Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

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coalcracker
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Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

Post by coalcracker » Sat Aug 09, 2014 4:32 pm

My wife and I are avid travelers, and live in a cold, dreary midwest city that we would love to escape for a few weeks this winter. We would be travelling with a 1 year old. Ideally we would like to take 3 weeks and go somewhere far-flung, such as southeast asia or the pacific islands. We have bounced around Singapore/Malaysia as a possible destination. Australia could work, but we would like to go when he's older.

Given we have an infant, we would want to hit only 1 or maybe 2 different places. With all due respect, I do not want any lectures on leaving the child at home; we realize it will make things more "interesting" having him along, but he will be there.

We have visited many places in Southeast Asia and the pacific with just the two of us. We are not afraid to get off the beaten path, although not too far with the kid. We are big foodies. Beaches are nice but not a necessity. Open to any an all suggestions anywhere in the world, as long as it's warm. Any specific recommendations?

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Puakinekine
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Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

Post by Puakinekine » Sat Aug 09, 2014 5:19 pm

It sounds like this is your first child? One of the things about babies and toddlers is that they catch everything going around. And, they can get very sick, very quickly, much faster then an adult. So where ever you go, I would recommend finding a place with timely access to good medical care. This does not preclude Southeast Asia, but I would do my research on which places are better then others.

Another good place is New Zealand, not quite the sort of tropical scenario that you are thinking of, but warm and lovely none the less in the dead of northern hemisphere winter. The people are wonderful, the scenery beautiful, and although not as inexpensive as SE Asia, NZ is not too bad if you don't get too extravagant. Perhaps renting a campervan might be the way to go.

There is Hawaii, of course, but you seem to want to go farther afield.

coalcracker
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Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

Post by coalcracker » Sat Aug 09, 2014 5:30 pm

Puakinekine wrote:It sounds like this is your first child? One of the things about babies and toddlers is that they catch everything going around. And, they can get very sick, very quickly, much faster then an adult. So where ever you go, I would recommend finding a place with timely access to good medical care. This does not preclude Southeast Asia, but I would do my research on which places are better then others.

Another good place is New Zealand, not quite the sort of tropical scenario that you are thinking of, but warm and lovely none the less in the dead of northern hemisphere winter. The people are wonderful, the scenery beautiful, and although not as inexpensive as SE Asia, NZ is not too bad if you don't get too extravagant. Perhaps renting a campervan might be the way to go.

There is Hawaii, of course, but you seem to want to go farther afield.
I am fortunate that I am married to a pediatrician :D . That said, we will not be trekking in the deep jungle of Papua New Guinea with our little dude.

We have been to New Zealand but didn't get to see all of it, maybe it's time for a return visit. Hawaii is great. In a sense, our son was already there when my wife was 7 month pregnant :wink:

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Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

Post by Puakinekine » Sat Aug 09, 2014 5:47 pm

Glad to hear about your in house medical knowledge. If you do choose New Zealand, try to fly Air New Zealand, the are not Emirates or anything like that, but they provide good, decent, professional service, rather like US airlines in the days of yore. :)

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Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

Post by texasdiver » Sat Aug 09, 2014 6:30 pm

My wife is also a physician and we did a lot of traveling when our daughters were very young. At the time we lived in Alaska and traveled once or twice a year to see her family in Chile and that is a very LONG series of flights for infants.

If you have not already done so you will soon find that long flights with an infant can be the most searing form of torture for all involved. Sometimes they sleep, more likely they'll chose that day to come down with something like an ear infection and you'll spend a 10 hour redeye flight pacing up and down the aisles of an airliner with a screaming infant. Some of my most unpleasant memories of my life are overnight flights between Santiago and Dallas with two young sick children in tow.

We also found it much preferable to rent vacation locations with kitchens through places like VRBO rather than stay at hotels so we could do meals for the kiddos on our own and not be dependent on restaurants which can be another form of torture for all involved when an infant is present.

For that reason I would suggest looking closer to home that don't involve such long flights. Maybe Costa Rica? Fly into Liberia in northwest Costa Rica and get a nice rental on the Pacific coast through VRBO. There are infinite possibilities in Costa Rica from the extremely posh to the extremely remote and primitive. And the society is extremely kid-friendly compared to say Europe so you won't be feeling like your child is unwanted. Panama would be another similar option.

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Rainier
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Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

Post by Rainier » Sat Aug 09, 2014 6:34 pm

Sounds like torture to me.

Nothing to add because you don't want to hear it, Godspeed!

