Charleston, South Carolina with a Baby or Toddler 


Charleston with a Baby or Toddler 

Charleston, South Carolina is a fun and charming place to visit with your baby or toddler. After recently visiting this city and the surrounding area with our four-month-old and new two-year-old, we wanted to share our insights on visiting the Charleston area with a baby or toddler.  Prior to visiting Charleston, we compiled tips and recommendations from countless local parents and seasoned traveling parents. Further, during our visit, we gained a lot of insight as to the best way to get around with your baby or toddler and what to do/not do with them here.  Read on for all of our Charleston with a baby or toddler insights. 

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. That means that, at no cost to you, we may get a small commission if you purchase through these links. This helps us keep providing travel resources for you!

FYI We took this trip when our daughter was 2 years old and our son was 4 months old.  For more information on exploring with a baby, please see our Top 10 Baby Travel Tips, How to Hike with a Baby, 5 Top Baby & Toddler Flying Tips and Flying with a Baby posts. 


Visit Rainbow Row and the Waterfront

Charleston with a Baby or Toddler

The Rainbow Row houses located in the heart of downtown are iconic and one of the most recognized spots in Charleston. These historic homes are beautiful and well preserved. If you take a guided tour of the city, you are sure to pass by them. To buy one would cost you a very pretty penny and it is neat just to see them from the outside. Our toddler really liked seeing the ‘colorful houses’ and asked to go back to see them several times throughout our time in Charleston. After you visit the houses on Rainbow Row, be sure to head down to the waterfront. There is a cool pineapple fountain down there as well as a nice path along the water. The waterfront is particularly pretty during golden hour/sunset so if you can, visit then! 

Parent Tip: Navigating downtown is easy enough with a stroller. There was very minimal cobblestone that we encountered. However, the sidewalks were not in the best of shape and a jogging stroller would have been preferred over the non-jogging stroller we had. However, we were able to do it. You also could easily baby wear to avoid the stroller hassle.

Charleston with a Baby or Toddler

Charleston with a Baby or Toddler: Visit City Market

Charleston City Market is a neat outdoor shopping market. Here, you can buy many unique handmade items including toys, clothing and souvenirs. In particular, you can get the popular souvenir sweetgrass baskets, originally used on local plantations to separate rice seeds, made by one of the 50 local Gullah artists at the market. This market is open daily from 930a-530p.  We were visiting during Christmas time and the market was festively decorated for the season. 


Charleston with a Baby or Toddler: Cypress Gardens

If you have seen the famous movie ‘The Notebook’, you’ll certainly recognize the setting at Cypress Gardens. This is where the famous rowboat scene (“I wrote to you everyday for a year!”) was filmed.  Here, you can paddle around the same water where Allie and Noah paddled (included with your admission). On the day we visited, we were the only boat out on the swamp at the time. We saw several turtles while out which our toddler LOVED. Beyond paddling around the swamp, you can go for a hike around the water as well as visit an aquarium and enclosed butterfly exhibit. Both were also big toddler highlights!  Further, there is a large playground here near the entrance. We were impressed by the amount of activities included to do here for a relatively small admission fee.  We could have easily spent almost a full day exploring with our baby and toddler. 

Charleston with a Baby or Toddler

Cost: $10/adult, $5 dollars/child, Free less than 6 years old

Tip: Arrive early. We were visiting during the off-season (on a more chilly than normal day). We were only one of five cars in the parking lot and we were told this is a very atypical experience here. Typically, there are hundreds of cars and there is even an overflow parking lot.  On a normal day, you would have to wait to use one of the paddle boats.  To avoid long lines, get to the gardens early and/or visit during off-season.  

Parent Tip: Cypress Gardens are very easy to navigate with a stroller. There are some roots in the path that would make a jogging stroller more ideal than a non-jogging stroller, but we were able to navigate the paths with our non-jogging stroller. If you plan on going on some of the paths further back on the property through the woods, you will need to baby wear as those are not stroller accessible at all. Otherwise, everywhere else throughout the property is stroller friendly.


Charleston with a Baby or Toddler: Magnolia Plantation

Charleston with a Baby or Toddler

Magnolia Plantation is an impressive plantation with almost 3 miles of trails/gardens you can explore. Walking through these trails makes for a peaceful morning or afternoon stroll. There is a short guided tour included with your admission that takes you to where the slaves, who worked on the plantation, were housed. This is a good way to get a little bit of history about the plantation. 

Petting Zoo Included in Admission

There is also a small petting zoo you can visit (included with your admission). This was certainly the highlight of our visit here for our toddler. There were deer, goats and chickens roaming freely throughout the petting zoo and she thought this was very cool.

Further, you can tour the home and take a train ride throughout the plantation but both of these things are not included with your general admission ticket and cost extra.  This is a neat place to see but, in our opinion, it is a bit overpriced considering you have to pay extra for most of the tours or building visits. You get so much more at the Cypress Gardens for a third of the cost. So if you only have time for Cypress Gardens, or the Magnolia Plantation, be sure to go to the Cypress Gardens.

Cost: $29 per adult, $15 per 6-12 years, $3 per 5 or younger

Parent Tip: The paths here, in general, are very stroller friendly.  A jogging stroller is preferred to a non-jogging stroller, but we were able to navigate the paths with a non-jogging stroller. There were a couple paths we did avoid due to large roots, but they were nothing that a good jogging stroller wouldn’t be able to handle. For the most flexibility hiking around the grounds, baby wear here.


Try out a Local Restaurant

Charleston has a hopping food scene. There are so many unique local restaurants! You really can get any type of food your heart desires.  We loved the Southern comfort food and seafood.  A couple places we really enjoyed included Charleston Crab House and Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit


Visit Sullivan’s Island

Sullivan’s Island is located about 15 to 20 minutes outside of downtown Charleston. This island is a laid-back escape from the hoopla of downtown. The beach is very pretty here and the homes on the island are absolutely gorgeous. We loved just looking at the different homes on the island and even though it was chilly during our visit, our daughter loved watching the waves crash at the shoreline as well as collecting shells. The vibe on the island was very chill and it felt very local. We really enjoyed chatting with several locals we met during our time on the island.   

Delicious Food & Ice Cream

Beyond the beach, we really enjoyed dining at Sullivan’s Fish Camp. The food here was probably the best food we had on our trip. There is also a cute ice cream shop, Republic Ice Cream, right downtown with homemade ice cream that you will not want to miss. The ice cream was delicious and the staff was so kind to our kids.   

Toddler Park

Further, there are also several parks on the island. We were particularly pleased because we were able to find a park that seemed to be geared towards toddlers, J. Marshall Stith Park, right outside of the main strip of downtown. 

Parent Tip: On the beach, if you plan on walking along it for a distance, you’ll need to baby wear to travel over sand.  Otherwise, the downtown area and streets are very stroller friendly. We recommend this structured backpack carrier for your toddler and Ergobaby carrier for your baby if wearing your kids.  For more on these, see our How to Hike with a Baby post. 


Where to stay near Charleston with a baby/toddler?

We highly recommend staying at the Park Circle Cottage Airbnb while exploring the Charleston area.  The location, family friendly amenities and host make this Airbnb the perfect place for anyone with a baby or toddler to stay when visiting the Charleston area. See our Where to Stay Near Charleston, South Carolina post for a full rundown of why we found this Airbnb to be the perfect spot for our family to stay near Charleston, South Carolina.


We hope this guide helps you plan your trip to Charleston with a baby or toddler.  Anything you’d add to our guide?  We’d love to hear your feedback and questions.  Please leave us a comment!

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Tushbaby Hip Carrier Review


After having our son and realizing he needed to be held almost constantly to stay content, while also caring for a toddler, I knew I needed to try out the Tushbaby Hip Carrier.  This ergonomically designed hip carrier makes holding your baby easier, which is huge when your baby wants to be held all the time and is literally getting heavier each day.  Now that I’ve had a chance to use the hip carrier for several months, I only wish I would have tried it out sooner and used it when our now toddler daughter was a baby.  This carrier has been a game changer when it comes to not only traveling but also on neighborhood walks and while bouncing/walking our baby around to sleep.  It has also come in handy with our toddler.  Read my review of the Tushbaby Hip Carrier below and see why I think you’d love it too.

Tushbaby Hip Carrier Review

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. That means that, at no cost to you, we may get a small commission if you purchase through these links. This helps us keep providing travel resources for you! As media, we were gifted our Tushbaby carrier. All opinions are entirely our own.


Nurse/Feed Anywhere with the Tushbaby

Nursing is where the Tushbaby has proven to be most helpful while traveling and on the go.  It acts as a portable nursing pillow that makes nursing anywhere (standing or sitting) SO much easier.  Normally when nursing on the go, my back is killing me and it feels awkward to hold the baby to nurse standing.  However, with the Tushbaby, feeding him while standing is no longer such an inconvenience.  Traveling, I used to bring a nursing pillow to nurse on the plane and at the accommodations of our destination but with the Tushbaby, there is no longer any need for that.  Further, the Tushbaby is actually much more practical to use on the go, completely eliminating the need to bring a nursing pillow traveling. 

Tushbaby Hip Carrier Review: Hold Baby More Easily On The Go

Our son loves being held and really is only content when being held most of the time.  When I would try to go on double stroller walks with my 2 year old, 3 month old and dog by myself, I would often have to pick my son up and cradle hold him in my arms to comfort him, while pushing the giant double stroller and holding onto the dog’s leash.  If I’m painting the picture realistically, this is rather chaotic and despite considering myself to be in pretty good physical shape, my arms, shoulders and back get tired very quickly doing this, making these walks hard to finish.  However, once I got the Tushbaby Hip Carrier, it was much easier to hold my baby, push the stroller and hold the dog’s leash.  I now bring the Tushbaby on all our walks, regardless if another adult is with me to help because if my son does need to be picked up, it is SO much easier to carry him with the Tushbaby. 

Similarly, when we are traveling, particularly at the airport with our double stroller, our baby often wants to be picked up and cradled or outward-facing carried around instead of riding in the stroller.  The Tushbaby makes carrying him, while also managing our toddler and luggage, much easier.  

The Tushbaby is preferable to a more structured front carrier as it allows you to cradle hold your baby more easily, which is exactly what my son wants in many of these situations. Additionally, it is much easier to put him down quickly or hand off to my husband when he is not strapped into a carrier.

Note though that we do not use the Tushbaby hiking as we do not find it useful in that situation. See our How to Hike with a Baby guide for our hiking carrier recommendations.

Travel and Day to Day Carrying Made Easier

I originally wanted to try this carrier out because I thought it would be great for traveling.  And, as mentioned above, it has been great too!  However, I’ve learned I use it more often day to day than I ever imagined.  As outlined above, it has been great on walks but also has been great when walking/bouncing my baby to sleep.  Sometimes our son only soothes to sleep through walking around bouncing.  When this happens, I clip on the Tushbaby and cradle carry him while walking around with ease to soothe him to sleep.  The ergonomic seat and belt evenly distribute my baby’s weight and take the stress off my arms, shoulders and back when I need to do this. 

Tushbaby Hip Carrier Review: Can Use with Toddler

As our son continues to grow, we will continue to be able to use it for him as you can use it from ages 0-3 and up to 45 lbs.  I have also found the Tushbaby to be very handy when my 2 year old daughter wants to walk on an outing but then gets tired and wants to be held.  She prefers this to a traditional carrier that straps her in as she is able to go up and down much easier.  Between my two littles, one of them always seems to be on the Tushbaby. 

Tushbaby Hip Carrier Review: Great Storage

Moreover, the Tushbaby makes it easy to carry other essentials, such as diapers in the storage beneath the seat.  I have found this feature extra handy when traveling.  The side pocket is also perfect to secure a cellphone and easy to access. It’s somewhat like a fanny pack that also allows you to carry your baby/toddler with ease. Further, it folds up and stores away easily. 

