We travel to Panama quite a bit since all my family is down there. Chickie first flew to Panama right after she turned 2 months old. The flight itself was pretty stressful but once we got down there we were very well set up. In the hopes of making our trip easier (perhaps so we go home more often? I see you, Mamuchi..) my mom had equipped our family home with ALL the essentials. Chickie had a crib, a infant tub, some toys and even a space for diaper changes all set up and waiting for her when we arrived. It was great! Unfortunately, it absolutely spoiled us for our future travels.
Earlier this Summer (after this mama packed more bags than you can imagine!) we embarked on our first European vacation with the little bird in tow! We went to London and Iceland with my mom, dad and siblings and then after they all boarded a cruise in Iceland, we escaped to Dublin just us three. It was exhausting and not a vacation at all, but we had so much fun and did A LOT.
As I was prepping for the trip I suddenly remembered car seats! Should we be bringing one? Now that Chickie outgrew the infant car seat, her car seat is SO BULKY. Add to the bulkyness that we weren’t planning renting a car anywhere and eeeek- I started stressing out HARD. As any good lawyer would, I started looking up car seat regulations in Europe. It turns out, in most European countries taxis are exempt from the car seat requirement; even for babies! It was a huge risk but – with the exeption of Iceland where we did rent a car seat- we took it! We tried to take the subway as much as we could, we asked cabbies to drive slowly and we said more prayers than you can count but it was still a big risk. The idea of having Chickie in a car with no car seat makes me shudder, BUT for this specific trip I just couldn’t figure out a way to make bringing a car seat work for us.
In Iceland , where taxis are not exempt from the car seat requirement, we rented one. Iceland was the only stop on the trip where we had a tour guide and a bus with us the whole time we were there- this made it so we had a place to store the car seat so it wasn’t too bad. In Iceland we were also going long distances so I don’t think we would’ve been comfortable without a car seat, anyway.
With this (as with most of #momlife issues I gather?) I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer. It’s all about what’s right FOR YOU. I’m just here to tell you about my experience and get you thinking about this stuff.. Traveling with a baby is not for the faint of heart but it’s SO REWARDING. I’m a firm believer that even though Chickie won’t remember a thing about this trip, it was good for her little brain to be exposed to so many new things! Who knows..
If you want to keep up with our travels, subscribe with your e-mail below! We have a couple of exiting trips planned for this fall/winter. I can’t wait to share them with you.. Also, if you’re traveling with your littles; make sure to check out this post on my essentials for traveling with babe. Thanks for stopping by, friend.