There are many reasons we would want to travel with kids nowadays. From visiting family members to traveling for leisure purposes they are all acceptable reasons why we would want to fly across the world with our children. Thankfully with a little bit of planning ahead this is easily doable. Here we collected some tips for traveling with a baby to make your journey as comfortable and stress-free as possible.
First and foremost don’t forget that for international travel your baby will need a passport as well. Make sure you have this prepared well in advance of booking your flights. Check with your airline if your baby is old enough to travel as some airlines have age restrictions.
Always have travel insurance! When booking your hotels or Airbnbs make sure you know where the nearest available doctor is at your destination in case of emergencies and have their number written down somewhere.
Book an Extra Seat
Some family-friendly airlines will allow infants to fly for free or for a reduced price but always check with the airline beforehand. We, however, suggest you book an extra seat for the baby if possible. An extra seat means more room which can be a saving grace when you’re traveling with a baby, especially during longer flights. Try to book the bulkhead seat as most airlines can provide a bassinet if your baby is under 20 pounds. If it’s not an option opt for an aisle seat.
Book Direct Flights
When possible, fly directly to your destination and try to schedule flights during nap time. Ideally, you should aim to avoid spending a lot of time in transit or rushing across airports to catch your connecting flight. Also, always opt for Priority boarding and other perks airlines can offer when traveling with kids
Keep the baggage weight limits in mind when packing. Get a handheld scale to check your bag’s weight in advance to avoid last-minute repacking at the airport. Try to only bring the essentials you need to remember that traveling with a baby is more to carry already! For infants, there is no need to bring an abundance of toys. Let’s face it, they can be easily entertained.
Make sure you plan your entire journey. Check to get from the airport to your final destination well in advance. Renting a car is always a good option but call in advance and make sure they have a suitable baby seat available. If renting is not an option we recommend trains as they are cheap, safe and efficient in most countries.
Slings are your Best Friend
If you can avoid bringing a bulky stroller along, do so. Wear your baby if possible. It’s much easier to stay organized if you have two free hands and a baby that can’t crawl around. Not to mention it makes public breastfeeding much easier.
All Airports are Different
Make sure you familiarise yourself with the boarding protocol of the airport you are traveling to and from beforehand to avoid confusion, waiting, and unnecessary stress.
Always Prepare for Major Meltdowns
Have some toys, an iPad, or phone with kid-friendly content pre-downloaded for convenience. We understand that some parents have a very strict no-screen policy and we would never recommend using a screen as your babysitter but for long travels, a few entertaining videos can absolutely save the day.
Look into Local Childminding Options
If you are traveling as a couple it’s important to have some downtime as well where you can relax and enjoy each other’s company without having to constantly supervise a tiny human being.
When booking your hotel or Airbnb check if they have a crib available. Ask them to have it ready by the time you arrive so everyone can relax after the journey. Ideally, you should time your arrival to your accommodation after their check-in time to avoid waiting around with a potentially tired and moody child. If it’s not possible it might be worth looking into booking an extra night at the hotel before your arrival so you can check-in straight away or contacting the hotel to organize an early check-in, if possible.
When choosing your accommodation keep in mind the areas you are planning to visit. You want to avoid hauling your baby around a busy city constantly so try to find a place that’s closest to the area you plan on spending most of your time at.
Keep your Usual Nap Routine
It takes about 3-4 days for a baby to adjust to a different time zone, therefore. If you are only going somewhere for a short period of time we recommend keeping to your usual nap times in order to avoid baby jet lag. This might mean that your baby won’t be sleeping until very late in the evening in certain time zones but it will save you the trouble of constantly trying to enforce different nap times once you are back home. If you are going away for a longer time, make sure you give them some time to adjust to the new schedule and be prepared that they might be wide awake in the middle of the night for the first few days.
We definitely recommend that you research the airport, the airline, other transport methods, your destination, and your accommodation before traveling. Just remember, Travelling with a baby can be challenging. We can’t guarantee there won’t be any stressful moments but being able to move freely and do it all together as a family can be extremely rewarding. Don’t forget to take some photos of your travels as a family and have an amazing time on the go! If you have any more tips for traveling with a baby, let us know in the comments!