Traveling with a Baby to South America — for 3 Months!? [Itinerary]
When we were pregnant last year, a lot of people said, “Your lives are going to change. You won’t be able to do much and you won’t be able to travel like you usually do.”
Yes, of course our lives are going to change. We were ready for that change. But having a baby didn’t stop us from traveling. We always say, Samindra came into our lives, not the other way around. She has to conform to our lifestyle. Of course, we always cater toward her needs. But we want to teach her that travel never ends. It’s the best learning tool. Travel opens your eyes to the world and gives you a different perspective on life.
Pre Baby Travel
When I was nine weeks pregnant, we went to South Africa, which was an amazing trip. We spent time in Cape Town, the wine region, Johannesburg and Kruger National Park. Our friends Mark and Debby took us to Kruger, also known as “the bush” and we saw so many wild animals. We’ll go into more details about this trip in another post.
But the point is, that lives do change when you have a baby. But your lifestyle doesn’t have to change. We are inspired by the world and want to create the life we want around travel.
Putting Roots Down = Saving Money
We lived in Arlington, Virginia, right outside of Washington, DC at the time. We lived in a very convenient area where the metro was just a block away and it only took 10 minutes to drive to the Smithsonian National Mall. (We also paid a pretty penny for that convenience.) But it allowed us to continue exploring where we lived.
Even though the Washington, DC metro area is one of the most expensive places to live in the United States, we were able to continue saving money. Building up our savings is one of the best things we could do together. It gives you so much flexibility.
When we got pregnant, we started thinking about where we want to be after the baby is born. How much longer do we want to stay in the DC area? We didn’t have any family in DC or the surrounding region. The closest family was in New York. Since we lived in New York and Arkansas after moving back to the States, we thought we should give Orlando, Florida a try, which is where Randy’s mother lives.
Saving Money = Flexibility and Travel
We thought, since we’re moving and most likely quitting our jobs, we should take some time off and take a trip somewhere. We don’t have any real financial obligations here, just rent, utility bills, cell phone bill and car insurance. But since we were moving, most of those bills would be nonexistent.
We considered Europe because most of those countries are pretty family-oriented. But I had never been to South America and Randy has only been to a couple of countries there. So we decided to go to South America and started researching “traveling with a baby in South America.” We found very little resources. Lots of people say, “Don’t do it.” But some have traveled with a baby. We came across a website/blog, which had some tips for traveling in Argentina with a baby. Interestingly, Missie from Grey Eye Studio was also from Fort Smith, Arkansas. We reached out to learn more about traveling with a baby in Argentina and she was very helpful. Throughout our travels, we will give you tons of tips on how to travel with a baby. Think of our blog as a Guide on How to Travel with a Baby. Subscribe to our newsletter to get more tips and see how it IS possible to travel with a baby as new parents.
I wanted to make sure Samindra was six months old before we left so that she had all of her necessary immunizations. We decided on three months because Samindra would be nine months by the time we got back, just in time for her nine-month appointment. Plus we wanted to come back and get settled to start looking for work (as is the “plan”).
So, the trip planning began and we booked a one-way flight to Buenos Aires and another one-way flight back to Orlando with miles through American Airlines.
Even without a baby, planning a trip is quite an undertaking. The first major trip I planned was with my friends I sold books with. We backpacked Europe for a month and visited 10 countries! Normally, we would take buses everywhere and sometimes those would be very long bus rides. Now, with a baby, we have to think about — is this the best for her?
Where to Go and How to Start Planning Your Itinerary
Since we decided on three months, we really wanted to visit as many countries as possible. Now, traveling for three months with a baby will definitely be different than traveling solo. We weren’t going to take buses everywhere and we weren’t planning on staying on hostels. But some of that changed during our planning.
We thought about which countries we wanted to visit. And we wanted to start with “easy” countries. Argentina is a very baby-friendly country and it’s also stable. So we started there. It was a great experience. We wanted to visit Patagonia, but wanted to make sure it wasn’t too cold. South America’s seasons are opposite of ours. We were traveling from April to June, so it would be their Autumn and getting into winter. Patagonia was our first stop. And we made our way up Argentina. And now we’re making our way up the continent of South America.
We used the Lonely Planet book, “South America on a Shoestring” to help us plan out how much time to spend in each place and where are the main places to visit. It was a great resource to help plan the itinerary.
We’ve been traveling for about three and a half weeks now and have just finished booking flights and solidifying the rest of our itinerary. Below is our complete itinerary. Follow us on our journey by subscribing to our newsletter, follow our hashtag #travelneverendsco on Instagram and Facebook. We’re thrilled to be sharing our stories and baby travel tips with you. We hope you enjoy!
Our Three Month South America Itinerary
March 27 - Buenos Aires
April 1 - Ushuaia (3.5 hour flight)
April 5 - Punta Arenas (Chile) (12 hour bus ride)
April 8 - Puerto Natales (Chile) (3 hour bus ride)
April 10 - El Calafate (6 hour bus ride)
April 12 - El Chalten (rented a car, 2-3.5 hours by car)
April 14 - Mendoza (3 hours to BA, 1.5 hour flight to Mendoza)
April 19 - Buenos Aires (1.5 hour flight)
April 20 Colonia del Sacramento (1 hour ferry)
April 23 Montevideo (3 hour bus ride)
April 26 - Asuncion, Paraguay by plane
April 30 - Iguazu Falls by bus
May 4 - Santiago, Chile by plane
May 9-12 La Serena, Chile by plane
May 13 - Santa Cruz, Bolivia by plane
May 17 - Sucre, Bolivia by plane
May 23 - La Paz by plane
May 24 - Uyuni by plane
May 25 - La Paz by plane
May 29 Copacabana (Lake Titicaca) by bus
June 1 Puno by bus
June 5 Arequipa by bus
June 9 Cusco by plane
June 13 Lima by plane
June 17 Guayaquil by plane
June 17 Guayaquil to Cuenca by bus
June 21 Cuenca to Guayaquil by bus
June 22 Galapagos Islands by plane
June 27 Guayaquil to Orlando