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Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

Post by coalcracker » Sat Aug 09, 2014 6:46 pm

Rainier wrote:Sounds like torture to me.

Nothing to add because you don't want to hear it, Godspeed!
Full disclosure: We would consider leaving him with family if that were an option, but it is not.

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Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

Post by texasdiver » Sat Aug 09, 2014 6:50 pm

coalcracker wrote:
Rainier wrote:Sounds like torture to me.

Nothing to add because you don't want to hear it, Godspeed!
Full disclosure: We would consider leaving him with family if that were an option, but it is not.
Nah, bring the kid. There's never a wrong time to travel. Just don't try to go so far if you don't have to.

coalcracker
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Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

Post by coalcracker » Sat Aug 09, 2014 6:55 pm

texasdiver wrote:
coalcracker wrote:
Rainier wrote:Sounds like torture to me.

Nothing to add because you don't want to hear it, Godspeed!
Full disclosure: We would consider leaving him with family if that were an option, but it is not.
Nah, bring the kid. There's never a wrong time to travel. Just don't try to go so far if you don't have to.
It's interesting, in a post last year I asked about a place to go in Central America when my wife was pregnant (we ended up going to Hawaii instead), and nearly everyone recommended Costa Rica. I think I will be looking into it a bit more. I have heard Panama is a bit less touristy but similar to Costa Rica.

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Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

Post by livesoft » Sat Aug 09, 2014 7:01 pm

Before doing 3 weeks somewhere, what are you going to do to practice and get your child used to all this? Try something easy first: Maui.
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Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

Post by texasdiver » Sat Aug 09, 2014 7:03 pm

coalcracker wrote:
texasdiver wrote:
coalcracker wrote:
Rainier wrote:Sounds like torture to me.

Nothing to add because you don't want to hear it, Godspeed!
Full disclosure: We would consider leaving him with family if that were an option, but it is not.
Nah, bring the kid. There's never a wrong time to travel. Just don't try to go so far if you don't have to.
It's interesting, in a post last year I asked about a place to go in Central America when my wife was pregnant (we ended up going to Hawaii instead), and nearly everyone recommended Costa Rica. I think I will be looking into it a bit more. I have heard Panama is a bit less touristy but similar to Costa Rica.
Took the family there 2 years ago. Our girls were 6, 9, and 14 at the time so a bit different age range. Here is a trip report I wrote. We did a week on the beach and a week in the mountains: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g2 ... _Rica.html

For us it was about a 3.5 hour nonstop flight from DFW to Liberia which also made the vacation more pleasant as we are an easy drive to DFW.

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Rainier
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Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

Post by Rainier » Sat Aug 09, 2014 7:08 pm

At a minimum shorten the flight and reduce time zone changes as much as possible.

There are plenty of exotic places to go that are closer than Southeast Asia.

coalcracker
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Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

Post by coalcracker » Sat Aug 09, 2014 7:32 pm

livesoft wrote:Before doing 3 weeks somewhere, what are you going to do to practice and get your child used to all this? Try something easy first: Maui.
We were thinking along the same lines. He has done a plane trip for a week to Florida, and we go to France for 2 weeks in September. We will see how France goes before making our plans for the winter.

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Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

Post by avalpert » Sat Aug 09, 2014 7:39 pm

coalcracker wrote:
texasdiver wrote:
coalcracker wrote:
Rainier wrote:Sounds like torture to me.

Nothing to add because you don't want to hear it, Godspeed!
Full disclosure: We would consider leaving him with family if that were an option, but it is not.
Nah, bring the kid. There's never a wrong time to travel. Just don't try to go so far if you don't have to.
It's interesting, in a post last year I asked about a place to go in Central America when my wife was pregnant (we ended up going to Hawaii instead), and nearly everyone recommended Costa Rica. I think I will be looking into it a bit more. I have heard Panama is a bit less touristy but similar to Costa Rica.
I wouldn't say Panama is similar to Costa Rica but Nicaragua is and a bit less touristy.

If you want to go a bit further afield I would suggest South Africa - plenty of options there, lots of family-friendly accommodations including many self-catering places which give you more flexibility on meal times.

coalcracker
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Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

Post by coalcracker » Sat Aug 09, 2014 7:49 pm

avalpert wrote:
coalcracker wrote:
texasdiver wrote:
coalcracker wrote:
Rainier wrote:Sounds like torture to me.

