Tales of A Transplanted New Yorker and Mommy's Life in Virginia

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Learning To Express Your Love? The 5 Ways We Express Our Love and Understand the World!

Learning To Express Your Love? The 5 Ways We Express Our Love and Understand the World!

I have found there are different ways we can express our love. Those of us with partners that we’ve been with for a while have noticed that they communicate their love for us in specific ways, sometimes differently than we might do for them.  This […]

GET SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE THINGS JUST FOR VALENTINE’S DAY!

GET SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE THINGS JUST FOR VALENTINE’S DAY!

Many of your favorite Food Chains are offering some sweet and savory deals just in time for Valentine’s Day. Get your special someone’s a get these deals today! Auntie Anne’s: The pretzel chain plans to present its Valentine’s Day specials throughout the holiday week, unveiling surprise […]

What to Know When Planning Your First Vacation with Baby

What to Know When Planning Your First Vacation with Baby

Disclaimer: This post is a collaboration with Totts. All opinions are of their own. Image credits: Totts-Alejandra Tejada

Traveling is such an adventure and even more so when you travel with kids. Showing them the world exposes them to new experiences and instills values of curiosity and exploration. If you’re one of the millions of Americans traveling as a family, then you also understand how stressful it can be to go on vacation with babies. Totts founder and mom, Alejandra Tejada, shares her insight on how to make kid travel feel less like work and more like a vacation!

The start of a new year brings a lot of firsts. Two years ago, we took our first vacation with our (then) 3-month old baby. It was the first vacation together and my last before I returned from maternity leave. We have lots of stories and lessons learned from that trip, many of which I will get into in future posts. Reflecting back, it was the best vacation we’ve taken as a family to date. Despite the challenges and stress, why do we look back so fondly on this time? It just worked. I’ll explain.

Cartagena, Colombia was a natural choice for us for our first trip together. We wanted a stopover on our way to meet family in Bogota and a warm destination to save us from Boston’s winter tundra. Picking the right location, hotel and activities were key – but there were other pieces that just happened to fit into place (by luck no less!)

Here’s what we learned and still apply to travel these days.

Location, location, location!
When you’re considering your first trip with your child you may think beach vacations are the only ones that work— don’t limit yourself! Look for locations that have the mix of activities you want (e.g., site seeing, beach, restaurants) that are all central to where you’re staying. 

Cartagena worked for us because we wanted a mix of culture, picture-perfect sites, a pool, and delicious food (with plenty of ice cream breaks). We had access to all of this within a quarter-mile walking radius. It’s worth splurging to get the location you need especially if you are traveling with a little one. My son was 3 months and feeding every 1.5 hours at the time, so it was key to be able to go back to the hotel when I needed to take care of him but still feel like I wasn’t a slave to the room or hotel.

Hotel vs Airbnb rentals
You’ll hear a lot of parents going only the Airbnb / vacation rental route, but for us it depends. For our first trip, we chose a hotel that had a living room and kitchenette. We enjoyed the comfort of a buffet breakfast every morning, cleaning service and concierge help while also having a place to set up a changing station, heat bottles and wash equipment. There are a lot of benefits to both and if you can find something in between that works for you the better, especially for your first vacation. We now know what works for us in each travel situation, which is generally a mix of both. After all, it’s vacation!

Prepare for a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad FIRST day
This was a lesson learned for us. And if it’s not a bad day, you have luck on your side! We found that the first day adjusting from any trip has been difficult. Whether it’s the time change, sleeping arrangements or just getting used to a new location it’s important not to expect too much from the first day. Don’t set an itinerary, go with the flow and try to enjoy your first day adjusting together. Starting a trip with these expectations helps set the tone for the fact that your first trip with baby is not like what you’re used to. You have to operate in baby steps (excuse the pun), and when they are that cute, it makes up for not operating at regular speed.

Overpack, the extra weight outweighs the extra worry—  but don’t let this discourage you from travel!
I’m not a fan of over-packing, and that’s why I started Totts. However, I will say this: being prepared for the unexpected helped me ease my initial fears of traveling with baby. You really don’t know what to expect that first time so if you need to pay for extra luggage, bring more supplies or back-ups (I even brought a back-up pump in case my failed) — do it. While this may discourage you from taking the trip in the first place, don’t let it! If I needed to bring my whole home on this vacation, I would have done so in a heartbeat to have the memories that I now have of this first trip. When I’m feeling blue or realizing how fast my baby has grown, I find comfort in the memories we made when he was 3 months old in Cartagena.  And a small baby that sits calmly on top of your legs while you a sip a cold drink isn’t bad either! 

The good news is that the earlier you start traveling with your baby, they will learn travel skills right along with you and vacations will once again be something the whole family will look forward to taking. 


About: Alejandra Tejada is the founder and CEO of Totts.  After spending four years in product innovation and digital consumer research, she left a startup incubator at a Fortune 100 company to pursue her passion for sharing travel with children by creating Totts. Prior to this, she spent six years with an international non-profit, Accion International. Alejandra has a BA from the University of San Diego and an MBA from IESE Business School in Barcelona.

9 Wise Winter Weather Tips for Your Pet

9 Wise Winter Weather Tips for Your Pet

Winter creates a whole new canvas in the living landscape, with snow blanketing our backyards, community parks, and schoolyards. Dogs like Mutt Mulligan, the new TurfMutt Foundation spokesdog, enjoy sniffing, exploring and digging in the winter wonderland. But there are some simple steps pet owners need […]

Making Homeschool Science Fun!

Making Homeschool Science Fun!

This post is sponsored by College Prep Science. Copyright 2020 by Greg Landry Homeschool biology, chemistry, and physics curriculum, labs, and classes are the core of high school science and the thrust of middle school science as it prepares homeschooled students for high school level […]


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COUCHBED IS What Families Need In Their Homes!

COUCHBED IS What Families Need In Their Homes!

DISCLAIMER: THIS POST IS NOT SPONSORED. THIS POST IS IN COLLABORATION WITH CouchBed . ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN.  SEE MY DISCLOSURE/ PRIVACY POLICY. THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. CouchBed, the manufacturer of the cooling-gel memory foam mattress that doubles as a couch, announced today […]

Parents Bring the Vegas Experience to you with Confetti Casino!

Parents Bring the Vegas Experience to you with Confetti Casino!

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As the Kids Will Play, So Can The Parents On The Weekends At Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival

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The festival officially kicked off  May 27th but you have a few  weekends left until July 1 to enjoy amazing food selections and savory drink specials, the Food and Wine Festival has to offer to  Busch Gardens goers Don’t miss out on all the fun and […]

MilSpouses: Practice Self-Love This Year With SpouseLink!

MilSpouses: Practice Self-Love This Year With SpouseLink!

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored.  This post is a collaboration between  SpouseLink on behalf of FitFabFun.This promotion is in no way sponsored by Facebook or FabFitFun. See my disclosure/ privacy policy.   It’s no secret that MilSpouses are used to putting others first. Whether it’s your […]

Get Excited to See 12 Strong Coming soon to Theaters on Jan 19!!! See my Review and Score Tickets to Take a Friend Giveaway!

Get Excited to See 12 Strong Coming soon to Theaters on Jan 19!!! See my Review and Score Tickets to Take a Friend Giveaway!

This post is a sponsored post on behalf of Review Wire Media for Warner Bros. Pictures. I received information to facilitate me on my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation in RWM http://media.thereviewwire.com/   Time for another action-packed […]