Whether you’re a born traveler, have family overseas or are celebrating a special occasion, before long you’ll be thinking about venturing on baby’s first holiday. While international travel with a baby is definitely more challenging than going alone, it’s still possible to enjoy the experience with a little one in tow. Strategies, like preparing early and making sure your diaper bag, is all packed beforehand will make your holiday more fun and stress-free. Follow our top tips for traveling parents and you’ll be ready for baby’s first holiday.
Choose an Infant-Friendly Destination
If you have the freedom to pick your location, take some time to research baby-friendly travel destinations on the Internet. Jet-setting mums and dads like tropical locations such as Jamaica and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. For one, they have family resorts with low-cost or complimentary babysitting services. There’s also plenty to do on-site, so you don’t have to leave the area to eat, play or hit the beach.
Toronto, Canada is a clean, urban environment with plenty of outdoor parks, museums and kid-friendly restaurants. Many families also recommend Portugal for baby’s first holiday for its reliable public transportation and delicious food. Most Portuguese citizens also speak English, which makes organizing activities and asking questions even easier. Other family favorites include Quebec City, Canada, Finland and Poland. For even more inspiration, ask your coworkers or friends for their favourite destinations.
Gather Baby’s Travel Documents
You’re not the only one who needs a birth certificate or passport to travel. Infants and children of all ages require their documents as well. For more information about the items you need for baby’s first holiay, visit your airline or cruise line’s website. To save time, you can also give them a call. Don’t hesitate to visit the government’s website for even more helpful information.
If you’re a single mum, consider getting a notarized, written letter of consent from your baby’s other parent. Some destinations will require you carry this letter with you in order to enter the country. Before you go through the security checkpoint at the airport or cruise terminal, place everyone’s passports in a convenient place, such as a folder inside of your carry-on bag. Having all items readily available will help you get through security faster.
Talk to Your GP or Pediatrician
Make an appointment with your GP or pediatrician before baby’s first holiday. Your baby’s doctor can provide you with helpful information about how to fly with a baby. They’re also informed about everything from how to calm them if their ears hurt to what to do if they don’t feel well.
They’ll also let you know if your child needs any immunizations to enter the country or to protect themselves from common illnesses. Create a list of questions to ask during the appointment, such as how to handle a medical emergency outside of your home country. You may also want to know what to pack for baby or if certain medicines and prescriptions are available internationally.
Shop for Baby Supplies and Clothing
Everyone needs to shop for supplies and clothing before a trip. As you make your list for baby’s first holiday, consider the weather, the length of your stay and the potential for accidents and mishaps. Decide what you may need to make sleeping and traveling more comfortable for baby. Portable blackout curtains, travel-size sound machines and mini baby toiletries are some of the top essentials for families.
If your baby has a special lovey or security blanket, you may want to buy a duplicate item for your trip. Purchase the same stuffed bear or blankie as you have at home. Should it get lost on the airplane or train, the original one will still be safe. Be sure to shop a few weeks before you leave. If you forget something, you’ll have plenty of time to return to the mall or department store.
Splurge on Airline Tickets
International travel can be boring and even stressful for a baby. For baby’s first holiday, if you will be flying for many hours and it’s within your budget, consider upgrading. Larger seats will make it easier to sleep or take a nap and upgrades also offer other benefits like extra attentive staff, extra luggage allowance, lounge access, and priority boarding.
Invite Family or Friends
It does take a village to raise a baby—especially when you’re going on an international trip. If possible, plan to go on baby’s first holiday with family or a group of friends. Someone can keep your little one busy while you rest. Once you arrive at your hotel, you and your partner can get away for a dinner date.
A big group will also make your trip safer. Criminals are less likely to take advantage of tourists who travel in packs. Plus, when you’re tired on your trip home, you’ll appreciate the support and companionship.
These days, airlines charge a ton for extra bags. Decide how many pieces of luggage you are able to take and then be strategic about your packing. Fill your carry-on with essentials for you and your baby, such as nappies, food and a change of clothes. You should also have medications and first aid supplies in case you need them while you’re in the air.
Your child’s suitcase should include plenty of diapers, baby sleepwear and bodysuits. Pair your favorite one-piece with jeans, leggings or shorts for a cute and effortless outfit. If you’re going somewhere warm and sunny, don’t forget about a hat, sunglasses and plenty of sunscreen. A couple of bathing suits or swim trunks are also necessary, so you don’t have to do laundry. Walking babies will need a pair of sandals with secure straps. If it’s chilly, pack a coat and a hat. Thick socks, footed pajamas and mittens are a few other cold-weather essentials you’ll need.
Enjoying Baby’s First Holiday
Traveling abroad with baby takes more preparation than holidaying with adults or an older child. Don’t let the challenge discourage you, however! Instead, stay organized and informed with our helpful family travel tips. Once you complete each of the items above, you’ll be ready to experience more and stress less on your next international trip.
If you are planning baby’s first holiday while reading this I hope these tips helped. Wishing you a really lovely holiday ahead!