Nothing to add because you don't want to hear it, Godspeed!
Full disclosure: We would consider leaving him with family if that were an option, but it is not.
Nah, bring the kid. There's never a wrong time to travel. Just don't try to go so far if you don't have to.
It's interesting, in a post last year I asked about a place to go in Central America when my wife was pregnant (we ended up going to Hawaii instead), and nearly everyone recommended Costa Rica. I think I will be looking into it a bit more. I have heard Panama is a bit less touristy but similar to Costa Rica.
I wouldn't say Panama is similar to Costa Rica but Nicaragua is and a bit less touristy.

If you want to go a bit further afield I would suggest South Africa - plenty of options there, lots of family-friendly accommodations including many self-catering places which give you more flexibility on meal times.
South Africa is a great suggestion, I have actually lived there for a summer. My wife has never been there, and we hope to go when he is older and will appreciate the animals, i.e. not try to grab them and kiss them, like he does to our do our dog.

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Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

Post by crowd79 » Sat Aug 09, 2014 10:09 pm

Rainier wrote:At a minimum shorten the flight and reduce time zone changes as much as possible.

There are plenty of exotic places to go that are closer than Southeast Asia.
Agreed. I'd shoot for Costa Rica. Lots to see and do. Friendly people, too. Pura Vida.

I've been throughout S'East Asia (Thailand, Malaysia, Borneo, Hong Kong) and Costa Rica is no less exotic. Stay close to home, especially with a first-time baby traveller.

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Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

Post by retired recently » Sun Aug 10, 2014 5:46 am

My wife and I took our son to Thailand for six weeks in '12 and then we spent four weeks in Costa Rica in '13. He was 9 when we took the trip to Thailand, so a lot older than your child. We traveled around both countries quite a bit while we were there.

Flying to Thailand with a one year old could be very tough for everyone but it depends on the child, so you would know best. I think Thailand is much nicer than Costa Rica though and with three weeks it is enough time to make it worthwhile. The fruits in Thailand are so sweet and we love Thai food. Costa Rica is nice and the flora/fauna cannot be beat but I would take the child there when a good bit older.

I hope to go back to Thailand but while I am very glad I have been to Costa Rica, I cannot imagine going back. I have seen many folks post about Costa Rica but to "us"it is overrated/overpriced.

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Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

Post by avalpert » Sun Aug 10, 2014 10:44 am

coalcracker wrote:
avalpert wrote:
If you want to go a bit further afield I would suggest South Africa - plenty of options there, lots of family-friendly accommodations including many self-catering places which give you more flexibility on meal times.
South Africa is a great suggestion, I have actually lived there for a summer. My wife has never been there, and we hope to go when he is older and will appreciate the animals, i.e. not try to grab them and kiss them, like he does to our do our dog.
You could do the Cape Town, garden route and the Little Karoo rather than animals this time and take him to Kruger when he is a bit older.

As for other advice, the only places I actually have experience taking a toddler is Bonaire (we have gone every year since my daughter was about to turn 1 except 1 - we get a babysitter for a few hours a day for us to get our 3 dives in and spend the rest of the day at the pool, ocean, chasing donkey and eating) and Cozumel (we went when my daughter was just under 3 and my wife late in pregnancy with our second).

The truth is, the one year old won't care where they are and so the main considerations should be what do you want to do and where can you do it comfortably with a one year old and all the constraints they bring.

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Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

Post by ThinkingRunner » Sun Aug 10, 2014 9:55 pm

texasdiver wrote: If you have not already done so you will soon find that long flights with an infant can be the most searing form of torture for all involved. Sometimes they sleep, more likely they'll chose that day to come down with something like an ear infection and you'll spend a 10 hour redeye flight pacing up and down the aisles of an airliner with a screaming infant. Some of my most unpleasant memories of my life are overnight flights between Santiago and Dallas with two young sick children in tow.
Agree whole-heartedly with this. We've traveled to Asia (17 hours flying time, 25 hours door-to-door) twice in the last two years with young twins. The travel experience was horrible on both occasions. On the first trip, they were only six months old, so they slept more. On the second trip, they were 18 months old, and to date that trip has been the most painful ordeal I have faced in my life. They took a week to recover from the flight and adjust to the new time zone (and we were home, visiting family). For your sanity and your child's comfort, choose a destination with a short flight.

Also, don't discount the possibility that your child will get sick during the trip. Even simple things like changes in their regular diet can cause problems. If that happens, you can kiss any fun goodbye. Every kid is different, though, YMMV.

