Tuesday, April 5

Top 10 Travel Tips From Mannina Family Adventures

Tomorrow, we are off once again to visit family in Atlanta.  We will be visiting Gigi and Uncle Joey, but our main goal is to care for Poppi after some good ol' hip replacement surgery earlier this week.  I'll be cooking up some chicken noodle soup, and Bella will provide all the smiles and funny faces needed for a quick recovery!

For the record, this will be Bella's 9th flight since she was born.  We have a U.S. traveler on our hands!  And through those nine flights we've learned a couple tips I think are worth sharing.

Tips for travel preparations:
1.)  Leave your house clean!  Mike was a bit skeptical when I informed him of this tradition my family followed before trips.  We always cleaned our house before we left for vacation.  Why?  Because it feels awesome to walk in to a clean house after a big trip.  Not only does it encourage you to unpack and put away your clothes quickly, but it helps jump start you back into regular life.  You feel ahead of the curve when you walk back in the door.  And after doing it just once, my husband wholeheartedly agrees. :)
2.) Nothing stinks more than coming home to an empty fridge. The night before you leave, make a huge batch of whatever you're making for dinner.  Eat half, and then freeze the other half.  Tonight, I am making Bolognese Sauce with pasta.  I will freeze half of the sauce so that all I have to do on the night we return is take it out of the freezer and warm it up on the stove!
3.) Packing for babies change so much from month to month, so I really don't know what to advise specifically, except to advise that you always have an extra set of baby clothes in your diaper bag.  Plan to buy diapers and other bulky items at your destination spot so they don't take up room in your suitcase, and see if there are any items the people at your destination spot can already have on hand.

Tips for the airplane:
4.) Children under the age of two fly for free in your lap.  But here's a fun strategy.  Book your tickets in the back of the plane, one in the aisle and one at the window.  The farther back you are, the less likely that middle seat will be taken.  And if it's not taken, airlines are usually happy to let you bring your car seat on board and let you plop your baby in the middle seat for free.  Nice!
5.) Book your tickets in the middle of the day.  Early morning flights with a baby are tough (talk about messing up a schedule!).  This gives you plenty of time for things to go wrong earlier in the day.  This also makes it more likely that you will not be on a full flight, which increases your chance of being able to take your car seat on board.
6.) Remember, just in case an accident occurs right when "you are now free to move about the cabin", bathrooms on airplanes actually have changing tables right above the toilet.  Handy.
7.) Have a bottle, pacifier, or a good nursing cover for the change in cabin pressure on the way up and the way down.
8.) People have different strategies on this one, but Mike and I have found that we like our Snap n' Go and car seat combo for getting Bella through the airport.  You can check both at the gate for free.
9.) Try to book direct flights.  It's usually worth the extra money.
10.) Pray that you sit next to an old lady who misses her grandkids.  They are the friendliest and most forgiving people to sit next to.

So there you go!  Any other great travel ideas I'm missing?


  1. I have one! Pack with space bags! I love those things. I agree with the clean house thing, although I probably get that done 10 percent of the time. Side note: I can't see your pictures anymore, boo.
    I love reading your updates--keep it up!

  2. No more pictures?! Oh dear. Okay, it should be fixed, but tell me if it's not.

    Packing with space bags is a great idea. It also helps separate items so they don't get all mixed together during your trip. I'm learning that now that I share my suitcase with Bella.