Travelling with a baby abroad: a quick planning guideJune 23, 2017
Okay the title may be a little tongue in cheek – because when it comes to travelling with a baby, your planning is likely to be anything but quick.
No more the spontaneous trips to Paris or Amsterdam with your partner, grabbing your passports and an overnight bag and working on the basis you’ll find a hotel when you get there.
That said, there are a few simple steps you can take to make your trip as easy as possible.
Sync your trip to baby’s schedule
Just because you’ll be on holiday doesn’t mean it is a good idea to forget about your baby’s routine, as this is likely to cause a lot of stress and tiredness that will leave baby feeling less than happy to be ‘taking a break’.
So when you are booking your holiday, try to book flight times that will cause minimum disruption to your baby’s routine.
Equally, if you are planning to travel about while abroad to visit relatives, see the sights or enjoy family activities, make sure you plan these to fit your baby’s routine wherever possible.
Plan to take it easy
Another thing to consider when booking your holiday is to look for family-friendly resorts or hotels that will make travelling with a baby easier.
Check if they have play areas, pools for babies and toddlers, highchairs and cots. A creche will also be ideal if you and your partner want to enjoy a bit of time just with each other.
Also, make sure you set a steady itinerary that gives you plenty of time to take it easy between sightseeing and activities.
A frantic schedule will leave you and your little one stressed out, allowing little time to take much needed nap or enjoy some downtime on the beach or in your hotel.
Make sure your passports are up to date
Of course, you’ll want to make sure that your passport is current, but if you are from the UK, your baby will also need its own passport if you want to travel abroad, so don’t forget to get one in plenty of time.
According to the Passport Office, it takes 4 to 6 weeks for a first-time child passport to be processed via the standard postal service. There is also a more expensive fast-track service that takes one-week, but this requires an appointment at a local office.
To get your child’s first passport you must prove that they are eligible for British nationality and you will have to get someone who knows you and your baby to countersign the passport to confirm that your child’s passport photo is a good likeness.
In addition, you will need to send your child’s birth certificate with your application and there might be other documentation you will need to submit. Click here for full details.
For some trips you may also need to get a travel visa, so remember to plan well ahead for this if that is the case.
According to the NHS, if you are planning on travelling with a baby abroad it is advisable to consult your General Practitioner or Practice Nurse at least 6-8 weeks before you go.
This is because your child might need some vaccinations for certain destinations and whilst your baby might be too young to have some vaccinations, your GP will be able to advise you on other preventative measures you can take to minimise any risk of infection.
Remember also that if your child gets ill or has an accident when abroad you will need to meet the costs of that medical care in many cases, so make sure that your baby has travel insurance to cover medical emergencies including repatriation.
Get kitted up properly
Make sure you do a comprehensive checklist before heading off so you know you have everything you could possibly need when travelling with a baby.
However, when you sit and think about it, you could come up with quite a big list, including medication, equipment such as buggies and car seats, snacks, potty and so on.
To help you, we’ve found a really useful baby and toddler packing list, so click here to check it out.
Tips for travelling with a baby
Whilst we can’t guarantee that the above tips and links will always make travelling with a baby easy, they will hopefully help you remember all the important things that need to be put in place before you head off on your hols.
By minimising stress and the risk on any unwelcome surprises, it should leave you free to focus on the fun stuff, which – after all – is what a holiday is all about!