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Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

Post by denovo » Mon Aug 11, 2014 12:49 am

It's not tropical, but how about Palm Springs, but at 1 years old, can the kid really enjoy a tropical vacation? Speaking as a person who has wanted to end my own life after being on a 11 hour flight with a kid who just wouldn't stop crying in the row behind me (the other kid was kicking the chair)*, please leave him with family. There's got to be someone around, like an aunt, uncle, or grandparents.

*This at least stopped when I got up, turned around, and looked at the kid with the sternest look possible.
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metacritic
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Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

Post by metacritic » Mon Aug 11, 2014 2:01 pm

Bali?

Traveling with infants is fine. We did it. There might be some challenges or might go swimmingly. You never know.

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Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

Post by chaz » Mon Aug 11, 2014 2:18 pm

St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands.
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Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

Post by SkierMom » Mon Aug 11, 2014 4:45 pm

We took our kids (ages 8 and 10) last year (June 2013) on trip to SE Asia to visit my brother in Singapore.

Loved the Lion City - great place for kids and adults and tropical to boot, tho very pricey. Sentosa Island has a waterpark and Universal Studios, and the museums and parks as well as the night safari at the zoo were awesome.

Would recommend Thailand for the beaches and the over-the-top gastronomic experience. Bring on the Jao!

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Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

Post by Lynette » Mon Aug 11, 2014 7:22 pm

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john94549
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Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

Post by john94549 » Mon Aug 11, 2014 7:36 pm

Our kids enjoyed taking their children as infants to the Kaanapali Alii. On Maui. The (shorter) plane ride from SFO was a plus. Others we have known from the Midwest (without direct flights) have chosen to break the trip for a day or two in SF. Feel free to PM me.

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Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

Post by sambb » Mon Aug 11, 2014 7:51 pm

hawaii is the ideal choice - a week on kauai, a week on maui, a week on lanai. done,

coalcracker
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Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

Post by coalcracker » Mon Aug 11, 2014 8:47 pm

My wife and I did maui during her pregnancy, breaking up the flight in SF. fantastic trip and love Hawaii, but we want to go international. As others said, this is more a trip for my wife and me. Our son is not going to know or care where we go. We don't want to torture ourselves with the flight on the other hand.

We will have to see how our "test flight" to Europe goes. Thanks for all the suggestions!

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Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

Post by john94549 » Mon Aug 11, 2014 10:06 pm

coalcracker wrote:My wife and I did maui during her pregnancy, breaking up the flight in SF. fantastic trip and love Hawaii, but we want to go international. As others said, this is more a trip for my wife and me. Our son is not going to know or care where we go. We don't want to torture ourselves with the flight on the other hand.

We will have to see how our "test flight" to Europe goes. Thanks for all the suggestions!
The pictures of our first grand-daughter at age one on her Dad's surfboard in front of the Alii (Maui) might give you pause. I think the bigger issue is your comment "this is more a trip for my wife and me." And that your son will neither "know or care". Perhaps the solution is grandparents. Leave the child.

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Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

Post by angelescrest » Mon Aug 11, 2014 10:24 pm

Just got back from Asia traveling with a baby. I'm DEFINITELY NOT ready to do that again anytime soon. We sort of managed while we were going there, but on the way back, pure misery.

And what we really didn't anticipate was how long it would take to adjust back to this time zone from Asia. It wasn't our clock that made it tough, it was the little one's. Every time we would think we could get a nap or some rest, she'd be on a different cycle, and everything was jacked up for a good week. No joke, an entire week. If I had to work that week back, that would've been it.

Not impossible, but my advice would be to do a staycation the week you get back.

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Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

Post by metacritic » Mon Aug 11, 2014 11:24 pm

Went to Europe for three weeks with a three month old and for the first three days she woke up screaming every hour for 20-30 minutes. It was awful and after fine. Did the same with our second and he was perfectly fine at all points.

We flew 10 hours to South America when our daughter was one and the flight was great. Did the same with our son to Hawaii from east coast and he screamed half the flight but has never done so before
on long flights or since. Test flights won't tell you about the next flight.

I would worry about the time difference but my parents took me to Bali and even more remote places at age
one. And that was the 70s. Do whatever you can handle and enthuses you.