The Tushbaby has been a game changer with traveling and everyday life with our second born.  I wish I would have tried this sooner and used it when our toddler was a baby.  I understand the hype around it and recommend it to any new or expecting parent.  If you want to get your own, use the code ALWAYSHAVEATRIPPLANNED for 15% off your order today. 

I hope this review helps you decide if the Tushbaby is right for you.  I’d love to hear your feedback and questions.  Please leave us a comment! -Natalie


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Hideaway Duffel: Carry-on Bag EVERYONE Needs


We recently started traveling with the new Hideaway Duffel made by No Reception Club. This maximum sized carry-on bag makes organization while traveling so easy and really impressed us with its functionality.  We truly think the Hideaway Duffel is a game changer traveling, especially with littles. We have taken the bag on three trips thus far (including 2 road trips and 4 flights) and do not plan to take any future trips without it.   Read on for more on why we love this bag and are recommending it to anyone (kids or no kids) as the best maximum sized carry-on bag.  

Hideaway Duffel

Next Level Organization

The Hideaway Duffel really makes organization a breeze.  This bag has a built-in packing organizer (The Cubby) that allows you to keep things separated and easily visible.  This packing organizer creates a portable closet within the bag and make it easy to see everything you have packed, unlike using packing cubes.  

We have a new 3 month old and a 2 year old who both have a lot of little clothes we have to pack each trip.  This bag has kept all of our kids’ items organized throughout our trips and has acted as a portable closet for them.  We never have had to truly unpack the Hideaway Duffel while traveling as we are easily able to see all of their clothes without unpacking them.  It is refreshing not having to rifle through piles of clothes or packing cubes to get to anything.  

Here is an example of how we packed (pictured above) our Hideaway Duffel for a 4 night road trip (where we would not have access to laundry):

  • 4 pairs of infant pants/onesies
  • 10 infant sleepers
  • 5 infant swaddles
  • 2 muslin blankets
  • 2 infant hats
  • 1 infant bunting
  • 6 burp cloths
  • 4 toddler pajama sets
  • 4 toddler shirts/pants
  • 1 toddler fleece pullover
  • 1 toddler mid jacket
  • 1 busy board
  • 4 board books
  • 18 pairs of infant and toddler socks
  • 1 silicone bib
  • 1 pair toddler shoes
  • Toiletries, Elvie pump/charger and 20 infant diapers in the outside pockets (not pictured above)

Dirty and Clean Clothes Easily Kept Separate

Further, this built-in packing organizer can be collapsed down at the end of your trip . You then can place all your dirty clothes in an included laundry bag and keep them separate from any clean clothes in an odor resistant laundry compartment.  The odor resistant compartment is a collapsible section at the base of the bag that is designed to take up zero space when empty and expands as you fill it with dirty clothing.  No more needing to intersperse dirty clothes with clean ones!  

Hideaway Duffel

Easy Access Pockets

Some other organizational features in the Hideaway Duffel that need to be mentioned are the easy access front pockets.  There are two of these pockets, one that is insulated and one that is not.  These easy access pockets are great for things you need quick access to mid flight which comes in super handy with the littles.  We have stored extra milk in the insulated one and books/extra diapers in the non insulated one.  Also, if you own the sidekick fanny pack diaper bag (as we do and love), it fits here perfectly.  We also think these pockets would be great for adult needs such as a book or cold snack you may want mid flight. 

Makes Going Through Security Easier

Beyond unparalleled organization, the side pocket on the Hideaway Duffel where the Dopp Kit (toiletries bag by No Reception Club that can be hung up) fits perfectly makes going through airport security so much easier.  And let me tell you, as parents traveling with a new baby and a toddler, we need all the help we can get while going through airport security.  We put all of our liquids in this bag (not just toiletries), which makes it easy to just take the Dopp kit out from this easy access side pocket to go through security.  Getting our liquids out for security has never been so seamless. 

Comfortable

Not only does the Hideaway Duffel make going through airport security easier but it is also comfortable to wear.  We have used several other maximum sized carry-on bags previously and have found all of them to be rather uncomfortable.  After using so many uncomfortable maximum sized carry-on bags, we thought it must not be possible to create a comfortable one.  Thankfully, Gemma and Daniel somehow cracked the code with the Hideaway Duffel.  We love maximum sized carry on bags and use them as often as possible to avoid checking a bag/reduce the number of bags we have to check but previously have always felt punished for doing so with the uncomfortable wear of the competitor bags. Our backs no longer have to suffer with using a maximum sized carry-on backpack thanks to the Hideaway Duffel.  Further, the bag has a luggage pass through we have found very useful to use to place it on a carry-on roller when we are baby wearing.

No Reception Club Delivers Again 

The functionality and comfort of the Hideaway Duffel has us singing its praises.  We already loved the Getaway Diaper Bag and think the Hideaway Duffel matches it in making travel with littles so much more organized and subsequently easier. To read more about why we love the Getaway Diaper Bag, see our The Best Travel Diaper Bag post.  Way to go Gemma and Daniel on creating the perfect maximum sized carry-on bag. 


We hope this guide helps you decide if the Hideaway Duffel is right for you.  We’d love to hear your feedback and questions.  Please leave us a comment!

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5 Top Baby & Toddler Flying Tips


After flying more than 50 times with a baby and/or toddler, we have learned A LOT about flying with a baby & toddler.  Although traveling with a baby or toddler is never easy, it is completely doable.   On our most recent flight, a man sitting in the row next to us was so impressed with how well our daughter did on our 6 hour flight that he told us we “need to teach a class on flying with a baby.” We may not teach a class but here are our 5 top baby & toddler flying tips.  

Top Baby & Toddler Flying Tips

For a more complete breakdown on flying with a baby, please see our Flying with a Baby post. For more tips on traveling with a baby, see our Top 10 Baby Travel Tips post. 

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. That means that, at no cost to you, we may get a small commission if you purchase through these links. This helps us keep providing travel resources for you!


#1 Top Baby & Toddler Flying Tip: Attitude is Everything

When flying with a baby and toddler, attitude really is everything.  You need to have realistic expectations.  If you expect your baby or toddler to sleep the entire flight and not fuss or cry at all, that is unrealistic.  Be prepared that things may not go exactly as you want.  And that is okay!  Sure, it may be ideal if you try to time your baby’s nap to align with when you are flying but that might not realistically happen. Be flexible, follow your baby’s lead and go with the flow.  If they sleep the whole time and there is no fussing/crying, great, but do not have that be your expectation.  With a toddler, be prepared you may have to entertain/engage with them the entire flight (depending on time of day) and that is okay too!  If you are realistic about how the flight may or may not go, your experience is going to be better.  Do not set yourself up for disappointment with unrealistic expectations. 


#2 Top Baby & Toddler Flying Tip: Brings lots of Snacks

This tip is more pertinent once your baby is consistently eating solid foods but once they are, bring snacks and lots of them!   Growing babies and toddlers get hungry often and do not exude a lot of patience when hungry.  Snacks are a quick way to turn a sour mood right-side up.  We use these Skip Hop Puppy Snack Cups for things that may go stale more quickly or need a more secure cover (ex. peeled clementines, apple slices, popcorn, etc.) .  We also have at least 6 of these Munchkin Snack Cups we use for other more simple snacks that get quickly eaten (ex. Cheerios, Goldfish, etc.). We are sure to have a variety of choices and snacks (at least 4 different snack containers) for the flight.  For longer flights (such as flying anywhere in Europe), we bring at least 6 containers and refills for the containers. 

Similarly, make sure you are ready to nurse or bottle-feed younger babies on demand. Flying is not the time to stick to a strict feeding/nursing schedule.


#3 Top Baby & Toddler Flying Tip: You do NOT need Fancy Toys

A question we get quite often is, what toys do you use when flying?  The answer is none.  We bring our daughters stuffed Elmo (comforts her/she sleeps with) and several different books but we do not bring any toys.  She honestly is more ore interested in playing with the things around her on the airplane including (but not limited to) the safety information sheets, tray for food, gift bag from flight attendant, provided pillows, etc.   She also recently had a lot of fun pushing her Elmo around in the free-to-use airport strollers in the Lisbon airport during a layover.  Honestly, babies are entertained pretty easily and we find snack/book space in our diaper bag more valuable than toy space. 

Top Baby & Toddler Flying Tips

If looking for a great travel diaper bag? See our The Best Travel Diaper Bag post. 


#4: Save Best Distractions for when you REALLY need them 

For us, this distraction is screen time. Our daughter rarely gets screen time at home so it is a real treat when she gets any.  We only use screen time on flights with her if nothing else (snacks or other distractions) is working when she is being fussy.  For you, this might be a specific type of snack or toy.  Whatever it is, be sure to save that special distraction for when you really need it and do not just use it when your baby or toddler is perfectly content. 


#5: If they don’t sleep or cry, it will be okay 

Pairing in with a realistic attitude, babies sometimes fight sleep and sometimes they cry.  That is okay! Focus on caring for your child and remember that there are likely other parents on the flight who know how it can be to travel with a baby or toddler.  You getting worked up about your baby crying or not sleeping is certainly not going to make it better.  Remember, it will be okay.  Your baby will eventually sleep and eventually stop crying. Remember, babies/toddlers cry or whine at times regardless of flying. It is best to ignore those cranky people that like to give mean or annoyed looks. Keep in mind they are getting mad at a baby so it would seem they just have a negative attitude towards life. Also, babies and toddlers are resilient. Our daughter actually does MUCH better with time changes than we do.  She tends to see when the sun is out in a new time zone and is like “okay, let’s be awake.” If only mom and dad adjusted that easily!

Top Baby & Toddler Flying Tips

If looking to create a dark space for your baby on-the-go, check out the CoziGo. This portable blackout curtain creates a dark space for your little one to sleep in his/her car seat or stroller easier on-the-go.  We found this works best for babies 15 months or less. 


Bonus Top Baby & Toddler Flying Tip: YOU CAN DO IT

Many naysayers (who likely have not traveled with their baby or traveled very little) will say you can’t do it.  Do not listen to them.  You absolutely can fly with your baby and toddler.  It may not go perfectly and that is totally okay.  You will learn more with each trip and each flight will go a little smoother.  Our baby and toddler honestly travel better than many adults.  Babies and toddlers are adaptable and will do great when you have realistic expectations for them.  You can do it! 

For more on baby travel, see our Top 10 Baby Travel Tips, How to Hike with a Baby and Flying with a Baby posts.


We hope this guide helps you plan your flight with your baby and/or toddler.  Anything you’d add to our guide? We’d love to hear your feedback and questions.  Please leave us a comment!

Did you find this post helpful? If so, please share it with a friend, like our Always Have a Trip Planned Facebook Page, follow our Always Have A Trip Planned Instagram and subscribe to our emails below.

And remember, Always Have A Trip Planned!

The Best Travel Diaper Bag


As avid travelers and parents, we knew we needed a diaper bag designed with our travels in mind.  When we found the No Reception Club Getaway Diaper Bag, we knew we had stumbled upon something great. This diaper bag has been a game changer for us traveling (and even with day-to-day use).  Here is a breakdown of why we love this diaper bag travel system and why we think it’s the best travel diaper bag. 

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. That means that, at no cost to you, we may get a small commission if you purchase through these links. This helps us keep providing travel resources for you!

We started using this travel diaper bag once our daughter was 18 months old and wish we would have found it sooner.  For more information on traveling with a baby, please see our Top 10 Baby Travel Tips, How to Hike with a Baby, 5 Top Baby & Toddler Flying Tips and Flying with a Baby posts.


The Best Travel Diaper Bag: Organization Galore and Tons of Space

Have you ever felt like you cannot find anything in your diaper bag? Or that it is just stuffed to the brim with all the things you need? Do you find these diaper bag woes even worse when traveling with your baby?  We felt like this every time we traveled with our daughter (and even on local outings at times).  However, with this travel system, we no longer feel out of control and unorganized when it comes to using our diaper bag while traveling. 

