If you could pick one ideal travel partner who would that be?

Your spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, parent or a colleague? Mine is my 4 year old son. I know, you might be shaking your head in disbelief but it’s true! He is, for the most part a great travel companion. We have traveled a good amount as a family since he was born so he knows what is expected of him and the steps involved. And I myself as a mother know what I need to plan for, and pack.

For Thanksgiving we visited my in-laws in NYC for the long weekend, just hoped on a Southwest Flight. Weather aside there is a lot of planning involved. We always have to expect the worst when it comes to this time of year in regards to weather, we’ll touch on this a little later in this article. But first, what to pack…

 

1.     Suitcases – “To carry on or not to carry on”

If you can avoid the terrible baggage fees and pack everything in a carry-on like the Samsonite Fiero Spinner then do it! For this short trip, I took a carry on, this Samsonite Fiero Spinner , my travel bag was the Piel Leather All Market Bag and my son brought his trusty kids rolling suitcase by Rockland. Since he is small and the trip to NYC was just for a short period of time, it got the job done.  Plus anything to fit in the carry part of the plane is desired by me.

 

2.     Plan your days/nights- “Schedules”

Even though we have been to NYC what seems like a million times we always plan our days and evenings to the fullest and depending on how much our son is willing to handle. No one wants to deal tired cranky kid in a foreign city. We even plan all our meals, where are we going to eat, with whom and always opt for healthy options as a family. New York is a very expensive city, so sometimes it’s easiest to grab a slice of pizza at Roberta’s Pizza http://www.robertaspizza.com/ Or you can always find a great healthy inexpensive deli around the corner like the tasty Carnegie Deli http://www.carnegiedeli.com/ And don’t forget to buy snacks!

 

3.     Plan for everyone- “Schedules 2”

So many parents always just plan their day/evening activities just for their kids. This is your trip too; plan something the whole family can enjoy. Don’t drag the kiddos to the ballet you know they will hate but you will love. That’s not what I mean. 

  • American Museum of Natural History ( http://www.amnh.org )
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art ( http://www.metmuseum.org )
  • Brooklyn Children's Museum ( http://www.brooklynkids.org )
  • Prospect Park ( http://www.prospectpark.org )
  • Grand Central
  • Central Park
  • Empire State Building
  • Snug Harbor Cultural Center
  • New York Botanical Garden
 

4.     Transportation- “Planes, trains and automobiles”

Traveling with wee ones in NY means usually one thing, either a lot walking or a lot of taxis. Now that our son is older we able to take short subway trips when not too crowded. Don’t expect your kid to walk miles, their little feet will get tired and you will end up carrying them the whole time. If they still fit in a stroller, use it! BabyJogger City Mini GT , I have a friend that still puts her 6 year old in a stroller when they travel. It looks awfully silly but it’s a win-win for everyone.

 

5.  Hotels and Staying Warm and Toasty

Consider outer Manhattan. Thanks to New York's complete public transportation system, there is no requirement to pay through the roof for a Midtown hotel when you can stay in one of the other boroughs in NYC -- or even New Jersey -- and take the train or subway wherever you want to go. Even after considering in the cost of additional trains, the savings can be substantial.

 

There is so much more tips when traveling with you little child to NYC that I could tell you, but after my recent trip to New York City with my 4 year old, I found these the most important.  Luggage is truly the key to making the traveling with a little child the smoothest.