We’d be lying if we said holidays would be as easy as they were pre-baby, they might be a little different to your solo trips, but that doesn’t mean you should give them up altogether! We’ve broken down our top tips for making travelling with bub a bit easier and more enjoyable for the whole family.
Make sure you’re well prepared and well packed!
The most important thing to do when travelling is to make sure you’re well prepared and have packed everything you need! Make a list, and check it twice, because the last thing anyone wants is to arrive at their destination and realise they’ve left something behind.
Pack more than you need! Even when you’re out and about, it’s better to be over-prepared than under-prepared. You never know when you might need an extra one (or three) nappies or changes of clothes. Also make sure you have a good supply of snacks and toys to keep them occupied and entertained.
Before jetting off, check in with your hotel to find out what you can easily access close by. Nappies, formula, wipes and baby food can all be hard to find depending where you're going, particularly if you're travelling internationally. Once you have your essentials sorted, don't forget things like a travel steriliser kit if your baby is still really little and a first-aid kit. We suggest adding these to your kit:
- Pain relief
- Antibiotic ointment
- Insect repellent
- Calamine lotion
- Hand sanitiser
- Cold pack
- Teething gel
If you’re having a summer vacation, a baby sun pod will shield bub from the wind and sun. Make sure your pram has a sun canopy or an umbrella as well.
It’s also important how you pack your nappy bag – especially pre-flight as carry on. Make sure it’s organised and packed strategically. So, you’re not frantically digging through your bag when you need to change a nappy! The Livvy + Harry Keep It Organised Duffel and the Travel Back Pack are perfect for those who need lots of space and compartments to make things easy to grab and go. Don't forget a spare shirt for yourself, many parents have had to wear baby vomit for the day because they've forgotten about themselves – don't let that be you!
Keep baby occupied and safe in transit
Make sure you have the right travel gear, regardless of whether you’re flying or driving. Investigate any options for renting your gear at your destination too – car seats and prams are often available on location. Sometimes hotels even have strollers you can borrow! Travelling is also a perfect time to wear your baby, so invest in a wrap or sling if you don't have one already.
Flying is more of a complex process so make sure you’re prepared and check with your airline as to what equipment you can bring on board, whether you want to book a separate seat for them, etc. Some tips during transit are to feed them during take-off and landing to keep them occupied and help equalise their ears. Give them a change of scenery when you can – take them for a walk up and down the plane, let them look out the window, and make sure they kick and stretch their legs every couple of hours when they’re not sleeping. Wrapping a few new toys and offering them when your little one is starting to become restless can also work well too. If you would like to utilise an Ipad for movies, TV or apps, make sure they're all downloaded and accessible without WIFI - There is nothing worse than expecting them to work, then discovering too late that they're stored 'in the cloud' and inaccessible without WIFI! If you have new headphones, let your little one get used to wearing them before the flight.
What to look out for in your accommodation
Choose your accommodation wisely – opt for places with children’s facilities, a babysitting service and make sure it’s in a good location. Investing in a better location is worth it! The alternative is spending a lot of time in transit if your hotel is in an inconvenient spot. When you're trying to fit in fun things around nap time, you'll appreciate any time saved! Try find a room with a separate living and bedroom too, so you can still enjoy some couple time once the babe is asleep. If you can't have separate living / sleeping areas, look for a balcony at least. Once you're finally there (Phew, you made it!), do a quick look around and make the room baby safe first. Then to ease and settle your baby, make the room as close to home as possible. Set up designated areas for changing, playing and storing your food supplies. Doing so will also help keep you organised and make it easier to head out each day.
What to do on your trip
Pick destinations and activities that are family friendly and plan accordingly. You may have to adjust your travel schedule to cater to bub and when they’re at their best – for example, starting and ending earlier, as well as setting aside time for naps. Another way to help them settle in to the new location is to stick to any routines you have at home. If you have a particular morning or night time ritual, do the same on your trip to make up for the change in location. There's a lot of new things for your baby to take in when travelling too, try protect them from overstimulation from the commotion of travelling when you can. Using a sun pod and/or stroller cover is a good option. Take it slow, take plenty of breaks and avoid doing too many activities in one day. Don't forget to make the most of the onsite baby sitter too – why not go on a date once you have settled your little one to bed?
While preparing is the best thing you can do, no one can ever be fully prepared for the spontaneity and unexpected mishaps that can happen when travelling. Relax and go with the flow, the most important thing is to have fun and make sure bub is having a good time too!