Best travel diaper bag

This diaper bag is truly the best diaper bag for traveling. Knowing where to locate an item quickly is paramount when urgency ensues with your baby (…parents, you know what we mean). This bag has so many compartments and can fit everything you need. One of the compartments is a 3 tier shelf and this is our favorite unique feature. This allows you quick and easy access to items.  This diaper bag even has a waterproof pocket at the bottom designed for anything wet or dirty. This comes in very handy in many situations while traveling with a baby (ex. thanks for having our back during that blowout in the Lisbon airport). 

The No Reception Club Diaper Bag also comes with this helpful insert (pictured below) on how to pack the diaper bag.  This helps demonstrate just how much you can fit in it! 

best travel diaper bag

The Best Travel Diaper Bag: Functional to Use and Comfortable to Wear Anywhere

We most recently used this diaper bag on a trip to the city of Porto, Portugal as well as on a trip to the tropical island of Madeira.   This diaper bag impressed us with its versatile functionality and comfort in these contrasting settings. 

Although these settings greatly contrasted (rainforest hiking versus city excursions), this diaper bag came in handy in both settings.  On our hikes, we were able to organize all our extra clothes, supplies, gear and food we needed. Similarly, we were also able to easily bring all the supplies we needed for a day with our baby out exploring the city by foot.  Not once did the diaper bag feel uncomfortable on this trip and we walked a cumulative of over 100 miles. That’s pretty impressive with all the things the it held for us! 


The Best Travel Diaper Bag: Parents and Babies at the forefront of design

Moreover, this diaper bag is so well designed. You really can tell it was made by parents with kids who understand just all the things you need to bring with you, especially while traveling with a baby.    

Best travel diaper bag

With our No Reception Club Getaway diaper bag travel system, we found it helpful to organize as follows:

  • The top compartment of the diaper bag for toys (kept our rain gear here on hikes)
  • The top shelf of the diaper bag for headphones and snacks
  • The middle shelf of the diaper bag for clothes, books & extra diapers
  • The bottom shelf of the diaper bag for different snack containers or extra adults clothes
  • The side compartment of the diaper bag for a bottle (inside included No Reception Club cooler)
  • The lower compartment of the diaper bag for medicines/other liquids
  • The front pocket for parent supplies
  • The fanny pack for quick diaper changing supplies (2 diapers, small package of wipes, hand sanitizer, passports/tickets in the back).  

No Reception Club Diaper Bag is truly the best diaper bag for traveling and any parents who want an organized diaper bag in day-to-day life.  This diaper bag is an investment yet is worth every penny. 


We hope this review helps decide if the No Reception Club Getaway Diaper Bag is right for you.  We’d love to hear your feedback and questions. Did you find this post helpful? If so, please share it with a friend, like our Always Have a Trip Planned Facebook Page, follow our Always Have A Trip Planned Instagram and subscribe to our emails below.

And remember, Always Have A Trip Planned!

SlumberPod for the Baby Travel Sleep Win


If you are looking to travel with your baby/toddler AND sleep, the SlumberPod is a must.  This portable blackout pod makes traveling with a baby more restful and less stressful.  We recently started using the SlumberPod, and it has been a game changer for room sharing while traveling. After over a dozen trips with our daughter in less than a year, we know the SlumberPod is a travel essential for room sharing situations and/or instances where you are without blackout curtains. Continue reading on for all the reasons we have deemed the SlumberPod a baby travel sleep essential. 

Use code ALWAYSHAVEATRIPPLANNED$20 for $20 off your SlumberPod order today

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. That means that, at no cost to you, we may get a small commission if you purchase through these links. This helps us keep providing travel resources for you! As media, we were gifted our SlumberPod. All opinions remain entirely our own.


SlumberPod

SlumberPod is a Baby/Toddler Travel Essential 

If you are planning on traveling with your baby and doing any room sharing, or staying somewhere without blackout curtains, the SlumberPod is vital for you having a good experience.  The SlumberPod truly solves the problem of trying to get a good night’s sleep while room-sharing with your baby or toddler. The SlumberPod allows you to room share with your baby while they sleep in their crib or pack-n-play undisturbed. After many times when we were room sharing (and not using the SlumberPod) and accidentally woke our baby up (who proceeded to the be awake the rest of the night), we will never room share again without using the SlumberPod.  It has been a true lifesaver in any room sharing situation. 

Travel AND Sleep

We really wish we would have found and started using the SlumberPod sooner.  It is especially useful for frequent trips back to Sam’s childhood home where we room share and there are no blackout curtains.  Sleep has always been a struggle in environments like this but now we don’t have to worry about not being able to sleep thanks to the SlumberPod.  

Features we love about the SlumberPod

The SlumberPod is a high-quality product designed with stellar attention to detail.  The mother/daughter duo that came up with this product really designed it right! 

Features we love about the SlumberPod include: 

  • Dark yet breathable fabric
  • Fan pouch to help create air flow in more warm environments
  • Bottomless structure that fit over standard sized pack-n-plays and cribs
  • Ventilation panels and air vents 
  • Baby monitor pouch
  • Zippered window to access baby
  • Portable & compact 

All of these features make it easy to travel with and use the SlumberPod.  It is also ideal to use at home if your baby’s napping area is not dark or you want to be able to access the room without waking them.

We love this product so much that we reached out to SlumberPod to become a SlumberPod partner and get our readers a discount. Use code ALWAYSHAVEATRIPPLANNED$20 for $20 off your order today! 
SlumberPod is a portable & affordable solution for getting a good night’s sleep while room sharing. The SlumberPod is truly a lifesaver in any room sharing situation.  Make travel and sleep both possible, buy your own SlumberPod today!


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Happy Traveling, and remember, Always Have A Trip Planned!


#1 Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss, Iceland
#2 Road to Hana, Maui, Hawaii
#3 Monument Valley
#4 Rocky Mountain National Park
#5 Kenai Fjords National Park
#6 Starved Rock State Park
#7 Dry Tortugas National Park
#8 Kitch-iti-kipi Spring
#9 Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
#10 Kvernufoss Iceland
#11 Capitol Reef National Park
#12 Lake Superior
#13 Stuðlagil Canyon, Iceland
#14 Rocky Mountain National Park
#15 Maui, Hawaii
#16 Ait BenHaddou, Morocco
#17 Olympic National Park
#18 Amsterdam, Netherlands

Iceland with a Baby Itinerary


Iceland with a baby

Iceland, also known as the “The Land of Fire and Ice”, is really a magical and memorable country to visit, especially with your baby along for the fun.  From glaciers to waterfalls to volcanoes to coastline to geothermal baths, the list of natural wonders for you and your baby to adore goes on and on. With Iceland being one of the most scenic and safest countries in the world, it’s the perfect place to travel with your baby.  Our Iceland with a baby itinerary will cover seeing all the natural wonders listed above in 9 days while driving the Ring Road/ entire island (over 1400 miles in total) with your baby in tow.  We visited Iceland when our daughter was 10 months old and had a really lovely trip with her.  

You will not find a better Iceland with a baby itinerary out there.  We spent years researching and have picked out the best stops along/off the Ring Road to make for the best trip for you and your baby in Iceland.  And when we say years, we mean years.  This trip was originally supposed to occur in May 2020 pre-baby (we all know how 2020 went…).  Instead, our Iceland trip took place in June 2022 with our 10-month-old daughter.  This gave us extra time to fine tune our trip and to also make it baby friendly. 

Iceland with a Baby

We also have paced this ‘Iceland with a Baby Itinerary’ out based on how we were able to complete traveling around Iceland with our baby in real time.  We had a loose plan of what we wanted to do before we went on our trip and then we planned this trip out based on how things played out real time each day.  Everything takes more time with a baby, and this real time method helped us better gauge how much we could realistically do in one day.  Here is our 9-Day visiting Iceland with a Baby Itinerary. 


Note: This guide covers our Iceland Ring Road Itinerary that we traveled with our baby.  For more specific baby tips while planning your Iceland trip, please our Top 10 Baby Travel Tips, How to Hike with a Baby, 5 Top Baby & Toddler Flying Tips and Flying with a Baby posts. Further, this itinerary is really fit for anyone to use but was made with a baby at the forefront of our plans. 

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. That means that, at no cost to you, we may get a small commission if you purchase through these links. This helps us keep providing travel resources for you!


Overview of Iceland with a Baby Itinerary 

  • Day 1: Arrive & Golden Circle
    • Þórufoss , Thingvellir National Park, Efstidalur, Strokkur Geysir, Gullfoss, Faxi Waterfall and Kerid Crater   
  • Day 2:  Southern Iceland 
    • Seljalandsfoss, Skógafoss, Skogar Museum, Kvernufoss, Dyrhólaey, Reynisfjara Beach Lighthouse/Peninsula, Vik  
  • Day 3: Southern/Eastern Iceland
    • Fjaðrárgljúfur , Vatnajökull National Park (Svartifoss,Svínafellsjökull Glacier), Hof, Hangandifoss/Múlagljúfur Canyon, Jökulsárlón Glacier Lake/Diamond Beach   
  • Day 4: Eastern Iceland
    • Hofn, Vestrahorn Mountain, Hengifoss and Litlanesfoss Hike, Egilsstaðir, Seydisfjordur 
  • Day 5: Eastern Iceland
    • Fardagafoss, Rjukandafoss, Stuðlagil Canyon, Dettifoss/Selfoss, Hverir Mud Pots, Grjótagjá 
  • Day 6: Northern Iceland
    • Myvatn, Myvatn Nature Baths, Husavik, Godafoss, Akueryki
  • Day 7: Northern/Western Iceland
    • Akueryki,  Kolugljufur Canyon, Hvammstangi, Kirkjufellsfoss/Kirkjufell, Svortuloft Lighthouse, Arnarstapi 
  • Day 8: Snaefellsnes Peninsula 
    •  Arnarstapi to Hellnar Trail, Rauöfeldargjá Canyon, Búðakirkja church, Reykjavik 
  • Day 9: Reykjavik & Fly Home  
    •  Reykjavik 

Day 1 Iceland with a Baby: Arrive & Golden Circle

Fly into Reykjavik

We arrived on our flight to Iceland with our baby around 10:30 AM local time (departed from Chicago the evening prior).  We’d recommend arriving earlier than this if possible.  By the time we got our luggage picked up, went through customs and got our campervan, it was 1:30 PM.  By the time we got groceries, it was 3 PM local time.  If we were to redo this trip, we would have booked a flight that landed earlier in the day to get more of a jump start on our day.

Tip: Consider staying on your home time if visiting during June or July

Due to the midnight sun (it never actually got dark) occurring in Iceland during our June trip, we never switched our time schedules.  Instead, we stayed on US Central Time the entire trip.  So even though the time would be 12 AM or 1 AM local time, it would only be 7 PM or 8 PM on our clocks (5 hour time difference). 

This decision was helpful not only for our baby but also us.  We never had to deal with time changes and had quite a smooth transition into and back out of our trip (although it is never easy to come back to everyday life from a trip…). Also, exploring late at night was great for being the only people at many attractions. Turns out, most people do not do this.  So, when we would be at normally very busy attractions at 12 AM local time, we usually were the only ones there. Score!

Tip: Buy groceries in Reykjavik before starting your trip

Grocery store options are very limited once you leave Reykjavik.  Stock up on some essentials before you head off on your journey 

We recommend stopping at Kronan to pick up some groceries. We found this grocery store chain to have the best prices and variety throughout our trip.  On the north side of the Island (where we did not encounter any Kronans), we would recommend stopping at Netto.  

There is also a Costco in Reykjavik that we stopped at in addition to Kronan to buy some drinks in bulk.  

Tip: If you have extra room in your luggage, bring as much nonperishable food as you can.

Food is EXPENSIVE in Iceland.  The expense of food is logical given that Iceland is an island but coming from the midwest where cost of food is very affordable, we were in a bit of sticker shock.  Bring what you can to cut back on cost. 

