All the things
Before having kids, it was always so easy to just pack a bag and get away for a day, a weekend, or a week or any amount of time. Now that there is a little mini me that is my partner in life, I have had to start thinking about logistics. I have always been a last minute planner, despite my best intentions at being super organised. Since becoming a Mum, I have become a much better planner. I pack bags the night before to make the morning rush less stressful, I pack food and lunches the night before too. Even when we are just leaving the house for a short amount of time, I have enough food to feed an army- although I do have a very good reason for this- my daughter gets HANGRY (hungry/angry). Even though I am way better at being organised, I still manage to run 10 minutes late to everything! I am still a work in progress :)
When we are planning staying anywhere other than home, there is so much more that needs to be thought about now. So much more needs to be packed- car seats, port-a-cots, baby carrier, pram, nappies, so many changes in clothes and underwear in case of accidents (for the child, not the parent hopefully!), FOOD! We need to make sure we have enough wipes for cleaning hands, faces and bottoms.
When travelling with kids, you have two choices, you can either bring your own car seats, port-a-cots, prams and anything else you may need OR you are often able to hire all of this stuff on arrival. If you are hiring a car, baby seats will generally only cost a small amount and will save you the effort of lugging your own car seat through the airport. Many accommodations will have port-a-cots that you are able to use although my experience of these hasn't always been great.
If you are staying with friends or family and need to use a port-a-cot and don't necessarily want to bring your own (or don't own one), there are often companies that you can hire them through. I found Anything For Baby who hire out all things baby related. You are even able to hire things for your home that you know you will only be using for a short amount of time like a baby bath, capsule or baby monitors (among other things).
Personally, I always found it easier to travel without a pram. I would carry my daughter in a baby carrier until she exceeded the weight limit for it. It meant that I didn't have to chase her around the airport or anywhere we were visiting, I was able to get her to sleep easier and I had my hands free. However, I know that not all kids enjoy the confinement of a baby carrier. Mine just happened to love it so my Ergo Baby was my life saver for so long!
If you are wanting to save your money and bring all your own baby items, most airlines will allow you to check-in these larger items (eg car seat, pram and port-a-cot) in addition to your usual checked luggage per child, normally without an extra cost. This option definitely saves on money although lugging around all those big items can be bothersome when you also have a child to chase- luckily this is when then airport luggage trolleys come in handy! Each airline differs in their policy, also with their procedures of checking in these larger items.