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10 Tips to Survive a Family Vacation (with a Newborn)


If you ever went on family vacations as a kid, then you know all too well things can go wrong, especially if they involved minivans in the years before Google maps. From breakdowns, getting lost, arriving to the campground too late to find a spot or endless arguments with my siblings (pictured above) about who called ‘shotgun‘ first; family vacay drama was never-ending.

Sure, we had a few summer vacations as kids that made the Griswold’s road trip to Walley World look like a walk in the park, but we’re all adults now. So when my entire family traveled to meet us in Majorca, Spain earlier this month for a BIG reunion, I was more concerned with the new dynamic – traveling with a baby!. Here’s my top 10 Tips to Surviving a Family Vacation with a newborn baby


1. ‘X’ Marks the Spot! – Whether you’re going to dinner or on a day trip, plan on a ‘meeting spot,’ time, and then stick to it! This was the only way we all made it to dinners on time. From left to right – my in-laws, husband, baby, me, my parents, my brother Drew, his gf Elsa, my younger brother, Paul, Ryan, and my sister Jody


2. Don’t be Scared to Take Your Baby to (family friendly) Restaurants – I never wanted to disturb other tables with Wilhelmina, so if she started to cry (which was always at some point during the meal) I had a blanket and outfit that worked to feed her immediately. I always felt a little disheveled by the end of the evening, but we made it through every restaurant excursion which brings me to the next tip


3. How to Enjoy Your Dinner as a New Mom – You need to eat too and unless you want to balance your baby and take uncomfortable mini-bites eating with your left hand, pass your baby off to family as soon as you can. When she was happily fed and others at the table had finished their meal, I had them hold her>


4. Avoid Planning BIG Family Meals – If you’re renting a house, home-cooked meals are a great idea, but also a ton of work with big groups. I recommend organizing a ‘cocktail hour‘ at the house to kick-off the vacation. We all got together the first day for an Aperol Spritz and home-made cake!>


5. Don’t Over Pack! – Whether it’s you or guys with swag on your trip, I recommend packing strategically – especially if you’re flying. Many airlines have restrictions on carry-on bags (and can charge you more as you board which happened to my siblings on easyJet) so think twice before stuffing your Samsonite with an extra pair of loafers. SidenoteMen’s Style Alert! follow my father-in-law @SavvySenior on Instagram. Yellow suits, art, European style + more.


6. The Stroller Behind the Smiles – If you have a big stroller for your baby, make sure it fits in your car – especially if you’re getting a rental! You’d be surprised how much space this takes up in a SUV, even when it’s folded. Sometimes the trip felt like we were constantly managing logistics for the baby (aka) diaper bag, stroller, car seat, etc.


7. Cash is King! – When you’re eating out with big groups on vacation, especially at small cafes, it’s SO much easier to just have cash when the bill arrives. Many restaurants in Europe don’t even take credit cards>


8. Don’t Forget to Make Lasting Memories – My dad has worked at the USPS for 30 years and loves to meet other postal workers when he travels. So on an afternoon walk as we passed by the correo workers in Majorca (thanks to my mother-in-law who speaks Spanish who made an introduction), they invited him to take a pic on their yellow postal mobile and even wear their helmet. #photooftheday


9. How to Share the Photos with Each Other – Between a Go-Pro, smartphones and DSLR cameras, we all had our own photos from the trip. Share them as soon as possible before everyone forgets or memory cards get lost. I recommend creating a shared album with your iphones and I love Dropbox because then you can just email a link with all the photos.


#10. Your Baby will Have Good Days & Bad Ones…Β There were some days she slept like an angel and others she was a nightmare. My best recommendation on a trip is take it day by day. And during the baby’s afternoon naps, get a little R&R for yourself. As for flying with a baby – it really wasn’t as bad as I thought, but I’ll save those tips for another post.

Have you taken a family vacation lately?



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  1. “Pass her onto someone else”! Hehehe I love that tip. I have a friend with a 1 year old (now) who is always tending to him during brunches, lunches or dinners. I should pass this one onto her for next time. She never ends up eating a thing.


  2. Such a cute post Dale – your family looks fabulous! Love the tips too – I have a stroller tip for you and that is to get a little fold up one from Mother care – I promise it saved my life when Cassia was little πŸ˜‰

    Have a lovely Friday.

    Yvonne XX

  3. Great tips. I love Dropbox so much. I know for our family having a meeting place is always essential, and tech devices do make things better sometimes. Hope you and the family have a great weekend Dale. <3
    Family Style Dinner

  4. Usually first time moms don’t want to pass their babies off but they should… we all need a break … to eat, shower and relax. Nothing wrong with that. Traveling with a baby can be a great deal of work, I’ve done it… these are really good tips Dale.xox β™‘

  5. You’re my hero Dale! You’re handling motherhood beautifully. Everyone looks so good! πŸ˜€

  6. Dale, Darling photos and you have a beautiful family! I love that you did this even with a newborn. I have to tell you don’t stay home and wait for the perfect ‘time’ to travel. We took our boys everywhere when they were young and as a result they learned to love travel, behave in restaurants and go with the flow. You look like you are on the right path having family help hold her and it will make her not clingy either. I’m so happy for you! That last photo is precious! Great tips too! Enjoy! xo Kim

  7. Your family looks fabulous! Love the tips too.

  8. You guys are one of the most stylish families I’ve seen! LOVE your father-in-laws yellow suit and his Instagram account! Thank you for the family travel tips. Although we don’t have a baby yet, we do take a lot of big family vacays and can always use advice on making them run seamlessly πŸ™‚ xo

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