Drive and Visit Golden Circle Attractions

Þórufoss (1 hour 5 minutes from Airport)

Porufoss is a slight detour off the regular Golden Circle route, but it is definitely worth the time to stop as you will likely be the ONLY people there! This waterfall is so peaceful. It is less impressive than some other waterfalls you will see on this trip, yet it is likely one of the only ones you will have to yourself, especially on the Golden Circle. Our baby loved watching and listening to the waterfall here. 

Iceland with a baby

Finding Porufoss:  After about 15km on Route 36, turn left onto Route 48.  Drive for about 5km and then you will see a small sign on the right for Þórufoss.

Note: If a site has FOSS at the end of it, it’s a waterfall. FOSS=waterfall. 

Thingvellir National Park (16 minutes from Porufoss)

The next stop on your Iceland road trip with a baby is Thingvellir National Park.  This National Park is of historic importance as this is where the Icelandic Parliament met between 930-1798. Thingvellir National Park also is home to the rift between the North American and the Eurasian tectonic plates.  These tectonic plates move 1mm-18mm/year!  Between the tectonic plates is some of the clearest and cleanest water in the world.  

Thingvellir National Park with a baby Iceland

Note: You can snorkel between the tectonic plates here.  We initially had a tour booked to snorkel the Silfra Fissure with Tröll Expeditions in May 2020.  We did not rebook this for our June 2022 trip as we had our baby in tow and also felt we would prefer to do more hiking here than snorkeling. 

Parking is 750 Kronos (pay in bathroom) 

Öxarárfoss Hike 

In Thingvellir National Park, be sure to hike to Oxarafoss. The falls here cascades over the rift between the tectonic plates that is a visual reminder that you are standing on the border of these tectonic plates.  This 2.6 mile loop hike goes by fast.  This hike goes through Thingvellir National Park, past several other attractions in the park, including Pingvellir church, making the hike seem shorter. 

Oxararfoss with a baby Iceland

2.6 mile loop hike with 744 feet of elevation gain

Oxararfoss AllTrails

Efstidalur (40 minutes from Thingvellir National Park)

The next stop on your Iceland trip with a baby itinerary is Efstidalur, a family run farm turned into an ice cream parlor and restaurant.  Here you can enjoy farm-to-table dining while overlooking the mountains or the farm cows. During dinner, our baby liked watching the cows eat through the large windows as well as playing with the silverware.  Oh the simple joys of a baby.   

Efstidalur Iceland with a baby

Warning: It’s a bit pricey.  Dinner and ice cream for the 2 of us (baby did not get her own meal) cost about $75 USD. This is pretty expensive in comparison to US prices but actually quite on par for Iceland standards, especially for farm-to-table dining.  

Finding Efstidalur: 801 Bláskógabyggð.  On Route 37, after the split from 365, drive about 12km (you will pass Route 366 on the right). You will see a sign for the farm on the left side of the road.

Efstidalur

Strokkur Geysir (11 minutes from Efstidalur)

The next stop on your Iceland trip with a baby is the Strokkur Geysir, a thermal area that erupts every 6-10 minutes. Our baby loved watching the Geysir bubble up and erupt. She thought it was funny and would giggle when it started to bubble. 

Strokkur Geysir with a baby

Tip: Go late at night for little to no people. We went right before sunset at 11:30 PM local time in June and only saw two other people.  Otherwise, this spot is very popular and busy during the day. 

Gullfoss (10 minutes from Strokkur Geysir)

Next stop on your Iceland road trip with your baby is Gulfoss, one of the largest and most powerful waterfalls in Iceland.  Gulfoss flows down in a three step staircase-like pattern before plunging into the river below in two dramatic stages.  It is a short walk from the parking lot down to the waterfall here but if you walk on all the trails around the waterfall, it is about a mile. 

Gullfoss with a baby

Tip: Go early in the morning or late at night to have it to yourself. Otherwise, like Strokkur, it is really busy. 

Gullfoss AllTrails

Faxi Waterfall (10 minutes from Gullfoss)

Faxi is a waterfall hidden gem that most people drive right by.  Here you walk from the parking lot down to the waterfall in a couple short minutes.  This stop is not a must do but a quick 20 minute stop that we recommend taking if you have time.  We saw some very friendly Icelandic horses just before we pulled into this parking lot.

Faxi Waterfall

Finding Faxi Waterfall: Located on road 35 between Strokkur Geysir and the town of Reykholt (there is a small sign on the left when you are driving South pointing towards the falls). 

750 Kronos to Park 

Kerid Crater (45 minutes) 

Up next on your Iceland with a baby itinerary is Kerid Crater, a volcanic crater with crystal blue water.  The green around the rim contrasting the red soil and blue water is truly stunning.  You can walk around the top of the rim and/or bottom rim. Do both! The views are equally beautiful at the top and bottom rim but different

Kerid Crater Iceland with a baby

400 Kronos per person for trail use (during attendant hours), children under 12 free

0.9 miles loop, 114 feet of elevation gain

Kerid Carter Iceland with a Baby

​​Kerid Crater AllTrails

Stay in or camp near Selfoss

In Selfoss, there is a Kronan grocery store. Be sure to stock up on fresh groceries again tomorrow morning as supply options only get more sparse the further you get away from Reykjavik.  

Day 1 Driving Map- 3.5 Hours of Driving


Day 2 Iceland with a Baby: South Iceland

Seljalandsfoss (1 hour from Selfoss)

The next stop on your Iceland with a baby trip is Seljalandsfoss, almost 200 feet tall.  It is one of Iceland’s most unique waterfalls as you are actually able to walk behind it! 

Seljalandsfoss with a baby

WARNING: Don’t ruin your camera here.  If you walk up to/behind the waterfall, it will get wet. 

Tip: Waterproof Everything! 

Be sure the whole family, especially the baby, has waterproof gear.  We almost did not bring a Baby Rain Suit for our baby and that would have been a huge mistake. We would have not been able to walk behind the waterfall. This would have been a real shame because she loved walking behind it and being misted by the waterfall.  She couldn’t stop giggling! 

Here is the gear we love and recommend: 

Seljalandsfoss with a baby

TIP: Don’t forget to look at the little waterfall next door: Gljúfrabúi

Gljúfrabúi is the secret waterfall, hidden in a cave less than a 10 minute walk to the left (when walking from the parking lot) from Seljalandsfoss. Many people don’t even realize it was there because they are so mesmerized by Seljalandsfoss and do not walk further down the trail.  It isa little smaller than Seljalandsfoss with a 130 foot drop, yet arguably as inspiring as Seljalandsfoss.  

Note: You have to wade through a shallow stream into this cave. Be sure to have waterproof boots, like the ones we recommended above, to do this. The stream is shallow and we had no problem safely doing this with our baby strapped to us in our hiking boots. 

750 Kronos per car for parking

1.2 miles out & back, 226 feet of elevation gain 

Seljalandsfoss AllTrails

Skógafoss (27 minutes from Seljalandsfoss )

After you leave Seljavallalaug, a short drive will take you to Skógafoss, another epic 200 foot waterfall. Don’t make the mistake of only viewing the falls from the bottom.  Be sure to head up the stairs and check out the area above the falls. There are 526 steep stairs to make the climb to the top overlook and the trail that continues on.  

Seljavallalaug Iceland with a baby

If you keep walking along the river, you’ll also encounter some other smaller waterfalls before the main drop. These falls are also quite beautiful and perfect for tourist-free photos. Our baby seemed to like these smaller waterfalls better than the main Skogafoss here.  She must like scenic spots better with less people too! 

There is about 1.5 miles of round trip walking to/around here to see different waterfalls/views . We walked to the bottom of Skogafoss, climbed the stairs to the top overlook of Skogafoss and then to the next waterfall after this. The trail from the top of the falls actually goes 26 miles so you can make as short or as long as you want

Skogafoss Iceland with a baby

Skogafoss Waterfall AllTrails

Note: Supposedly, per our research, the lighting at this waterfall is better in the afternoon and you may see a rainbow with the sunlight.  It was raining when we visited in the afternoon so we really cannot speak to this being true or not.  

Kvernufoss (1 minute from Skogar Museum

A short 15 minute walk from the parking lot takes you to Kvernufoss, also known as the “Hidden Waterfall.” It is a quick walk with unworldly scenery to this waterfall. This was Natalie’s favorite waterfall hike up to this point in the trip.  It is a great bang for buck hike.  Also, we only saw two other people at this waterfall which was a tranquil contrast after visiting Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss (as both were quite crowded). 

Kvernufoss Iceland with a Baby

Note: This trail is located very close to the Skogar Museum. You could park at the museum and walk over to the trail located just to the east.  Find the fence you need to climb over (ladder goes over the barbed wire fence) and then take the path to the waterfall.  You will not be disappointed with the views.   

0.9 miles out & back, 147 feet elevation gain

Kvernufoss AllTrails

Dyrhólaey Lighthouse/Peninsula (27 minutes)

In the summertime, many Atlantic puffins can be found nesting on the cliff faces of Dyrhólaey

This spot is not far outside of Vik and you can see Reynisfjara Beach from here

Note: The lighthouse is only open 9 AM- 7 PM local time 

This spot was actually closed when we arrived.  It is only accessible 9 AM- 7 PM local Icelandic time.  We arrived at around 9 PM local time and unfortunately were unable to visit.  We do not feel we missed out, but this is likely the best opportunity to see Puffins on this trip itinerary.  So if you have never seen Puffins (we have seen them in Kenai Fjords National Park Quick Guide) or really want to see them in Iceland, be sure to arrive before 7PM or after 9 AM local time.

Reynisfjara Beach (22 minutes)

The next stop on your Iceland with a baby trip is Reynisfjara Beach.  This is a short walk out to the black sand beach with the iconic massive hexagonal basalt columns. When we visited Reynisfjara Beach, it was super windy.  Our baby girl found it quite amusing!

Reynisfjara Beach with a baby

Caution: Beware of “sneaky waves” on the beach.  Do not go anywhere where the sand is smooth (or has had water obviously wash up on it).  People often get close to the water, turn their backs and then get swept away by the large waves that sneak up on them. Numerous people have drowned.  Don’t be one of them.  

Vik (11 minutes)

Up next on your Iceland road trip with your baby is Vik, a remote seafront village in south Iceland.  Our favorite spot in this village was the pretty church on the hill surrounded by picturesque purple flowers 

Ring Road Road trip

Fun fact: These purple flowers, alpine lupine, are actually an invasive weed (yet so pretty!)

This village has several restaurants, a gas station and a grocery store. Vik was actually much smaller than we expected.  We ate at the Stronan Pub in Vik that had some nice distant views of Reynisfjara Beach. The food we had here (pasta and lamb chops) was also quite good. And, most importantly, this place is open until midnight!  We actually tried to eat at two other restaurants but they closed at 9 PM local time and since we stayed on our home time, we needed a place open later. 

*Look for all the different scenery as you drive further on the Ring Road* 

Laufskálavarða (30 minutes)

This is a small lava rock area with many rock cairns that remained after a large farm was destroyed by the eruption of the Katla Volcano. The tradition here was to stack stone cairns as a sign of good luck while crossing the area.  This is an interesting quick stop right off the road.

Eldhraun Lava Field (16 minutes)

Mossy lava field that looks like something out of the Teletubby show from the 90s.  The Apollo 11 crew came here to train for their impending moonwalk. Route 1 runs directly through Eldhraun so you cannot miss it.  It is a quick stop/drive through. 

Stay in Laki or Skaftárhreppur (camp or accommodations).  Alternatively, stay in Vik and drive about an hour more the next day

Day 2 Driving Map- 3.5 hours of driving 


Day 3 Iceland with a Baby: South/East Iceland

Fjaðrárgljúfur (10 minutes)

Absolutely stunning 1 mile long, 300 foot deep beautiful slot canyon.  The third platform has the best views of the canyon and there is a waterfall at this spot too.  And there will be less people at this platform as most tourists only make it to the first viewing platform. 

