Being pregnant can be overwhelming. Suddenly you’re completely responsible for another precious life. The questions come streaming: Will I be a good mom? Will I be able to keep working? Can I find quality child care?
And, for us traveling moms: Will we still be able to travel?
I had never even held an infant so I knew that I had a steep learning curve. It was hard to imagine planning trips with a baby when there was so much I needed to prepare for. I looked into my inner scientist and came up with an experiment plan.
While I focused on eating right and figuring out birthing options, I also read about possible travel destinations close to home. My son, Devin, was born in March, 2012. Two months later, after he had his first set of immunizations, we embarked on our first trip as a family.
Mohonk Mountain House as a Day Trip Destination
We decided to start small, with a day trip. I looked for a place where I would have control over crowds with plenty of space to rest and feed. After some research, I settled on Mohonk Mountain House, in New Paltz, New York, about two hours away from us.
Mohonk is an absolutely beautiful place that is constantly listed as a must-see in the Hudson Valley area. We decided to go for the buffet, though pricey at $60 per person, and get the day pass which allowed access to several sitting areas.
We could hang out in the open on large decks with amazing views or spend time indoors in several living rooms. Having a quiet and clean place to feed and put Devin to sleep made him comfortable and relieved us of anxiety in exposing him to the world.
The buffet price also included afternoon tea and cookies, a much-needed refreshment for the parents.
Traveling with a Baby’s Needs in Mind
Mohonk was also at a reasonable driving distance so we could align the drive with his naptime. I made a list of things we would need and had them within reach so we could limit the number of stops every time he started to cry.
It was important for us to have rough itinerary with back up options and understand that our activities may be limited. Though we were looking forward to the hike around the lake, we could only go halfway since it was not stroller friendly. Instead we enjoyed the scenery from several vantage points inside the building.
At almost two and a half months Devin had no way of taking in the beauty of this place. But he did notice the large number of people at the dining room. I thought he was going to get dizzy shaking his head about trying to take it all in. In a small way I wanted him to experience something new and different.
Even with the effort of planning and the anxiety that followed, it really was worth it to get back to exploring the world again.