosquito net back so I could get a quick photo. I didn’t think we’d need the net at first but we did at our second location!

We were able to do a clothes wash half way through the almost two weeks we were away and this helped massively but I still overpacked clothes for me and baby so could have saved space there and I definitely will next time. (Show me a person who’s never packed too many clothes!) For our next holiday – which won’t be long now – I’m getting these packing cubes to separate my clothes from baby clothes to make it easier to find things and to also separate clean from dirty to make it easier for when we’re home too.

On the return flight we did have an extra bag to pay for as we’d used a baby bag for our travelling day. If we’d wanted we could have packed this into a case or somewhere but it already had everything good to go so kept it as it was.

In terms of luggage we were able to check most of our luggage in at the check in desk on the way out to Orlando. We were able to check the travel cot at a separate bulky items desk and took the pushchair through so we could use it before it was gate checked just before boarding. The other flights weren’t so easy and we had to take our luggage with us and although we could do this next time for ease we’ll just check it in. It meant my husband carried A LOT of luggage in crowded airports and we had to sit with it whilst we we waiting. Not so much fun and I’d pay for the convenience on another flight for them to take it at initial check in.

It was a new set of rules for us flying this time with a baby, not so long after new rules have been put in place and never having gone long haul together before but I’m very proud of us if I can say so myself!

There are some things we’ve learnt along the way and some things we’d change or do exactly the same. Let me know if you have any questions or if you’ve done the same!

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