Fjaðrárgljúfur Iceland

Fun Fact: Justin Beiber’s “I’ll Show You” music video features this spot

2 miles out & back, 248 feet of elevation gain

Fjadrargljufur AllTrails

Vatnajökull National Park (1 hour 9 minutes)

Vatnajökull National Park is the next stop on your tour of the ring road with a baby on board.  You could spend days in this massive national park.  We saw the highlights of this park by hiking to Svartifoss and the Svinafellsjokull Glacier. 

Parking costs 750 Kronos/vehicle 

Iconic Svartifoss waterfall

Svartifoss is known for the hexagonal basalt columns that surround its cascading falls 

Svartifoss

Fun fact: The Basalt Columns here inspired Hallgrimskirkja Church design in downtown Reykjavik 

This waterfall is further from the road than most other waterfalls in Iceland but well worth the extra effort.  There are three traill options to see Svartifoss.  We recommend the mid-option (what we did). Here are the options to see it: 

  • Option #2: Svartifoss – Magnúsarfoss – Hundafoss via Lambhagi AllTrails (mid option)
    • 2.5 miles loop, 449 feet of elevation gain
    • Same as the shorter option but on this trail you take a different route back to the trailhead to make a loop. 
    • Do this one!
    • On this loop hike, on the way back from Svartifoss, we did not see any other hikers. This part of the trail was so peaceful in comparison to the first half of the trail (the part that most people do as an out and back, option #1). For not much added effort, you’ll likely have this part of the trail to yourself, get better views of the waterfalls leading up to Svartifoss and see the snow capped mountains in the distance better.  

Svínafellsjökull Glacier

The Svinafellsjokull Glacier is a really pretty spot where you can touch parts of ice that have broken off from the main glacier. Baby G loved touching (and tasting) pieces of ice glacier.  We also only saw a few other people on the trail when we visited mid-afternoon, making it a very peaceful short hike. 

Svínafellsjökull Glacier Iceland

Fun fact: This glacier was used in filming of Interstellar, Batman Begins and Game of Thrones 

Caution: Sometimes this glacier is closed due to landslides

0.7 Miles out & back, 184 feet elevation gain  

Svinafellsjokull Glacier AllTrails

Eat at the Adventure Hotel in Hof 

Next, stop for a meal at the Adventure Hotel in the small quaint village of Hof. This is the nicest restaurant and the best food we ate in Iceland up to this point. 

Hof is a very small quaint and peaceful village on the southeast part of the island.  Hof, and this area in general, has very limited eating, lodging and camping options. The next place with lodging, camping and dining options is Hofn which is about 60 km away. 

Hangandifoss/Múlagljúfur Canyon (36 minutes)

This hike with several waterfalls, most notably Hangandifoss, truly offers out-of-this-world views.  At the summit of this hike, you overlook the stunning Múlagljúfur canyon with the flowing Mulaa river and Hangandifoss waterfall within it. You also can see the snow-covered volcano Oraefajokull in the distance.  Pictures and words do not do this view justice.  Baby G was a smiley little peanut for this hike.  She was very curious about all the different views throughout the hike. We also only saw 3 other people throughout this hike, making it very serene. 

Caution: Loose gravel/slippery in a lot of spots

Natalie actually tripped and fell forward with G strapped to the front of her while on this trail. G was fine, Natalie’s leg and arm took a beating but nothing requiring medical care thankfully.  We would still hike this trail again but just be very cautious hiking on the gravel path as it can be slippery in spots. We would advise not hiking this with a toddler who is mainly walking themselves though. 

3.6 miles out & back, 1,204 feet of elevation gain

Hangandifoss Múlagljúfur Canyon AllTrails

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lake + Iceberg Lagoon/Diamond Beach (12 minutes from Canyon) 

The Jökulsárlón lagoon is filled with massive ice chunks that have fallen from the Jökulsárlón glacier . This lagoon is over 800 feet deep-making it the deepest lake in all of Iceland. 

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lake Iceland

There are several pull-offs from which you can see the lagoon.  Feel free to park at one or several of them and soak in the different views.  We recommend parking at the parking lot just past (east of) the bridge for the best views. 

You might even be lucky enough to see a seal here—we saw about 10!

Diamond Beach Iceland

Don’t forget to spend some time near the ocean at Diamond Beach. This beach got its name because of the crystal clear ice chunks that you’ll find on the starkly contrasting jet black beach.  We were here at sunset and the views were stunning. 

Tip: Go here early in the morning or late at night to avoid the crowds

Stay overnight in Hofn or at Vestrahorn Mountain 

Drive about 1 hour to the Hofn or Vestrahorn Mountain area.  We saw many sheep on this drive, many on the road where the speed limit is 90 kilometers per hour.  See our Iceland general tips for further details about sheep in Iceland.

Day 3 Driving Map- 3.5 hours of driving


Day 4 Iceland with a Baby: East Iceland

Hofn (1 hour from Jökulsárlón Glacier Lake

Icelandic fishing town in the southeastern part of Iceland. Near Hornafjörður fjord and with views of Vatnajökull.

Fun fact: Vatnajökull is the largest and most voluminous ice cap in Iceland

Honestly, there is not much to see in Hofn but there is a grocery store.  Be sure to stock up on food again here as there is not anywhere to buy supplies for almost 3 hours to the north. Unfortunately, the grocery store in Hofn was closed the day we visited (for an unknown reason) so we had to stop in the next main town, Eglisstadir, about 3 hours to the north.  We got a hotdog and sandwich from the gas station here and they were surprisingly good.

Vestrahorn Mountain (21 minutes from Hofn) 

Vestrahorn Mountain Iceland

The next stop on your Iceland with a baby itinerary is Vestrahorn Mountain located on the Stokksnes peninsula.  Located here is a black sand beach next to the tall spring mountains.  The area was a bit fog-covered when we visited, yet the contrast of the mountains with the black sand beach was still quite stunning.  It was very windy here and Baby G got a kick out of that. 

Vestrahorn Mountain Viking Village Iceland

You can also walk around a small Viking village here. It is neat to see a primitive Viking settlement. However, this was a neat extra and not a must-see.  

The beach at Stokksnes is private and there is a small entrance fee, 900 Kronos, to drive down to the beach

Drive route 95 

Next on your Iceland road trip with your baby, drive Route 95.  This gravel road has so many waterfalls along it (you literally will see a waterfall on either side of you driving at all times) and there are also very few cars/people on it.  Taking this route is not out of the way either and it actually gets you to the next waterfall (Hengifoss) hike on this itinerary in less time than driving Route 1. Other travelers we encountered saw reindeer on this road, but we were not so fortunate.

Hengifoss and Litlanesfoss Hike (3 hours from Vestrahorn Mountain)

The Hengifoss is the third highest waterfall in Iceland at almost 400 feet tall. It is quite impressive and with the red streaking in the rocks around the waterfall, it looks quite different from the other waterfalls you have seen at this point. 

This was actually our favorite hike in Iceland at this point in the trip.  It was not overly strenuous or technical so you could get into a nice flow state.  Also, there were so many waterfalls and other scenery to see on the way to Hengifoss that the hike went by really fast.  We further only saw about a dozen other people on the trail which was a nice contrast to some of the waterfall hikes on the south part of the island. Most importantly, our daughter was in a great mood for the hike. She babbled most of the time and then fell asleep in our carrier.  Happy baby = happy parents! 

Hengifoss and Litlanesfoss Hike Iceland

2.9 mile out & back, 830 feet of elevation gain

Hengifoss – Litlanesfoss Waterfall AllTrails

Eat in Egilsstadir at Salt Cafe & Bistro

This restaurant had a large variety of food options for a reasonable price and the staff was friendly.  Also, there was a cute high chair for baby G.  And it was open when we were driving through town.  If you want to eat at a restaurant today, Egilsstadir is really the only town you will be able to do that

Seydisfjordur (1 hour from Hengifoss and Litlanesfoss Hike)

Up next on your Iceland with a baby trip is visiting the town of Seydisfjordur.  This town felt like something out of a fairytale.  The town has a quaint blue church with a rainbow road leading up to it and really picturesque fjord/mountain views.  We had a lovely time walking around this town with baby G.  Most tourists don’t make it to this town as it is a bit out of the way and this allows for a more local experience. 

Seydisfjordur Iceland

Further, driving to this town is half the experience.  To get here, you drive straight through the mountains. The scenery driving was much different than any other part of our trip. There was much more snow cover  on the mountains than anywhere else on our trip up to this point.  Similar to other parts of our trip, we saw many pretty waterfalls and sheep on our drive to this town. 

Stay in Seydisfjordur or Egilsstaðir

Day 4 Driving Map- 4.5 hours of driving 


Day 5 Iceland with a Baby: East Iceland 

Hike Fardagafoss (in Egilsstadir) 

Getting to this waterfall is a peaceful, relatively short, 30 minute hike.  It is certainly not a must do but a local hike located very close to where we stayed night 4 in Egilsstadir.  

Fardagafoss Icleand

Fun Facts: An old folktale claims that a female troll used to occupy the cave behind the waterfall. Also, the notorious outlaw, Fjalla-Eyvindur, sought shelter in the cave behind Fardagafoss in the 18th century, but was driven out by locals. 

Stock up on supplies in Egilsstadir 

There are very limited options for supplies/groceries on the east and north side of the island so be sure to get gas and food here as you will not see another gas station or grocery store again until you reach the Myvatn area (Reykjahlíð).

Rjukandafoss (40 minutes from Egilsstadir )

This very short walk leads to a pretty 3-part waterfall located almost right off the road (route 1).  

Rjukandafoss Icleand

0.4 miles out & back, 114 feet of elevation gain

Rjukandafoss AllTrails

Stuðlagil Canyon (26 minutes from Rjukandafoss)

The next stop on your Iceland with a baby itinerary is this unique canyon.  Stuðlagil Canyon is filled with tall basalt columns and unique streaks of color. You can either hike out to this part of the canyon (east side) or view it from a viewing platform (west side).  

Stuðlagil Canyon Iceland

We went to the west side viewing platform as well as hiked out to the east side of the canyon. The hiking views on the east side of the canyon are much better than from the viewing platform. While hiking, you can see both sides of the canyon and even climb down into the large basalt columns.  Sam did this and got some cool vantage points. We would rate this hike as easy from a technical standpoint as it is a level gravel path and flat in most parts. Also, you can really get into flow state with this hike. 

Stuðlagil Canyon Iceland

5.7 Miles Out & Back, 561 feet of elevation gain from P2 parking lot. 

You can potentially park 1.5 miles closer at P1. However, you need to have 4 x 4 drive as this road is ridden with potholes.  We only had 2 wheel drive on our campervan and did the longer hike.  

How to find Stuðlagil Canyon:

  • When heading to Northern Iceland from Egilsstaðir, you need to take a turn to Road 923. Then you drive about 19 kilometers to the farm Grund where you will find a parking lot and a path to the riverbank (5 minute walk). This takes you to the viewing platform on the east side of the river and is where Google Maps will take you to if you type in “Stuðlagil Canyon.”  The viewing platform is reached by climbing down (and then up) about 200 stairs and is a very short walk from the parking lot.  There is a stand here with food and drinks for sale as well as restrooms you can use for a small fee. 
  • To access the hiking trail, you need to drive back 5 minutes to P2. There will be signs on how to access the hike at the viewing platform food stand too. 

Stuðlagil Canyon on AllTrails

Dettifoss and Selfoss (2 hours from Stuðlagil Canyon

The next stop on your iceland road trip with your baby is Dettifoss.  This waterfall is said to be the second most powerful waterfall in all of Europe.  It is located in the desolate Vatnajökull National Park. There is another waterfall here, Selfoss, that is only a few hundred meters downstream from Dettifoss. You can access Selfoss via a rocky footpath (follow the sticks marking the trail to navigate). Be sure to wear sturdy hiking boots as this rocky path is quite uneven and took us longer to hike than expected because of its uneven nature.   

