Travelling With Your Baby – Part 1: Getting Ready To Go

May 29, 2018

Travelling With Your Baby – Part 1: Getting Ready To Go

Travelling with a baby, newborn travel tips, advice for travelling with a baby, baby travel packing list, packing list for baby holiday, what to pack for baby

Planning your first trip abroad with a little one this summer? With a new baby holidays can feel overwhelming, stepping away from the comfort and equipment of home. But with our parent-tested tips to make it all a little easier you’ll be well on your way to enjoying a holiday that works for all the family.

This is the first in a two part guide. For this part we’ll focus on getting planned, booked and ready to go, whether it’s a staycation in the UK, popping to the continent for some Mediterranean sun, or going further afield.

Choose a Destination

Enjoy dreaming up some potential holiday destinations and then add a baby, which helps narrow this down. Any place you stay needs to be family friendly; hotels with cots and highchairs, meals for kids and the godsend of a crèche can give you time to enjoy some more adventurous times out and save your luggage filling up with baby gear.

For more private trips rented houses often have these resources too if you just ask. It’s also wise to ask whether any pools, gardens and stairs have guards or gates, but these can be worked around.

Keep  in mind is that road trips and busy city breaks lack the routine that babies love, and may simply end up with a lot more stress than they’re worth; choose a single destination and use that as your base. If you do choose a city trip then hunt down family oriented travel guides –Kid’s World  includes fun trivia about destinations, whilst Travel For Kids focuses on fun for all ages.

Finally, if you were planning a tropical getaway, keep an eye on potential temperatures. Air conditioning is a blessing but your baby will be unhappy and outdoor activities restricted in temperatures above 40 degrees.

Booking and Buying

Travel documents are essential, so make sure you apply for your baby’s first passport well in advance of travel. In peak summer months the passport office gets busy with few appointments available, so if your baby is due in the summer you may find it harder to get one last minute. You will struggle to get an appointment for a currently unborn baby, however you may be able to use the fast track one week service. Check online at gov.uk to make sure you have all the documents needed ready in advance to speed up this process and avoid hiccups!

When it comes to plane tickets babies do not take their own seat so you can often book for the parents and later, upon receiving the passport, call up and add baby to the booking. However check this with your flight provider before booking anything!

Travel Insurance is always smart to get, but now make extra sure it covers the correct number of children too!

Get Ready To Go!

As adults the good old last minute packing dash is commonplace, but with a baby, this is no more! Most of what you pack for your holiday you will have already, but a few you may need to pop out and buy, so think ahead.

Here is a list of essentials to get you started;

Travel

  • Car seat – you may be able to hire these at destination, see the Travels With Baby blog here for European hire locations
  • Pushchair – again, hire at destination, or choose a lightweight collapsible style
  • Blanket – for familiarity but also for wrapping up warm in the cooler evenings, a lightweight one like ours is indispensible
  • Baby carrier – essential for getting about and to and from the airport, we like the stylish options from Baby Bjorn

Food and Drink

  • Breastfeeding – if you are breast feeding this saves on packing, and is a great soother for plane travel!
  • Bottled milk – enough for the journey plus some extra – if going long haul consider the Steri Bottle as you’ll find it hard to sterilise on the go
  • Meals – home-made or pre-prepared jars, Ella’s Kitchen is great for travelling. For plane travel the usual liquid restrictions don’t apply, but be prepared to taste to prove it’s safe!
  • Snacks – always handy, bring extras for delays and long drives
  • Equipment – anything you need at home (bibs, beakers, spoons, wipes) plus bags to put the dirty items in

Clothing and Nappies

  • Warm destination – longer sleeved clothing for sun protection, also suitable for the cooler nights. We have a cardigan and trousers specially designed to keep cool in the day but cosy at night, which make the perfect travel outfit  too
  • Cold destination – layers are baby’s friend, so that you can easily switch from cold outdoor clothes to lighter indoor ones
  • Hats – wide brimmed to cover face and neck in warmer climes, or our super soft baby hat for the cold
  • Clothing – will you have washing facilities? If yes you’ll only need a couple outfits, but otherwise aim for1-2 outfits a day
  • Nappies and Supplies – you should be able to buy nappies there, so only pack enough to cover travel and first day after arrival, plus the usual changing essentials.

Bed and Bath

  • Universal bath plug – transform any sink into a bath
  • Toiletries – decant your usual washes into smaller containers. These from Boots work well.
  • Sleepsuit – for comfort this can also be handy on flights, we recommend a thermoregulating one like our stylish daysuit
  • Night-light – a plug in one is perfect for night time nappy changes and feeding

Others

  • Travel cot – find out if your accommodation can supply one or rent one, as this takes up lots of space! If not the Koo-di Bubble cot is a great fold up option.
  • First-aid kit – all the usual essentials
  • Sunscreen – SPF50 that is specially designed for babies is great, along with keeping covered and out of the sun. We love Organic Chidren’s Sun Lotion
  • Swim nappies – you often cannot get these abroad so stock up at home
  • Baby monitor
  • Blackout blinds – for babies that don’t settle in light rooms, these from John Lewis work well
  • Travel stair gate – not essential and might not be allowed on flights so check if your destination has any
  • Plug adapters – one for each essential device

There is bound to be an awful lot more you can throw in your suitcase, and a lot you’ll realise after a few trips you can do without. But as a general guide, we hope this helps you feel a little more certain about getting ready for your first family trip this summer!

Tune in soon for part two, covering the journey and holiday itself!




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