Since I continue to get a lot of hits on my blog from folks searching for tips on how to travel with a baby/toddler, I thought I would share tips and details from our recent trip to Zihuatanejo. I have written a few versions of this post before, but as those of you with children know, as kids grow, so too do the details.
I should note that I handled all of the planning and logistics of our travels myself.
GETTING TO ZIHUATANEJO
Checked Luggage: 2 very large-sized suitcases (John had his and George and I shared one) plus our Baby Bjorn pop-up crib. Since I have Premier 1K status with United, there was no charge to check our luggage on either leg of the trip. I would have gladly paid the fees for this though because not hassling with suitcases on board is ideal. We usually have too much going on to fiddle with that kind of stress.
Gate-checked Luggage: We checked George’s new Uppababy G-Luxe stroller at the gate just before we boarded and used the Uppababy traveling bag.
Carry-ons: My large MZ Wallace carry-all bag (my small cross-body purse was inside), George’s Skiphop suitcase and John’s carry-all bag. We each carried an extra change of clothes in our carry-ons in the event of a mishap. Fortunately, we didn’t need to use them. We also brought G’s back up car seat with us – a Combi Cocorro. George sat in this seat on the plane.
Airport: We flew from Houston (IAH) to ZIH.
Aircraft: We flew United #496, an Airbus 319 and we were upgraded to the Business First Cabin. For our seating arrangement, John took an aisle seat and George and I sat across from him (with G in the window seat). The row seating was 2-2, so this was the best arrangement for us. We always buy G his own seat because we believe that it is the safest way to transport a child. While it can be expensive, it’s safe and G is always comfortable and secure in his car seat.
Food at IAH: Since our flight left from Terminal C at IAH, we had plenty of options for food. However, since we were going to be served lunch on board our flight, we only picked up a few bottles of water and some contingency snacks.
United Club at IAH: Terminal C has two large Clubs, and we popped in to one do a diaper change in their clean and spacious bathrooms. We also used our brief time in the Club to organize our carry ons and for my parents to eat a quick breakfast.
Transport: We used the hotel to arrange for car service to and from the airport and relied on taxis throughout the rest of our stay. Taxis are plentiful in Zihua, and the main taxi hub is just around the corner from the Viceroy.
Hotel: We stayed at the Viceroy Zihuatanejo. I will do a comprehensive review later, but…spoiler alert…this hotel is fabulous.
Money: We had 300 pesos in our safe at home, so we brought them along with us. We didn’t get pesos in advance of the trip and we have never done that in the past. If we’ve needed pesos, we’ve always gone to town and withdrawn them from an affiliated BOA bank. To boot, our hotel changed dollars for pesos so there wasn’t a need for us to go into town on a “money run.” Besides, with a very strong dollar, we’ve never had a problem getting folks to accept US currency.
TRAVELING TO HOUSTON
Food at ZIH: To spare trying to feed George lunch on board the plane, we adapted our schedule to eat later in the morning and to give G snacks at the airport and on the plane. We purchased some snacks at the airport, but our upgrade to Business First provided us with access to many complimentary snacks on-board our flight.
United Club at ZIH:There isn’t a Club in Zihuatanejo, so we briefly camped out at the gate.
Getting through the airport: To make our airport experience easier, we keep the stroller in its travel bag at the airport because we weren’t going to be there very long. Besides, it’s a small airport and we decided to keep things easy.
Food Bag: We always travel with food and drinks for George. On this leg of the trip, we brought 1 bottle of water and lots of snacks for George, including goldfish, dried fruit, Annie’s gummy bunnies (G is obsessed), Cheerios and yogurt raisins.
Global Entry: All three of us have it and I highly recommend it. This saved us a lot of time and hassle.
Items worth having: I am definitely a fan of packing as light as possible, but sometimes life is better when you have certain items handy. We spent a lot of time considering what items to bring with us and we think the following items were helpful when traveling with G on this trip:
- Beach toys
- Batteries (for travel diffuser, bubble maker)
- Inflatable Bath Tub
- Bath Toys
- Camera (and not just the one on our iPhones!)
- Small bag of toys/books for the plane
Items we could have skipped: And here are a few items we wouldn’t have packed and likely won’t travel with in the future:
- Bjorn travel crib
- Travel booster seat
- Skip Hop plate and Bowl
- Extra sippy cups
- A very large first-aid kit
There is nothing wrong with these items; George has simply out grown most them. And some of the others are just laughable additions that I deemed necessary when packing.
I am always open to travel tips and suggestions, so please feel free to share yours with me!