The Easiest Ways To Travel Abroad With Your Baby
It's pretty common for new parents to rule out travelling with their baby. In fact, 1 in 4 parents believe that travelling with children is just too stressful, not to mention all the things that could go wrong! We understand that every parent's mind is filled with worry when they have a baby to look after. Luckily, you don't need to avoid going abroad completely; here are our top tips for travelling with a young baby. Before you go anywhere, though, make sure you've completed your e111 renewal to keep you and your family safe in Europe!
Flying is one of the biggest fears for new parents. No one wants to be that parent with the screaming baby on board. While there are many people who would argue that you and your children have every right to fly, if you simply aren't up to it why not consider a road trip instead? It's far easier to seat your baby comfortably in their car seat than attempt to get him or her through airport security and a three hour flight. Road trips are a fun and easy way to get abroad, it's hard to believe but it only takes 35 minutes to cross the English Channel with your car on the Eurostar!
When you're going abroad for the first time with your baby it's easy to think you need to bring everything under the sun. Don't fall into the trap of over packing, your back will thank you for it later! A few home comforts and essentials, such as bottles, extra diapers and plenty of spare clothes, are always needed but leave anything else behind. One of the things you absolutely shouldn't forget is your baby's favourite toy, especially if you want them to sleep while you're away.
Keep Your Travelling Time Down
It's possible to have a holiday abroad without going long-haul and it's probably best if you're travelling with a young child or baby. Of course it's up to you, but generally anything longer than six hours is going to be tricky with children. It's not good for them to be sat in one place for a long time and plane journeys are filled with air pressure changes that babies find hard to manage. Keeping travel relatively short will make the whole process more enjoyable.
Go By Ferry
Next to driving, ferries are one of the best alternatives to plane travel for getting abroad. Ferries are spacious and packed full of family-friendly features. If your crossing is going to take more than a few hours, it might be worth booking a cabin so you have somewhere comfortable to rest and change your baby, as well as somewhere safe to leave your bags. The only downside is inevitable seasickness. You might be lucky and the sea may be calm, but make sure you're prepared in case it's not! Sick bags, spare clothes and a grin and bear it attitude are the only way you can tackle this situation.
Bring Plenty of Food and Drink
Of course, exactly what you bring will depend on the age of your baby. But, being well prepared with snacks and drinks will help to make sure that any screaming fits are kept to a minimum. It's especially important to stay well hydrated when travelling, as otherwise you could end up with an unwell baby when you arrive at your destination.
Keep Your Kids Occupied
When you're going away with older children as well as a baby, you need to make sure that you've got plenty to keep them amused. There's nothing worse than a bored child on a long trip, especially if you're trying to get your baby off to sleep at the same time. Bringing along lots of fun activities and toys to keep them occupied and help the time to pass quickly. These don't have to be expensive items, most kids are happy with a colouring book, and they can even be educational if you buy toys that are themed to your destination!
Book a Separate Ticket for Your Baby
Lots of new parents get confused about the rules behind taking a baby a plane. If you are going to fly, you'll need a separate ticket for your baby, even if they aren't big enough to have their own seat. However, children over six months are expected to have their own seat but will usually sit comfortably in their own car seat strapped onto the airplane's chair. Luckily, it's pretty cheap to fly with a baby; American Airlines and Virgin Atlantic charge 10% of an adult's seat for your child under two years' old. If you're ever in any doubt about arranging a seat or ticket, it's best to contact your airline directly as each one will have their own rules and regulations.
At the end of the day, remember that holidays are all about spending time with your family and relaxing. Embrace the fact that sometimes parenting can be embarrassing and exhausting and remember that it will be worth it when you get to your destination!