This past January, we made our first international trip with Everest to the islands of Turks and Caicos! We had an amazing time and learned a lot about traveling with a baby!
We loved our sunny, warm escape to the Caribbean in the middle of winter. It’s something we have never done before and we definitely want to do again! Something about looking forward to a fun trip when it’s cold and dreary outside is so exciting!
Taking Everest with us was never a question! We know we want our little one to be a good traveler, so we feel that it is really important to build those skills in him now, just like walking, talking, or reading. We did learn a lot on this trip about traveling with him and some things that we’ll look for in trips in the future!
Rent homes instead of hotel rooms!
For the majority of this trip, we were with our good friends and their two babies. We rented a home to stay in on Grand Turk and loved it! It’s so much easier to grab some food to cook at home when traveling with little ones than going out to eat. Plus, renting a home gave us far more space to enjoy time together on the days the weather was windy or wet. While certainly not as luxurious as having someone change our sheets and towels and depending on restaurants for meals, not only was it more economical, it was just far more convenient when traveling with littles!
We knew we would have to travel with a lot of STUFF because of Everest — babies just come with that. Diapers, wipes, and sunscreen galore meant that our suitcases were almost surely going to be filled. One of the benefits of renting a home was that it came with a washer and dryer which meant that we could travel a little lighter! We did laundry instead of packing different outfits for every day!
Expect some hiccups.
We try to keep this on the down low, but Everest is an awesome baby. Would we say perfect? Yes, we would. He’s just the best, and we love him so much that we weren’t really expecting travel to mess with his schedule and moods. But the day we left for our trip, he cut his first tooth! And while, at the time, he was sleeping in a Halo crib next to our bed at home, we had to cosleep with him in his Dockatot between us because we didn’t pack a travel crib. We think his new tooth and the fact that mama (i.e. milk) was so close by meant that he decided to forego his regular 10 hour night and wake up several times throughout each night to nurse. 🙂 The airplanes were tricky because he’s used to sleeping in a crib at home and so sleeping in our arms was a little distracting for him. All in all, though, things turned out okay. Because our friends arrived after we did, they were able to bring some teethers for Everest and he survived the tooth.
When we asked our Instagram friends if they had any questions about traveling with a baby, we got a few about schedules, time zones, and the like. Our biggest advice on this is just to stay flexible. Everest is fairly scheduled when he is at home — he’s just always been one to eat and sleep around the same times every day without a lot of fuss. One really nice thing about traveling to the Turks and Caicos was that it is in the SAME time zone as NC so we didn’t have that as a factor in scheduling. But overall, he just wanted to eat a LOT more than usual and some days he was just more sleepy than others. We just went with it and didn’t stress too much about that. After all, isn’t that what vacation is all about? We will build up to traveling with him farther away and maybe into new time zones in the future, but for right now, we’re pretty happy with how we handled this trip!
- Spending time with our friends was so great. They live in NYC and had their second baby a few months after Everest was born so we hadn’t gotten a chance to meet him yet! 10/10 recommend this vacation for traveling with friends when what you want to do is catch up and relax!
- We got to go snorkeling together! We have never been snorkeling together before (and Ian had never been at all), so this was so much fun. In preparation for the trip, Ian got an underwater film camera for his birthday in December, so he got to take some fun photos while snorkeling (see below!). We saw lots of beautiful fish AND a shark!
- Getting to show Everest new things and experience a new place with him was amazing. We can’t wait for all of the adventures we get to keep going on as a family.
- The weather was…okay. While in Provo, we experienced gorgeous, cloud-free sunny days that were the perfect temperature. But when we got to Grand Turk, we had wind so bad that it kept the cruise ships from docking and we experienced a little rain. This wouldn’t be that significant except for the fact that the T&C usually receives two days of rainfall in January, so…I guess we were there for both of those days!
- Getting to Grand Turk Island was one of the scariest experiences of our lives! We took the TINIEST plane we have ever seen from Provo to get there. Literally, this plane was so small that: 1) Ian had to sit NEXT TO THE PILOT (!!!), 2) There were eight people on the plane overall, 3) When we approached the plane (on foot), the pilot was hanging out of the window (because it OPENED), 4) The airline decided not to put our suitcase on this flight because it was too heavy. As in the clothes we packed would have been the tipping point. I could go on, but I digress. Basically, the flight was really, really scary, and while it only took 30 minutes and it happens several times a day (our suitcase arrived on the next flight, an hour later), we certainly won’t be putting our hearts through that again any time soon!
In general, we loved this trip and the opportunity to travel together as a family. While traveling with an infant is certainly a whole new ball game (I’m not even sure we can call it “vacation” anymore), we wouldn’t change the experience for the world. Enjoy some of our favorite photos from the trip below!
Planning a trip to Turks and Caicos and want to stay in the amazing places we did? We stayed at this gorgeous Airbnb on Providenciales and this is the home we stayed in on Grand Turk Island if you’re feeling super adventurous and want to take the itty bitty plane there!