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Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

Post by Ron Ronnerson » Tue Aug 12, 2014 1:13 am

We traveled last month with our daughter to Hawaii (Maui). She was 5 weeks old at the time. My wife works for a travel company and we've done a good amount of international traveling over the years. With a newborn, we didn't want anything that would be too difficult and Hawaii proved to be perfect. It's relaxing and easy and you can do things at a slow pace and still thoroughly enjoy yourselves. The kiddo slept the entire way on the plane (both directions). We had to wake her a couple of times to feed her. Overall, she was just super easy on the plane. Do make sure that you leave extra early for the airport as everything moves a bit more slowly with a baby and it's nice not to have to stress about being late. The hardest part of the trip for us was packing the day before we left. It took the better part of a day to make sure we had everything we might need. We're new parents so there is a learning curve involved (that's my excuse anyway). Hope you have a great trip!

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Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

Post by Ron Ronnerson » Tue Aug 12, 2014 1:26 am

OP: Whoops, just read a few posts above where you say that you're not interested in Hawaii at this time. In any case, I'd look for somewhere easy with an infant along for the fun. All the best.

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Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

Post by Keep It Simple » Tue Aug 12, 2014 6:13 am

St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands...no doubt...paradise.

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Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

Post by noyopacific » Wed Aug 13, 2014 4:28 am

We took our daughter to Bali (mostly around the Ubud area) for 4 weeks when she was 11 months-old. It was fabulous. Balinese people really like babies a lot. Almost every time we went to a restaurant, the people would squeal with delight and then take her back into the kitchen, play with her, feed her and were sorry to see her go. She loved all the attention.

It was 20 years ago so some things may have changed but the people we met were great. We stayed in a vacation rental house and the household staff were also quite happy to care for her when we went out on a couple of excursions we thought she might not enjoy.

The flight was nearly 24 hours from California. It was a marathon but it was well worth it.
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Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

Post by 111 » Wed Aug 13, 2014 6:28 am

We flew my daughter to The Philippines for her 1st birthday. We flew Cathay Pacific and the have bulkhead seats with fold down bassinets that you can use. Made the flight much easier. That may be something you want to look into.

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Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

Post by jpkuva » Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:01 am

Having just recently returned from Singapore, I can't imagine bringing an infant or small children on a 19 hour flight. I flew first class, and it was still a marathon event. Tread carefully on those long haul journey destinations. I would suggest targeting locations with much shorter flights.

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Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

Post by texasdiver » Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:46 am

One Christmas my wife and I flew down to Chile from Juneau when the first was 2 year old and my wife was pregnant with the second. The way down was a 24 hour marathon of crowded airports: Juneau - Seattle - Dallas - Santiago. But we made it.

The return trip was where everything went wrong. Due to a problem with our original flight we were re-routed from the nonstop AA Santiago-DFW flight to a local LAN Chile connection of flights that worked its way up the South American coastline. Santiago - Lima - Quito - Guayaquill - Miami and then from Miami we connected back to AA to Seattle and then Alaskan Airlines to Juneau. We didn't have to change planes on any of the South American stops but we got to sit for 2 hours each time on the hot tarmac in the middle of the South American summer except for Guayaquill where we were forced to deplane and wait while the plane was fumigated prior to entry into the US. The part of the terminal where we were parked was under construction so we walked down the boarding ladder and into an under-construction terminal with bare concrete floors, flapping plastic for walls, and no bathrooms, food or drink of any kind while we sat around for a couple of hours in the mid-summer sweltering heat of tropical Guayaquill until we were allowed to board again. It must have been well over 100 in that concrete terminal with no air circulation. By the time we got back to Juneau we had been traveling over 36 hours on planes and airports.

Point is.....stuff happens when you travel. And the likelihood of it happening to you on any one journey seems to be inversely proportional to how many kids you have along. Stuff that would just be part of the adventure when you are young and single becomes excruciating when you are dragging kids along.

Some things I have learned about traveling with little ones: (1) Bulkhead rows are great because you can create a little bed on the floor in front of you with pillows and blankets and the kids can sleep stretched out flat. This is the only place on the plane where they can do that unless you can find a whole empty row for them. If one wants to be a little unethical one can lie when making the reservation and claim a broken leg or other disability that requires a bulkhead seat. Otherwise they usually go to the frequent flyer MVP types, (2) Before the trip pick up a half a dozen or so little tiny toys and wrap them up in wrapping paper as little presents and hide them in your carry on. Then at various points along the way when everyone is reaching their limit you can pull out a little surprise present that can buy some peace for a spell, (3) leashes for toddlers. Seriously. In crowded airports they are great, (4) medical bracelets. My wife always brought some blank medical bracelets home from the hospital before every trip and we would write out all our ID info including our cell phones and flight numbers and lock them on the kids wrists. The plastic medical bracelets are impossible for a toddler to remove. One is always paranoid of turning around and finding your toddler has vanished in an impossibly crowded foreign airport at holiday time.