Dettifoss and Selfoss Iceland

How to access: There are actually two different roads that lead to Dettifoss, but make sure that you enter from highway 864 (not 852) for the best view on the east side 

Note: The road to the east side is pothole ridden and it will take about an hour to get to the waterfall.  However, on the east side, you can walk along the edge of the gorge to get better views of Dettifoss and Selfoss. If you do not want to deal with the gravel road, you can enter from the west side on a paved road. However, you will likely get very wet and because of how the mist sprays, likely have a difficult time viewing the waterfall itself. 

2.3 miles out and back, 498 feet of elevation gain

Dettifoss AllTrails

Hverir Mud Pots (1 hour from Dettifoss)

Next, stop at the Hverir Mud Pots.  Here, you may think you have left Iceland and landed on a different planet.  We have never been to Mars but this is what we imagine it looks like.  While the scenery is stunning, the smell from the sulfur here is truly terrible.  It smells like rotten eggs and neither of us could stand the smell too long. 

Hverir Mud Pots Iceland

Grjótagjá (7 minutes from Hverir Mud Pots)

This is a quick stop to look in the cave that became famous from Game of Thrones Cave as it is where Jon Snow and Ygrette get it on.  It is a neat spot and is unlike anything we had seen on our trip so far.  The constantly changing scenery in Iceland is astounding. 

Grjótagjá Iceland

Stay in Myvatn/ Reykjahlíð area (20 minutes from Grjótagjá )

Day 5 Driving Map- 4.5 hours of driving


Day 6 Iceland with a Baby: North Iceland 

Hike around the Dimmuborgir area in Myvatn 

On the first stop today of your Iceland road trip with a baby, you’ll hike through unique volcanic rock caves and lava rock formations in the Dimmuborgir area. There are several short trail options here. We hiked the red trail which ended up being about 1 mile total. Baby G mastered using our water bite valve,and it was nothing short of adorable.

Dimmuborgir Myvatn Iceland

This area reminded us a bit of the rock formations in Arches National Park (see Arches National Park Quick Guide) and the Hoodoos in Bryce Canyon National Park (Bryce Canyon National Park Quick Guide) but made with dark lava rock.

Caution: Beware of the midges if you are visiting in the warmer months. These small bugs don’t bite but sure do bother you in swarms.  Many people were wearing head nets to keep them away. We did not have head nets so we were just constantly swatting at them. Myvatn literally translates to “lake of midges” in Icelandic so this area really in well known for these annoying bugs.  

Swim at the Myvatn Nature Baths

Next, stop at the Myvatn Nature Baths for a bit of spa time.  This location is an outdoor lagoon with milky blue water that is naturally heated by hot springs.  Our baby loved swimming and playing around the milky warm water.  We also found this spot to be very relaxing and with some really stunning views.  Unlike the Blue Lagoon (outside of Reykjavik) that does not allow children less than 2 years old, all ages (with an adult) are welcomed here. Kids 0-2 are free to swim too.  This lagoon is also less crowded than blue lagoon with equally beautiful baths and (arguably better) views.

Myvatn Nature Baths Iceland

Tip: The earlier you get here, the less people there are.  There is no time limit on how long people can be here so it tends to be busier later in the day as more people accumulate. 

5900 Kronos/adult, Open 10 AM- 11 PM

Myvatn Nature Baths

Tip: Get groceries and gas before leaving the Myvatn area 

Husvak (46 minutes from Myvatn)

Up next on your Iceland trip with a baby is the charming little village of Husvak.  This village is well known for its incredible whale watching and picturesque harbor. The most famous landmark of the town is the quaint wooden church, Húsavíkurkirkja, in the center.  We could not get enough of the Harbor views while here.  We did not book a whale watching tour but if that is something you want to do, do it here!

Husvak Iceland

Eat at Gamli Bakur while in Húsavík! The dining room decor and harbor views are on point. The food was some of the best we ate in Iceland as well. We loved our seafood pasta, fish soup and lamb steak. The lamb steak was the best lamb we had in Iceland and the fish soup was the best fish soup we had in Iceland. The food and vibes were a real win here. 

Godafoss (40 minutes from Husvak)

Next stop is Iceland’s most powerful waterfall, Godafoss. Godafoss is actually not just one waterfall but about five waterfalls together. Godafoss translates to ‘Waterfall of the Gods’. Legend has it, it got its name from when pagan Gods were thrown into it after Iceland became a Christian country. 

Godafoss Iceland

The hike here is an easy walk along the cliffs to the falls.  Be careful though as it is *literally* right along the cliffs.  You can also hike down to the base of this waterfall on a short rocky path for some even more up close views. The hiking trails total about 1.5 miles if you hike them all on both the east and west side of the falls.

Drive to Akueryki and stay in Akureyri (30 minutes from Godafoss) 


Day 7 Iceland with a Baby: North/West Iceland

Explore Akueryki (30 minutes from Godafoss) 

Next stop on your Iceland with a baby trip is Akueryki, the second largest city in Iceland.  Here, park & visit the free Lystigardurinn Botanical Gardens in the city center.  The paths at these gardens make for a leisurely walk around the different flora of the area.  There are lots of pretty flowers and one of the most northerly botanical gardens in the world. 

Akueryki Iceland

From the Botanical Gardens, you can walk to the iconic Akureyrarkirkja church.  We recommend staying parked at the Botanical Gardens as parking is more difficult once you get further into the city center. After visiting Akureyrarkirkja, walk down to the main street of the city center and stop at the cute shops. Additionally there is a small park, and our daughter loved playing in the miniature viking ship and going on the slide with Natalie (her first time on a slide!)  

Drive to Snaefellsnes Peninsula (5 hours from Akureyri)

Next up is a 5 hour drive from Akureyri to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Make sure to make several stops along the way to break up this long drive. 

Stop at Kolugljufur Canyon

This rural canyon has a tiered gorge located about 20 mins southeast of Hvammstangi.  Also, it is only a short (less than 5 km) detour from the ring road. The best part is that you will likely be the only one here as it is just far enough off the beaten path that most tourists do not make it here. To get to the canyon, you drive through ordinary farmland and then suddenly, BAM, this massive canyon arises. We spent about 30 minutes hiking around. You could also have a picnic in this peaceful spot as there is a picnic table near where you park. 

Kolugljufur Canyon Iceland

Fun fact: Legend has it that the female Kola troll dug this canyon and her treasure is hidden in it. 

Get a meal at Sjavarborg Restaurant in Hvammstangi

Sjavarborg restaurant in Hvammstangi has large windows that overlook this fishing town’s bay. In this bay, whales are often seen breaching. We did not see any during our dinner but if you are lucky enough, you may see one during your meal. Our daughter liked looking out the large windows regardless of whether the whales were there.  We had the fish of the day (cod) and a grilled sweet potato topped with chickpeas, coleslaw and peanut sauce. Both were delicious! The decor in this restaurant we’d describe as modern meets industrial harbor front.  

Sjavarborg restaurant in Hvammstangi Iceland

Start to explore Snaefellsnes Peninsula 

Stop at the Iconic Kirkjufellsfoss and Kirkjufell (5 hours from Akureyri)

Next up is the iconic Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall and Kirkjufell mountain.  The falls themselves aren’t that impressive but the uniquely shaped Kirkjufell mountain in combination with the falls makes for a very pretty scene.

Kirkjufellsfoss and Kirkjufell Iceland

Tip: To get the iconic photo that everyone loves, you need to walk from the car park up towards the waterfalls. There is a bridge to cross over and walk down.

Parking 750 Kronos per vehicle 

Take in the views at vibrantly colored Svortuloft Lighthouse (45 minutes from Kirkjufell)

Next stop on your Iceland with a baby trip is the unique Svortuloft Lighthouse.  This lighthouse is so cool because it is bright orange and really contrasts the black lava rock along the coastline. Seasonally, during the summer, there are a lot of different birds in the rocks on the coastline too.  We were the only people here at 11 pm local time when we visited.  We had a nice dinner in our campervan overlooking this spot with our daughter.  She loved sitting in her compact camp chair

Caution: The road leading out to this unique spot is very rough yet still drivable with 2-wheel drive. 

Stay in Arnarstapi or Hellnar (40 minutes from Svortuloft Lighthouse


Day 8 Iceland with a Baby: West Iceland Snaefellsnes Peninsula 

Hike the Arnarstapi to Hellnar Trail

The first activity of your eighth day in Iceland with your baby is hiking the Arnarstapi to Hellnar trail. This is an easy walk along the bird-filled (seasonally in the summer) cliffs lining the coastline between the small towns of Arnarstapi and Hellnar. 

Arnarstapi to Hellnar Trail Iceland

Before making your return journey from Hellnar, stop at Fjoruhusid Cafe. This cute cafe with indoor and outdoor seating is located along the water. Stop here for some tasty local Icelandic food and stunning ocean views. 

4 miles out & back, 144 feet of elevation gain 

Arnarstapi Hellnar Hike AllTrails

Take a short hike to Rauöfeldargjá Canyon 

This short (less than 0.5 miles) trail leads to some stunning cliffs that lead into a canyon  where water flows through. Be sure to enter the canyon to see the impressive views from lower down as well. 

Fun Fact: Legend has it a half man/half troll named Rauöfeldargjá lives in this canyon.

Stop at the iconic Búðakirkja church (25 minutes from Rauöfeldargjá Canyon)

This famous, and very frequently photographed, black church on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula stands out amongst the green flora surrounding it. The church is very picturesque but also very busy. We would advise visiting this spot in the early morning or late at night to avoid the crowds  

Drive towards Reykjavik (2 hours and 20 minutes) and stay in/outside of Reykjavik 

Icelandic Horses

Day 9 Iceland with a Baby: Reykjavik

Explore Reykjavik on your last day in Iceland

Hallgrimskirkja Church

This church located in the Reykjavik city center is named after a 17th century hymn writer and took 40 years to construct.  The organ pipes here mimic the basalt formations, like at Svartifoss, found throughout the country. 

ISK 900 to go to top for city views

Go to a Museum in Reykjavik

We did not have time but go consider visiting one of the museums below: 

  • Iceland Phallological Museum (AKA Penis museum), ISK 1700
  • National Iceland Museum (Viking artifacts), ISK 2000

Get Lost Walking Around the City Center

There are some fun, interactive paintings on the street. Natalie had a fun time hopscotching the 106 spot hopscotch. Who decided it should be 106 rather than 100 spots is a great question! 

Reykjavik Iceland

We walked through the neighborhood around the city center and saw some unique architecture while getting a glimpse into local life.  While doing this, we stopped at a local park. Our baby girl crawled around and played with a local baby. She loved it and we enjoyed our conversations with the other baby’s parents. 

Where to Eat in Reykjavik 

  • Braud & Co
    • Bakery known for cinnamon rolls and buttery croissants. So delicious, soft and worth every penny . 
    • ISK 550
Braud & Co Iceland
  • Svarta Kaffid
    • This lively cafe has only two items on the menu–a daily changing vegetarian and meat soup. The soup here comes in a scrumptious sourdough bread bowl.  The wait staff was very friendly and they had a fun, unique highchair/rocking chair for our baby to play in. She loved it and we got a kick out of it too. 
    • ISK 2400 for soup in bread bowl
Svarta Kaffid Iceland

Drive to Airport and Fly Home


Note: Slow this itinerary down or speed it up as you please.  We found this itinerary to be very manageable in a campervan with our curious, and very wiggly, 10-month-old.  If you do not have a baby (or pokey adult) in tow, you may be able to do it in 8 days.  If you want more downtime and/or plan on staying in hotels rather than doing a campervan, we recommend taking 10+ days to do this itinerary.  Also, if you are traveling without a baby and want to go to Sky Lagoon or the Blue Lagoon near Reykjavik (do not allow babies under 2 years old), we recommend 10 days as well. 


General Iceland Tips

IMPORTANT: You need a PIN number to buy gas in Iceland even if you are using a credit card 

You likely will need to call to get a PIN number for your credit card in order to use it to get gas in Iceland.  We had to call to get a PIN number for our credit card prior to our trip and it took about 2 weeks to get it so do this ASAP (right now would be a good time).  Be sure to store the PIN number somewhere you will have access to it on the trip. We never have used a PIN number with our credit cards before so we are glad we found out about this prior to our trip. 

