Planning to take your child on holiday? Check out these tips on travelling with a Baby or Toddler to help you have a fun and relaxing trip.
ORGANISE THE PASSPORT WELL AHEAD OF TIME
If this is your child’s first trip then make sure you apply for their passport at least 8 week before your departure date. As it’s the first passport, the passport office may request further documents which can delay an application.
CALL THE AIRLINE TO SEE IF YOU CAN RESERVE BULKHEAD OR EXTRA LEG ROOM SEATS
It’s definitely worth contacting the airline to see if they can provide bulkhead seats with a bassinet (if required). The extra legroom will allow your fidgety 18 month old to stretch his/her legs-that is worth the extra cost alone (if any). For scheduled flights call in advance to request the seats, ask at the check-in counter or check-in online as soon as check-in is open to secure the seats.
INFORM THE HOTEL OF ANY REQUIREMENTS
Calling or emailing the hotel to let them know you are bringing a baby is definitely worth doing. Making contact in advance of your stay can ensure any requirements you may have, such as ensuring there is a cot in the room, bathtub instead of shower etc, are all met. It may even score you a room upgrade if you’re extra polite.
LIMIT HAND LUGGAGE TO ESSENTIALS FOR THE FLIGHT
No matter how long the flight, it’s all about keeping the little one entertained. Make sure you pack your childs favourite toy, book and make sure you have plenty of episodes of Peppa Pig, In the Night Garden or the Teletubbies downloaded on your phone/iPad for when they get really bored.
Make sure you pack adequate amount of formula/food for the flight and if you want to avoid hassle at security, you can always purchase these at the airport. Boots UK allow you to reserve and collect these items so you can guarantee they will be available.
CHECK LUGGAGE ALLOWANCE
Check the luggage allowance allowed for your infant with the airline. Most airlines offer at least 10kg infant luggage allowance and some scheduled airlines offer even more. Alongside a bag most airlines allow you to bring a stroller/pushchair and a car seat which will be checked into the hold free of charge. Your stroller will be taken from you at the departure gate and returned to you at the aircraft doors or in the baggage hall (double check this).
Top tip: Distribute essentials between different bags in the event a bag gets lost. If this ever happens, at least the essential baby items are available.
TAKE OUT ADEQUATE TRAVEL INSURANCE FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY
Taking out comprehensive travel insurance for you and your family is essential, especially when you are travelling with a baby/toddler. Hopefully you will never have to use it, but never chance travelling without adequate insurance.
Consider annual travel insurance as it’s only slightly more expensive than a single trip insurance especially if you travel more than once a year.
RESEARCH THE LOCAL AREA TO WHERE YOU ARE STAYING
This one may be a little excessive and may only apply to over anxious parents, but it may be worth researching the local area to your accommodation to check the location of local restaurants, shops, distance to the local pharmacy etc. There is nothing worse than realising you have to get a taxi to the local shop just to get some nappies or your childs favourite snacks. It’s also worth checking the distance to the local train/metro station or bus stop to be fully prepared.
It may seem a little excessive but can make your life easier if you prepare in advance, especially as you won’t have time with a baby in tow. A quick look up on google maps will tell you everything you need to know.
CONSIDER AN ALL-INCLUSIVE HOLIDAY
An all-inclusive holiday is always considered the best thing when travelling with children and none more so when travelling with babies or toddlers. Many resorts offer great kids facilities such as kids pools, play areas and kids clubs so there’s always something to keep your little one occupied. Not to mention you don’t have to travel far for food either, so they are always kept happy. You never know-you may even get a moment to relax.
LEAVE PLENTY OF TIME TO GET TO THE AIRPORT
Airports are great places to explore and an extra hour at the airport is preferable to a meltdown in a traffic jam worrying about missing your flight.
DON’T PANIC IF YOUR BABY/TODDLER IS CRYING OR IS UNCOMFORTABLE ON THE FLIGHT.
It’s easy to get flustered when our child isn’t happy and throwing a tantrum at the best of times, but when this happens at 35,000 feet and you have a plane full of people watching you, it can really get you ruffled.
If this happens, do not panic and most importantly do not worry about the other passengers. Just do everything you can, to calm your baby down-they’ll be right as rain in no time. Most cabin crew will be happy to help if you need any assistance.