Have baby, will travel: options for baby’s first trip

On July 6th, 2016

baby travel thumbHow long has it been since you settled into a train seat for a relaxing ride? Or caught a plane for a weekend getaway?

Instead your days have been spent teaching your baby how to sleep or wiping spit-up. But once you hit the two-month-old mark, your baby’s big eyes are gulping in the world.

Give that ceaseless curiosity an introduction to the wide world through travel. But which should your baby’s first trip look like?

Here I compare the pros and cons of each journey for your baby’s first trip.

baby train


Watch the countryside roll by your windows while wheels clack comfortingly. A hundred years ago, train travel was all the rage. Step back in time with a train trip, dip baby’s toes into each ocean’s waves, and grow sleepy at miles of corn in the prairies.


Hands-free transportation: no matter how full your hands are with baby, you’ll still get to your destination.

Space: spread out in the spacious train seats. Or turn two seats around to create a four-top and a private little spot for you and your baby.

No baggage fees or restrictions: want to bring the stroller? And a diaper bag? And a suitcase? Sure. Now is a great time to find out what stuff you didn’t need (but brought anyway on this maiden voyage).

Freedom to move: baby feeling restless, needs some slow pacing to help soothe it to sleep? You have the entire train to walk.


Restricted on destinations: your starting and ending points will be pre-determined by the train’s route. Not a problem if you’re going to a large city like Boston, New York or Seattle.

Lack of privacy: baby starts bawling? There’s no quiet place to retreat to.

Who this trip is perfect for

Looking for a low-stress, easy trip with a baby who doesn’t usually cry? Train travel is for you. Skip this trip if your baby is a frequent howler and you’re concerned about your ability to soothe in a public place.

Ideas for your train trip 

  • New York City to Washington DC: 3 hours with a stopover in Philadelphia. Hit up America’s historic first cities on this train journey.
  • Vancouver, Canada to Seattle, Washington: 4 hours. Wind down the scenic Pacific coast in this relaxing train ride.
  • Denver, Colorado to Omaha, Nebraska: almost 9 hours. Conquer the boring plains of Nebraska on baby’s first train ride since you’ll be watching your baby more than the miles of corn.

baby plane


Introduce your baby to the grand world of flight courtesy of the Wright Brothers.


Quick journey: decrease your travel time and increase your time at your destination. Finding joy in the journey is not always true when traveling with a baby.

Baby flies free: for an infant under two years old, you don’t need to buy a flight ticket for her. She travels right on your lap.

Roam further: you’re not restricted by where the train tracks are or how many hours it’s safe to keep baby in a car seat.

Hands-free travel: again, you’re able to tend to baby’s needs and the plane doesn’t need to stop for you to breastfeed — unlike on a road trip.


Lack of privacy: you’re sharing a relatively small area with your baby and fellow travelers for a couple hours.

Small space: airplane seats are infamous for their lack of space. Sharing it with another human, albeit a small one, could be tricky. You might feel claustrophobic after 2+ hours.

Daunting: to navigate security, baggage check, confined space with your baby and only a narrow aisle to pace if things get dire.

Who this trip is perfect for

Parents who want to take their baby on far-flung destinations and need a maiden voyage. Or maybe you’ve extinguished all destinations close-to-home and want to roam a little further.

Plane trip ideas

  • Any combo of Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago and New York City: keep your flight duration under 2 hours is best for baby’s first flight
  • Denver to San Francisco: 2.5 hour flight, San Francisco is a great city for bringing a baby to with its walkable downtown and Pier Market
  • Los Angeles to Seattle: 2.5 hour flight, downtown Seattle with Pike’s Market is perfect for strolling and exploring

baby car


Hit the winding highways with baby in the backseat.


Take your time: you’re free to stop and start at will, taking your time and enjoying the journey. By far the easiest and most flexible transportation with baby on board.

Rhythmic movement of the car is well-known for putting babies to sleep.


Every 3 hours: is how often you’ll have to stop. The chest strap on your baby’s car seat presses against his breast bone, making it hard for him to breathe. (That’s how it’s designed.) But it also means you need to give baby a break from the car seat every couple hours.

Baby might hate the car and cry the entire journey.

Every 3ish hours to stop and feed your baby. His belly is small, so it can’t go long hours between meals.

Who this trip is perfect for

Want to see America up close and personal and explore what’s around the next bend? Or the ability to start and stop your journey when a sun-baked beach is perfect to stretch your legs? You’ll enjoy a road trip.

Road trip ideas

  • Explore a nearby national park and stay at their accommodations that are frequently just inside or outside of park’s boundaries
  • Hit up that nearby town that you’ve always driven through, but never stopped and explored

baby cruise


Want to feel the ocean breeze on your face, have one financial total for your trip, and travel to semi-exotic destinations with your baby? A cruise is for you.


Food and activities are always available: don’t worry about cooking or figuring out your next meal.

Relax and let the captain steer the ship while you play with your baby, show him the ocean, and snuggle for naps.


Small accommodations: might not give you the privacy — or space — you need when traveling with a baby.

Pre-planned activities: where you can pick from a very short list. What you want to see might not be on that list.

Traveling to the boat’s departing dock: means you may be piggy-backing a road trip or flight on top of a cruise.

Who this trip is perfect for

If you want an exotic destination without any planning other than picking your dates, and with a set total price, pick a cruise.

Cruise trip ideas

Whatever baby’s first trip looks like, remember that you’re showing your baby his first experience with travel. That’s an incredible privilege. May the road rise up to greet you and may this journey go smoothly.

Laura Lopuch is a copywriter and incurable traveler. She blogs at Waiting To Be Read where she helps you find your next great book to read because life’s too short to read crummy books.