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Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

Post by RadAudit » Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:18 am

texasdiver wrote: (2) Before the trip pick up a half a dozen or so little tiny toys and wrap them up in wrapping paper as little presents and hide them in your carry on. Then at various points along the way when everyone is reaching their limit you can pull out a little surprise present that can buy some peace for a spell,
stuff happens when you travel. And the likelihood of it happening to you on any one journey seems to be inversely proportional to how many kids you have along. Stuff that would just be part of the adventure when you are young and single becomes excruciating when you are dragging kids along.
Well, I thought I wouldn't add to this post; but, since you brought it up. Just one more suggestion - swag bags for fellow travelers. If your kid is well mannered and having a good day, I'd guess that enough presents for three rows of passengers in all directions might be enough.

You might want to glance at a few traveling with infants / children web sites - if there is any such thing - for additional ideas.
FI is the best revenge. LBYM. Invest the rest. Stay the course.

newkidontheblock
Posts: 212
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 11:59 am

Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

Post by newkidontheblock » Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:41 am

One thing that changed once we had kids was that it was no longer about us anymore. It is tough to do a trip with a 1 year old and not make it about the baby.
Perhaps you should consider taking a nanny with you or a family member who travels with you guys and helps out with the baby and give you a break.
kids have schedules and it is in your and their best interest to allow them to take naps at appropriate times.

Last year we took a trip from midwest to India. We were traveling with 3.5 year old and 15 month old. We planned our trip to make it easy for our kids.
We chose flight times that were close to their nap times. We paid $1600 extra for economy comfort seats near the bulkhead. My 3.5 year old was amazing. He got to watch all his favorite movies on IPAD. We had hoped that he can sleep on the floor next to the bulkhead. We were told that he should not do that.
We had car seats for each of our kids but my 3.5 year old had trouble sleeping in the car seat.
My 15 month old got sick at the airport before the flight.
Jet lag was awful as my kids were getting up at 1:00 am every night for a week.

After this experience we put of travel to exotic locations on hold. We had 2 more trips to last year in addition to India trip.
We went to San diego and rented a small house on beach. Having extra space, kitchen etc is awesome. This trip went much better but on the way back my 15 month old got strep. Young kids are magnets for germs and air quality in planes is not good. San Diego was great with Sea World, Zoo, Legoland and beach.

Our third trip was to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. We stayed at Paradisius Resort in Palma Real. We stayed in the section called "The Reserve with family concierge"
It was our best trip of the year because flight from midwest to Punta Cana was short.
We stayed in a resort which was dedicated to making kids feel welcome.
They had gifts for our kids when we arrived. They delivered special treats for kids every night.
All our kid related requests were met quickly.
They had a kid zone which had activities for kids, nannies were available to help out.
On beach they reserved spaces for us so we can show up at any time and not worry about not finding place to hang out.
Family concierge help us planning our days and making reservations at each resort.
I had never stayed at all inclusive before but having young kids forced us to consider this type of resort and we ended up liking it.

No matter where you go consider a place that is kid friendly.
I also agree with the swag bags for kids.
We had a whole bunch of surprises for our kids during the long flight. It gave them something to look forward to.

coalcracker
Posts: 383
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:25 pm

Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

Post by coalcracker » Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:20 pm

Thank you all for the thoughtful replies. We purchased a separate seat for DS on our upcoming European trip, which we hope ease the pain of cramped coach travel a bit. As I said, we are using Europe as a "test flight" to see if a longer flight is advisable.

As our main goal is to get warmer in the winter, I will seriously consider taking a shorter flight to Central American or the carribbean if we can find someplace that excites us. Southeast Asia appeals to us because we love the friendliness of the people, the food, and we have seen firsthand how much people there love babies.

I will try to remember to send a status update in late September after we are back from France. Thanks again!

:sharebeer (wine glasses would be more appropriate here)

newkidontheblock
Posts: 212
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 11:59 am

Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

Post by newkidontheblock » Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:22 pm

I completely agree with purchasing a seat for the infant we did the same.
Different airlines treat car seats differently. We flew Delta from Msp to Amsterdam and used our car seats.
We flew KLM in the 2nd leg of our flight and when they saw the car seat for our 3.5 year old they complained but eventually let us use the car seat.
On the way back Air France refused to let us use the car seat for our older child even though KLM had let us fly to Paris with car seats.

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