Also, get gas as often as possible. Gas stations close early and do not stay open 24 hours a day (unlike what we are accustomed to in the US).

Campervan Offers More Flexibility and Allows for a Consistent Home Base

We LOVED having a campervan to explore Iceland with our baby. It allowed us so much flexibility. It was great to have a consistent home base and not have to unpack/repack each day, especially with a baby.  We would have not been able to see as much as we did with our baby if we had done hotels instead.  Also, a campervan was more economical than rental car + hotels.

Campervan Iceland

We rented our Campervan from Kuku Campers.  We would highly recommend this quirky campervan company.  Friends of ours have rented from Camp Easy and they also had a positive experience.  We rented a 5 person campervan for the 3 of us and felt that was the appropriate size.  We appreciated having a little extra room.

Tip: Play around with the reservation campervan system and see when a multi-day discount kicks in to save some $.  For the time we were visiting, a multi-day discount applied to our campervan after 9 days.  With this discount, our campervan actually cost less for 9 days than it would have for 7 days.  Score! 

Bring Waterproof EVERYTHING!

Seriously though, from waterfall spray to the unpredictable weather, you will want waterproof gear for the whole family. So glad we had a Baby Rain Suit for G. It kept her dry and happy exploring with us. 

Gear we recommend to have to explore: 

This gear kept us dry and warm all day exploring in the rain and walking behind waterfalls 

Iceland Driving Tips

  • Do not speed, high fines, cameras will catch you and you may get a ticket months after you return 
  • Do not stop on the road unless clearly marked. It’s dangerous and you can get a fine. 
  • There are more sheep than people in Iceland. Do not hit them. Easier said than done as they like to stand in the middle of roads where the speed limit is 90 kilometers per hour. It’s about a $500 fine if you do hit one. The Police and owner must be contacted too. 

Food to Eat in Iceland

  • Kleina (fried pastry, not our favorite)
  • Snudur (Cinnamon Bun, most delicious cinnamon buns at Braud & Co in Reykjavik)
  • Skyr (Flavored Yogurt, pretty sweet and thin in comparison to the Greek yogurt we have become accustomed to eating)
  • Geyser (Rye Bread) & Soup (best fish soup in Husavik at Gamli Bakur, delicious bread bowl soup at Svarta Kaffid in Reykjavik) 
  • Lamb Hot Dogs (Can get almost anywhere, inexpensive, all taste pretty much the same (delicious) per Sam) 

Campsites

  • Most campsites cost about 2000 Kronos per person/night
  • Do not need to make reservations prior to visiting unless visiting the first week/weekend of August (banking holiday in Iceland)
  • If you pull up to a campsite after staff has left for the day, just pull into an empty spot and pay in the morning
  • Iceland Campsite Map

Fun fact: Many Icelandic people believe in fairies, trolls and other incredible creatures. Icelanders are known to have small houses in their gardens for elves and the like to take shelter in.  


We hope this guide helps you plan your trip to Iceland with your baby.  Anything you’d add to our guide? We’d love to hear your feedback and questions.  Please leave us a comment!

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Top 5 Best Baby Hiking Tips


Hiking with a baby

After hiking over 500 miles with a baby (between our two kids), we’ve learned a thing or two about hiking with a baby. Exposing both of our kids to nature and adventure at an early age through hiking was very important to us.  However, the logistics of hiking with a baby can feel overwhelming.  With the unpredictability of an infant, in regards to pretty much everything (feeding, sleeping, changing, fussiness, etc.), and the logistics of hiking with a baby (supporting their head, carrying all your/their gear, protecting them from the sun, etc.), going on a hike with a baby can seem impossible.  However, with the right mindset, gear, practice and dedication, it can be done successfully.  Here are our top 5 tips for hiking with your baby.  

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. That means that, at no cost to you, we may get a small commission if you purchase through these links. This helps us keep providing travel resources for you!


#1 Top Hiking with a Baby Tip: Flexible Attitude

When it comes to most aspects of life, including hiking with your infant, attitude really is everything.  Be patient and flexible with your adventure.  Know that your baby will be in charge and you are going to just have to go with the flow.  When our babies fall asleep in the carrier, we hike as far as we can. When they need to eat or are fussy, we stop and take our breaks.  We stop as much needed and there is no limit to the number of breaks we take. 

For example, on a 10 + mile hike with our daughter as a newborn, the first 6 miles of our hike, we only had to stop twice because she was mainly sleeping but the last 4 miles, we had to 5+ times as she was cluster feeding.  If we would have had a rigid attitude about when we were stopping, this would have certainly frustrated us.  However, knowing we needed to be flexible and that we were going to roll with the punches set us up for success. 

Hiking with a baby

#2 Top Hiking with a Baby Tip: Set Realistic Expectations

Not only is having a flexible attitude important but also setting realistic expectations.  Everything takes longer with an infant, including hiking (and even writing this post) so set realistic expectations in regards to how long a hike will take you.  For example, when we set out on a long hike with our son at 7 weeks (and 2 year old toddler) along Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, we knew that between stopping to feed, changing his diaper, doing tummy time with him, etc, it may take us twice as long to complete the hike as it normally would without him (or our toddler).  In reality, it didn’t take quite that long, but it was better to mentally prepare for a longer day than a shorter one.  Having these realistic expectations prior to starting a hike helps you have a better experience. 

Hiking with a baby

#3 Top Hiking with a Baby Tip: Do a Trial Hike 

Before going on a long hike, try out a shorter hike.  We started with a 2 mile hike with our carrier at a nearby park with our daughter and then did the same thing with our son.  This helped us navigate using our carrier with our baby and bringing all of our supplies with us.  It also helped us figure out when we were ready to do some longer hikes with each baby. 

Hiking with a baby

With our babies, we were ready to do some longer hikes with them around 6 weeks. Both our kids sleep great (our son actually better than at home) hiking. However, some kids take more time to get use to the carrier. Be sure to test it out on several shorter hikes before committing to a long hike.


#4 Top Hiking with a Baby Tip: Have the Right Gear 

Having high quality gear for hiking with your baby will make a big difference in both your comfort and your baby’s comfort.  Here are the items we use and recommend:

Front Carrier: Ergobaby Omni 360 Cool Mesh Baby Carrier

Having a comfortable and high-quality carrier is the most important item to invest in for hiking with a baby.  This carrier is great because it can be used from 7lbs-45lbs without a separate infant insert. We’ve carried both babies facing inward with this carrier until about 3 months. Then, once both our kids were about 3 months, they only wanted to be carried facing outward in it, even if sleeping. Turns out babies have the worst FOMO! Natalie has also hiked over 12 miles with the Ergobaby on at one time (several times), while also wearing a backpack, comfortably. Further, this specific Ergobaby Carrier has a cool mesh design that helps keep the baby better ventilated. It also has an included head sun/rain cover that comes in handy often.  

Beyond hiking, this carrier is great for everyday use.  Natalie often has worn it around the house when our babies were fighting sleep.  Natalie tried on a lot of different brands of carriers prior to purchasing this one and it is hands down the most comfortable (for both parent and baby) and easiest to use.  Some of the other carriers she tried on, especially the Infantino ones, had so many straps and felt very awkward.  Make the investment in this carrier. 

Switch to Structured Backpack Carrier at 12 Months

Since our daughter turned a year old, we have been using a structured backpack carrier for her.  She loves hiking in the backpack carrier and it works better for us with than the Ergo with her being bigger now.  The structured backpack carrier make/model (a Sherpani we are borrowing from friends) we use is no longer available but this one is very similar to the one we have and would be the one we would buy if we did not have ours. Natalie has even comfortably carried both kids using each of these carriers at the same time (see above picture).

Diaper Bag: No Reception Club Diaper Bag

We love this diaper bag. It has a very innovative design with shelves that helps keep everything organized which is great while hiking, especially with two little kids. We have hiked hundreds of miles with it and it is very comfortable to wear. Read more about why we love this diaper bag here.

Rain Protection: Baby Rain Suit

We ordered this rain suit in 12 month size and have used it from 6 months to 20 months between our two kids. It runs on the larger side but with adjustable velcro arm bands and ankle bands, you really can use it for a long time. This has come in clutch on many of our adventures when it starts to rain and allowed us to adventure more with our babies.

Breastfeeding Tops: Bearsland Short Sleeve & Bearsland Long Sleeve Nursing Tops

These nursing tops make breastfeeding anywhere, including the trail, discrete and easy.  Natalie lives in them while nursing (traveling and at home) and owns 6 of them.  These particular tops are more economical than most other breastfeeding tops which is a plus as well.  You may have to try out a couple types of breastfeeding tops before you find one that works for you as the fits can be rather awkward.

Compact Umbrella: UV Protective Compact Umbrella

A compact UV protective umbrella will allow you to create shade wherever you need it while hiking. When we hiked in Hawaii, this was particularly helpful as the sun was plentiful while shade was minimal on many of our hikes. We use it to create shade for our kids while hiking (especially important early on since babies cannot wear sunscreen until 6 months) and to create shady spots for our baby while changing him/her or doing any time out of the carrier.  Also, when we have unexpectedly got rained on while hiking, it helps keep our baby nice and dry (in addition to the Baby Rain Suit). This particular umbrella is great because it is compact and UV protective. 

Diaper Bags: Munchkin Diaper Bags

You will need to pack out all your diapers. These contain them well in addition to keeping the smell down. 


#5 Be Dedicated and Don’t be Paralyzed by Fear 

Do not let your anxieties about hiking with your baby paralyze you.  To be honest, we were nervous to take our first baby on her first hiking trip. We were mainly fearful of the unknown and what kind of days she would be having on days we planned to do different hikes.  However, we are so glad we did not let those anxieties stop us and ripped the bandaid off.  We always make our hikes flexible, nothing is set in stone, and everything is on our own time.  After hiking hundreds of miles with one or two babies in tow, we couldn’t imagine not bringing them along now.

You CAN Hike with your Baby

Many people told us hiking and travel would not be possible with a baby.  However, that is not true.  Adventure is still completely possible with a baby.  People who say you can’t adventure with your baby are either too scared and/or not dedicated enough to make it happen.  Everything takes longer and requires a lot more planning with a baby, but once you accept that fact and work with it, you’ll realize it can be done. The reward and accomplishment of trying and completing traveling adventures with your little one is worth it.  It’s never easier but always more memorable.

To read more about our hiking adventures with baby, please see

For other traveling tips with baby, please see our Top 10 Baby Travel Tips, 5 Top Baby & Toddler Flying Tips and Flying with a Baby post.


We hope this guide helps you plan a hike with your baby.  Anything you’d add to our guide? We’d love to hear your feedback and questions.  Please leave us a comment!

And remember, Always Have A Trip Planned!


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Top 10 Baby Travel Tips


Baby Travel Tips

After taking dozens of trips and over 50 flights with a baby (between our two young children), we’ve learned a thing or two about traveling with a baby. Although traveling with a baby can seem overwhelming and requires extra planning, from trying to feed your baby on the go to getting you baby to sleep in a new environment to trying to timing activities around naps, we’ve found exploring the world with our new curious sidekick to be one of the best parts of parenthood.  And although traveling with our baby has never made adventuring easier, it certainly always makes it more memorable. To start making those precious travel memories with your baby, read on for our top 10 baby travel tips.


Disclaimer: Every baby is different.  Below is what has worked for us with our two very different babies

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. That means that, at no cost to you, we may get a small commission if you purchase through these links. This helps us keep providing travel resources for you!


Travel Baby Tip #1: Be Flexible

This is our top baby travel tip.  Flexibility is key to successfully traveling with a baby. If there was ever a time to go with the flow in life, this is it.  We always are flexible with the timing of everything we do traveling with our baby and we always work around his/her schedule.  If baby needs to nap, we pivot whatever we are doing to allow baby to do that.  If baby needs to eat, we adjust whatever we are doing so baby can do that.  Since having our baby, we have intentionally chosen trips that allow us that flexibility. 

