When mentioning our upcoming road trip, one of the first questions we are usually asked is ‘Are you taking the kids?’ People seemed shocked that we would not only be taking our children on an aeroplane to a different country, but also embarking on a three-week long road trip with them in tow. A few close friends of mine are planning holidays abroad this year with their babies and have asked me for some tips on how to plan for travelling with a baby. So, I thought I would create a new blog page giving tips and advice that we have picked up along our travels.
When you book your holiday:
• Make sure your baby has a valid passport, or you have plenty of time to get one. Try not to worry about taking your babies passport photo, babies don’t need to look directly at the camera, have a neutral expression or even have their eyes open. There are lots of tips online to help you take your babies passport photos. Alternatively, you can pop into most local photo shops that offer a passport photo service.
• Check ahead with the airline. Most airlines offer an additional luggage allowance for babies. This includes a pushchair, a car seat or a travel cot. Different airlines offer different allowances, so it is always worth double checking.
• Check ahead with your accommodation. Find out what baby equipment they provide. If they provide travel cots you may need to take bedding with you. If you are bottle feeding, make sure you have a way to warm up bottles in the night i.e. a kettle in the room, a microwave etc. If this isn’t available where you are staying you may want to pack a bottle warmer.
• If you’re hiring a car, check the charges for a baby car seat. Some car rentals charge an extortionate amount for renting a car seat. If this is the case, consider checking your airline baggage allowance, as mentioned above, and taking your own car seat.
Flights with a baby:
• Taking a pram abroad can be quite difficult as they tend to be a lot bulkier than a pushchair. Also, they are pretty expensive. A few times after a flight we have had damage to our pushchair, where it had been thrown on and off the airplane. Airline staff aren’t likely to think ‘what a lovely silver cross, let me wrap this in bubble wrap and delicately place it in the hold.’ So, we recommend using a lightweight pushchair that is suitable from birth. (We love this pushchair, it’s the perfect lightweight stroller to use on holiday; https://amzn.to/2GiGe09)
• Food and drinks for babies do not have a millilitre limit at airport security. So, make sure you take plenty of bottles, taking into account any possible delays. Also, you may potentially have to taste what is in the bottles. Johnny got stopped going through security and had to take a sip from each bottle, luckily for him it wasn’t breastmilk.
• Be prepared for take off and landing. No one wants their baby to suffer with ear pain when flying, so we recommend having something on hand to help prevent this. Sucking on a dummy/bottle or even breast feeding can help minimise the discomfort.
• Most airlines will offer priority boarding to families with children. This may sound like a luxury but in fact it will mean you will be sat on the aeroplane a lot longer. If you have an active baby, we advise to wait as long as possible before boarding the plane.
• Don’t forget to take a blanket with you for the flight, it can get quite cold on the plane, and not all airlines will provide you with a blanket.
• A UV pop up tent- These tents are perfect to take on holiday. They fold down into a small bag that can fit into a suitcase, and easily pop up when needed. We always take one with us on holiday as it’s great for kids of all ages. We put a blanket down inside when sat on the beach or by the pool and it provides a cool space for your little one to sleep and play, whilst also protecting them from UV rays. This is our top pick; https://amzn.to/2RPg0E2
• A sling- We like to take the sling as sometimes using the buggy isn’t always practical. A walk along the beach turns into a workout when you’re trying to drag a pushchair through the sand. However, if the weather is hot, you may find that both you and your baby get too hot using the sling, and the pushchair keeps them a lot cooler. It’s handy to have one as an option and this one is perfect for little ones; https://amzn.to/2TEKdaB
• A pushchair blackout blind- These also have UV protection, and can be bought to fit most pushchairs. Handy for when you’re out and about and want your baby to take a nap whilst being protected from the sun. These blinds offer a shady, well ventilated environment for your baby. Find one here; https://amzn.to/2UNIobl
• Cutlery- If your baby is weaning, you may want to pack some suitable cutlery for them to use. Small food storage pots can also come in handy. These colourful spoons are perfect for weaning; https://amzn.to/2TM0Jp2
• Baby inflatable with canopy- We were bought one of these for our first holiday abroad with Daisy. Not only is it great for using in the swimming pool, but we also fill it with water when we are sat by the pool as a place our baby can sit and splash, or cool off. This works well when the pool/sea is too cold, as the small amount of water in the inflatable will warm up in the sun, making it a nicer temperature for your baby. It also has a canopy to provide shade. Take a look at this great inflatable for an amazing price; https://amzn.to/2Dqb96P
• Swim nappies- I’m sure nappies are at the top of your list, but don’t forget to pack swim nappies. We recommend little swimmers;https://amzn.to/2GhIox8
• Universal bath plug- You’ll be surprised at how many hotels we have stayed don’t have a plug for the sink. We are a big fan of how easy and convenient a sink bath is with a baby. So, save yourself a bad back from leaning over the bath and take a universal plug ready for those nightly baby baths. Find one here; https://amzn.to/2TEJK8l
This is not a full list of what you need to pack, just our favourite items that you might want to consider for your trip. There are lots of great lists online to help you pack for a holiday with your baby. We suggest taking a look at https://totstotravel.co.uk/blog/tots-complete-baby-and-toddler-holiday-packing-list/ for a list of all essentials.
Happy holidays x