Traveling with a baby, older baby or toddler can be a unique and exciting opportunity for the whole family to create lasting memories. With some extra preparation, you’ll have all you need for an enjoyable journey—whether grandpa’s house down the block or across international waters! Check out our 20 travel tips for travelling with a baby, older infant or toddler.
A newborn baby and travel?
Before you make any plans, it’s best to check in with a healthcare provider. They can let you know if traveling is safe for your baby – factoring in their age and health status – as well as offering up some general tips when taking an infant out on adventures!
It’s important to remember that their immune system is still building up! Keep some safety measures in mind while airborne or in big gatherings.
- Stay away from obviously ill people
- Wash hands frequently
- Use hand sanitiser frequently
I’m sure you already know these, so continue reading to find out what you may not know!
Before hitting the road (or sky!) with your little one, make sure their immunisation and booster shots are up to date. That’s especially important if you’re planning a trip abroad – different countries have different requirements! Consulting your child’s healthcare provider is key for personalised advice before any overseas getaways so everyone can stay healthy on those fun adventures together.
2. Important documents & medications
Make sure to secure your family’s medical must-haves, like medications and important documents. Grab a folder for those crucial papers – vaccination record, recent med reports, passport – so everything is safe while you hit the road with baby in tow! If you are jetting off to a new country, don’t assume that over-the-counter meds will be the same – and frankly do you really want to have to use google translate to read a potential paracetamol label in a foreign language?
3. Do your research
When planning to travel with a newborn or toddler, it’s important to gather all the relevant information beforehand. Next, consider investigating the accommodations and activities available at your destination. Some hotels offer amenities that can be useful to parents traveling with babies. For instance, if you’re nursing your baby, having a refrigerator in your hotel room to store your expressed milk can be a big help. Taking the time to do some research prior to your trip can help you be better prepared and reduce stress during your travels.
4. Get travel insurance
Make sure you’re covered in case of any unforeseen circumstances by getting travel insurance that covers both you and your baby. This will give you peace of mind in case of any medical emergencies or other problems that may arise while you’re away from home.
5. Plan your route carefully
If you’re driving to your destination, plan your route carefully in advance and make sure you have plenty of breaks planned so you can stretch your legs and take care of your baby. If you’re flying, be sure to check with the airline in advance to find out what their policies are regarding travelling with a baby.
6. Don’t overpack
You may think you need every single baby item known to man when travelling with an infant, but the truth is, you really don’t. It’s best to pack light so you’re not lugging around a ton of stuff that you’ll never use. A few changes of clothes, some diapers and wipes, and a few toys should do the trick.
7. Dress for success
Dressing your baby in comfortable clothing that is easy to take on and off is key when travelling. Avoid clothes with a lot of buttons or snaps, as they can be difficult to deal with when you’re on the go. Also, dress your baby in layers so you can easily adjust their clothing depending on the temperature.
8. Pack snacks and drinks for yourself and your baby
Travelling can be hungry work, so make sure you pack snacks and drinks for both yourself and your baby. This will help keep everyone happy and hydrated during long flights or car rides.
9. Bring your own car seat
If you’re going to be travelling by car, it’s essential to bring your own car seat. Renting a car seat can be expensive, and you never know if the seat will be clean or safe. It’s much better to bring your own seat from home so that you know your baby will be safe and comfortable.
10. Invest in a good baby carrier
A baby carrier will free up your hands and allow you to explore your destination without having to worry about lugging around a stroller. There are many different types of carriers on the market, so do your research to find one that will work best for you and your baby.
11. Bring along some toys
Toys will help keep your baby entertained while travelling. A few small toys such as a rattle or stuffed animal should suffice. You can also bring along some books and music to help keep them occupied during down times.
12. Dress in layers
You and your baby will likely be spending a lot of time outdoors while travelling, so it’s important to dress in layers. This way, you can easily add or remove clothing as needed depending on the weather conditions.
13. Protect their skin
Remember to pack sunscreen and hats for both you and your baby to protect against harmful UV rays. It’s also a good idea to pack insect repellent to keep pesky bugs away
14. On the Plane
If you’re travelling by plane with your baby, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Also, bear in mind that babies & toddler’s may have issues their ear’s. The joy of becoming a new parent was put to the test during my 5 hour flight with my eldest. Despite his little lungs filling the plane with cries and screams, I had no easy solutions at hand as I couldn’t bear having him try anything new while soaring in the skies above 20,000 feet! Kindhearted moms on board offered various fixes ranging from paracetamol to soothers – however heartbreaking it may have been for us both that day – he eventually calmed down after what felt like 4.5 hours of sheer terror! Check out our post here about flying with kids.
15. In the Hotel
Once you arrive at your destination, there are a few things you need to do to prepare for your stay in the hotel. First, call ahead and let the hotel know you’ll be travelling with an infant so they can provide you with a crib or rollaway bed. You should also request a room on a lower floor so it’s easy to get in and out with all of your baby gear. And be sure to pack plenty of extra diapers and wipes – you never know when there will be an accident!
16. Sightseeing with Baby
Just because you have a baby doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all the fun! There are plenty of ways to sightsee with your little one in tow. If you’re visiting a city, hop on one of the hop-on-hop-off buses – most of them have areas where babies can sit or lie down comfortably. If you’re headed to the beach, bring along a pop-up tent so your baby can stay cool and protected from the sun. And if you plan on doing any hiking, be sure to bring along a baby carrier so you can explore hands-free!
17. Make them feel at Home
When travelling with a baby, older baby or toddler packing items to make them feel comfortable can go a long way! Bring along the cosiest blanket they own and maybe even their favourite bedsheet. This will help create familiar scents in unfamiliar places which makes it easier for little ones as they transition out of their everyday routine.
18. Maintain mealtime routine
Traveling with a baby can be an adventure – and that doesn’t just include exploring new places! Although it’s fun to try delicious foreign cuisine, keeping mealtime routines consistent will make everyone happier. Introducing your little one to unique flavours is great but sticking with family favourites won’t do any harm either. Bon voyage (and bon appetit!)
19. Be patient
Travelling with a baby can be challenging at times, so it’s important to be patient. Things may not always go according to plan but try to relax and enjoy the experience.
20. Have realistic expectations
When travelling with a baby, it’s important to have realistic expectations. Don’t expect things to be perfect and don’t expect your baby to behave perfectly either. Things will go more smoothly if you’re prepared for bumps in the road.
Travelling with a baby can be daunting. The thought of it might seem like an uphill battle, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, it can be a wonderful opportunity for family bonding and time spent together. Don’t be afraid of the initial stress that comes with travelling—just follow our tips before embarking on your travels, and hopefully you hand will find yourself successfully navigating any tricky situation. Enjoy these special moments with your little ones and make sure to always have a plan B. Whether the journey is across town or across the world, you’re sure to make memories that will last long after your plane leaves the runway!
Travelling with kids? Staying healthy is a must! Don’t risk your mini-me’s health on the journey–check out this article for guidance to keep them safe and sound.