Other than our flights, the times we need to be places are not set in stone and we remain very adaptable.  We come up with a tentative itinerary for what we want to do but then adjust it based on baby’s needs.  We typically do not book any tours when traveling with our baby and rather research areas to act as our own tour guide. This allows us to explore each place at our own pace.  

For example, we took a campervan road trip around Iceland when our daughter was 10 months old that allowed us so much flexibility and time independence. We were able to be our own tour guides and create our own schedule.   It further was really nice not to have to unpack and repack our luggage everyday, especially with all the extra things you have with a baby.  For more information on our Iceland trip with our baby, please see Iceland with a Baby Itinerary.


Travel Baby Tip #2: Realistic Attitude, Lower Expectations & Under Schedule 

When traveling with a baby, bring a realistic attitude.  As one of our friends once said, his “super power” is having low expectations.  Whatever your expectations are of your trip, lower them and then lower them even more.  Everything takes longer and tends to not go exactly the way you expect with a baby.  If you have high expectations going into a trip, you likely will be disappointed.

Realistic Expectations  

One expectation and reality you need to face is that there is no way you are going to get as much done as you previously did without your baby.  Don’t set yourself up for failure thinking that you can do it all.  Things that used to take us 10 minutes when it was just the two of us now take 30+ minutes. 

A great example of this is getting on the hiking trail.  We used to just hop out of the car, throw our gear on and hike.  Oh the simple days!  Now, we need to feed our daughter, change her diaper/clothes, get her in the carrier and then get ourselves ready before heading out on the trail (and now our son as well).  It may not sound like that much but the reality is it always takes much longer than we think it will.   And we are perfectly okay with that!  However, we have learned to schedule plenty of flex-time throughout our days to accommodate for the extra time things take with a baby.  For more on hiking with a baby, see our How to Hike with a Baby guide.

Less Is More

We’d recommend planning half (or less) of what you typically do without your baby.  If the day is going well and you get more done than expected, awesome, you can do more.  However, allow yourself that flexibility.  If you set the expectation to do too many things, you’ll be very disappointed when that doesn’t happen.  Always do the activity you want to do most first as well because sometimes you never make it to the second activity of the day if the first (or second or third) takes longer than expected.

For example, when we went to Iceland with our baby, we made a tentative plan of things we wanted to do and then took each day as it came.  We actually under-scheduled so much that at one point, we were over a day ahead of where we thought we would be and this gave us a real sense of accomplishment.  However, had we over-planned and been ‘behind’, we would have likely been stressed and frustrated. Instead we were dancing for joy that we were traveling with her very efficiently from our perspective. 

Baby Travel Tips

Budget More Time For Everything

Similarly, anytime we go for a hike, we budget the entire outing to take twice as long as it would take just the two of us. In reality, it typically does not actually take that long.  However, we are much happier when we finish earlier than expected rather than much later than expected. It’s all about perspective. It doesn’t make the hike take any less time or any less effort, but a shift in perspective is really a game changer.


Travel Baby Tip #3: Practice Napping On-The-Go At Home

When you are at home, still have baby ‘practice’ contact naps and napping on the go. It is going to be very hard for your baby to adjust to napping on the go in a new environment if your baby only ever sleeps in one place at home.  Since our daughter was about four months, she typically took all of her naps at home in her crib.  However, we still strived to do a couple contact naps, stroller naps and car seat naps every week with her. This made it easier for her to nap on the go when we were not at home.  Same with our son.

For example, when we were in Mexico when our daughter was 8-months-old, she would nap in her stroller while we explored.  Same for our son at 4 months old in Savannah and Charleston. This allowed us a ton of flexibility as baby was able to rest on the go and we did not need to return to our Airbnb every time baby needed to take a nap (which is good since babies take a lot of naps). If your baby only knows how to sleep in a crib or pack-n-play, you are going to be quite limited in when you can go out and do things. Also, if we need to do any driving while on a trip, we typically try to do it when baby needs to take a nap as both babies tend to fall asleep while driving in the car. This tactic can allow you to get quite far on your journey, like it did for us in Norway, with a sleeping and content baby.


Travel Baby Tip #4: Practice Sleeping In The Pack-n-Play at Home

Similar to practicing on-the-go naps, practice sleeping in the pack-n-play or whatever baby’s sleeping arrangements will be on your trip.  Typically, our son sleeps in his crib at home, but we attempt at least a nap a week in the pack-n-play to try to keep baby adjusted to it (our daughter, who is a toddler now, no longer has to practice pack n play naps and has done it enough times she is very use to it). This makes the pack-n-play not completely foreign to baby when we try to get him/her to sleep in it while traveling in a new environment.  If your baby is somewhat familiar with the spot he/she is sleeping in while traveling, the environment being different might not affect their sleep schedule as much as it would otherwise.

Tip: If room sharing (especially in a hotel), get a SlumberPod, a compact portable pop-up blackout cover for your pack-nplay. SlumberPod is truly a must-have if room sharing while traveling. It is a portable & affordable solution for family room-sharing and getting a good night’s sleep. SlumberPod allows you to room share with your baby while they sleep in their crib or pack n play undisturbed. Use code ALWAYSHAVEATRIPPLANNED$20 for a discount on your order


Travel Baby Tip #5: If Your Baby Is Having Trouble Sleeping, Try Not To Sweat It

Also, if you can tell that your baby needs to take a nap or to go to sleep but is resisting it, try not to sweat it. Your baby will sleep eventually. In the moment, it is really easy to get really frustrated and think maybe you should have not taken your trip.  In reality, your baby could just have as much trouble sleeping at home.  With constant growth (physically and developmentally), babies have some better days, and some worse days, in regards to sleep.  It is good for your baby to experience new activities and places.  Raising a baby who is flexible will set him/her up for success in the future.  Remind yourself of that in moments of frustration. 


Travel Baby Tip #6: Use Your Stroller Everywhere Possible 

Having our stroller with us everywhere we can while traveling has been a game changer.  As mentioned above, our kids know how to nap on the go in our carseat/stroller combo travel system, and it makes us a lot more flexible.  We call the stroller/carseat combo our “portable nap machine.”   We do not have to worry about where/when baby is going to take a nap if we have our stroller with us. 

CoziGo is the portable stroller/carseat/bassinet blackout cover we use. If we are in a warmer environment, this is the fan portable stroller fan we use to help keep baby cool under the canopy. The darkness this cover provides, combined with the movement of pushing our stroller/carseat combo, is the perfect environment for getting our baby to sleep.  Every baby is different but sleeping in a covered stroller has worked well for us.  If your baby sleeps better baby wearing on the go, you may just want to exclusively do that.  Our kids will sleep in our Ergobaby carrier, but both pretty quickly will wake up if we stop moving or have to bend over (since both were over 3 months old) so we mainly use that hiking.


Travel Baby Tip #7: Learn to Feed Your Baby Anywhere

Our next top baby travel tip is to learn to feed your baby anywhere. If you are nursing, figure out how you can make yourself comfortable nursing your baby anywhere. If good nursing tops make you more comfortable, buy those.  If pumping and then bottle feeding your baby in public makes you feel more comfortable, do that.  If you are formula feeding, figure out how you can have access to water (or bring it) everywhere you go while traveling.  These are some of the nursing tops that Natalie used earlier postpartum.  Natalie has gotten very comfortable nursing our daughter virtually anywhere while traveling. We feel very strongly that a mother should be able to nurse her baby anywhere she is comfortable. You are responsible for taking care of your baby, not other people’s thoughts in regards to how you are doing that. 


Travel Baby Tip #8: Start Small For Your First Trip

For your first time traveling with your baby, start with a short trip not too far from home.  This will help you gain some confidence traveling with your baby and help you figure out what you really need.  For example, we went on our first trip with our both our babies to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore which is less than 5 hours from our house, before going on our first big trips with each baby to Hawaii (with our daughter as a baby) and Acadia (with our son as a baby). You may want to start even closer to home than that though.  Visiting a place an hour or two away gives you tons of flexibility and will help build your confidence traveling with your baby.

Our first road-trip with each baby helped us test out traveling with our babies and helped us figure out the things we really needed to pack when exploring with them.  We very quickly realized there were a lot of items we did not bring with us on this first trip that we would have liked to have had.  We made a list of all these items so that we were more prepared for our next, longer, trip. 

Baby Travel Tips

Travel Baby Tip #9: Label Mishaps As Plot Twists

One of our most important baby travel tips is having a positive attitude. A positive attitude really goes a long way when traveling with a baby. Labeling mishaps as plot twists helps make the unpredictability of a baby part of your adventure.  Baby won’t sleep in your hotel?  Plot twist.  Baby not tolerating the baby carrier on a long hike?  Plot twist.  Baby has a blow-out on the plane during take-off when you cannot get up to change it? Plot twist. In the moment, these plot twists can be quite stressful. However, with the right attitude, you will get through them and maybe even look back on them fondly.  Some of our most comical memories are mishaps that we viewed as plot twists. 


Travel Baby Tip #10: Invest In Baby Travel Items

We stick to a budget and borrow/lend many baby items. All the below items we have found to be worth the small investment and very helpful to have while traveling.  We are only recommending the items we have repeatedly used and loved.

Sleeping:

  • Sleeping is the MOST important aspect of successful baby travel. The SlumberPod & CoziGo are must buys when traveling with a baby:
    • SlumberPod: SlumberPod is a portable & affordable solution for family room-sharing and getting a good night’s sleep. The SlumberPod allows you to room share with your baby while they sleep in their crib or pack-n-play undisturbed. A true lifesaver in any room sharing situation. Use code ALWAYSHAVEATRIPPLANNED$20 for a discount on your order
    • CoziGo: We use this portable blackout curtain to create a dark space for babies in their carseat or stroller.  This helps lull them right to sleep in their car seat/stroller when moving.  This also works on a convertible carseat which is huge since you no longer have the handle to use to drape a blanket over the carseat to create darkness. Total game changer. Use the link here for a discount.

Carseat/Stroller Items and Flying

Baby Travel Tips

For more on flying with a baby, please see our Flying with a Baby and 5 Top Baby & Toddler Flying Tips

Baby Tavel Gear

Babywearing/clothes

  • Ergobaby Carrier: You will see us using this literally everywhere.  It is so comfortable for both us and our baby.  We use it on every hike we go on until baby is about 12 months old.
  • Tushbaby: This hip carrier makes carrying your baby/toddler around easier and allows you to also easily put your baby/toddler down. We have also found the Tushbaby helpful for nursing on the go. We do not use it hiking though or in any situation we really need our hands. See Natalie’s full Tushbaby review here. Use ALWAYSHAVEATRIPPLANNED for 15% off your own.
  • Baby Rain Suit: This rain suit has worked great for us when the baby is cooperating but the weather is not. We ordered a 12M size and have used on baby from 6 months to 20 months (works with adjustable arm/leg straps)
  • Swim Zip Sun Hat: We love this sun hat! Our smaller sized one was a hand-me-down from some friends and we bought it in a bigger size too. We use it traveling and everyday on walks.
Baby Travel Gear

For more on hiking with a baby, please see our How to Hike with a Baby guide

Feeding:

Baby Travel Gear

Diaper Change

Teething Toys


You CAN Travel with your Baby

Contrary to popular belief, you really can continue to travel, adventure and explore with your baby. Travel does not have to end when you welcome a baby into your life.  Although it requires more planning, patience and time, in our experience, it is completely worth it. We have made so many priceless memories with our babies while traveling that will last a lifetime.  We hope these baby travel tips give you confidence that you can travel with your baby too.


Anything you’d add to our baby travel guide? We hope to inspire you to adventure with your baby! Please reach out to us if you find this post helpful and inspiring.  Hearing from our readers motivates us to continue to put out more content for you. 

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