Travel with Kids: Tips for Travelling with Baby

Over the years I have travelled a lot with my children all over the world and I am finally sharing my very own tips for travelling with baby. 

Taken with a KODAK Digital Still Camera

 

1. Select destination and accommodation Apartments and villas are more practical with little ones. You can warm bottles when you want and have more space than a hotel room. With the added bonus of a garden and often pool. Check that pool is fenced or gated. Many rental homes have cleaners, baby sitters and even cooks on request so you don’t have to be cleaning and cooking all day long. Choose a company that specializes in family travel and you will find toys, fenced pools, safety gates , highchairs, cots, sterilizer and sometimes even spare nappies. Make sure there is a dishwasher and washing machine too. It is also nice to have the personal advice of where to go and what to do from the owner or the local person who will there on  your arrival. Plus good for translating in an emergency. Try  www.holiday-villa-in-tuscany.com or www.babyboltholes.co.uk  www.digs4kids.org

www.holidaytotsco.uk and www.mum-and-baby-experience.co.uk

2. A home swap is also a nice idea, as if you swap with a family with children the same age you will find toys and baby equipment.

3. Early flights are better than late ones. Try to coincide flight with nap times. When checking in for flight ask at check in if flight is full often airline will give you extra seat in middle so you have more space and privacy if breast feeding.If breastfeeding do so on take off and landing so that air pressure does not effect babies ears.Older children should drink or suck something for same reason. If child is potty trained, it is probably better to put nappy on for flight , in case they need to go during take off and landing.

4. Always allow plenty of extra time. Get on plane first and off last. Stewards can help you more if you get off last. Get toddlers to participate as much as possible to make the journey fun. I always get my kids to hand in their passport to security. My daughter has been doing that since she was 2 but has been on 40 flights and loves travelling. I used to give her a small rucksack to put on her back with a toy, book and nappies and wipes. Now she is 10 she packs her own case. Explain everything to them. I hadn’t explained about security and taking shoes off and the one time they made my daughter take off her shoes , she got really upset and started screaming. But even then, stay calm, smile and try and make a joke of it with staff so that you feel better.

5. Don’t take too much: one favourite toy, a couple of books, pens, pencils and paper for toddlers, a change of clothes(maybe more than one I flight is long),drink, snacks, disposable bibs, nappies and wipes. You can take drinks through to departure lounge, but sometimes you will need to taste them.

The Trunki suitcases are great for toddlers, they are the right size for all their bits and pieces and toddlers love pulling them along or sitting on them (2 to 4 year olds) Take extra large hand bag or ruck sac to put everything in to. A jacket with lots of pockets is good. Although you can take the pram to the airport door, in most cases it will turn up with the luggage on arrival, so you need to carry baby for a while before you get your pram. A sling is perfect if baby is small and I found it much more convenient than a pram when flying. Reins for a toddler are good.(bought after my son kept running away and a policeman chased after him at Athens airport)

If you do need to take a lot, there are companies that deliver baby equipment, but only to uk babygoes2 and babiestravelite. 

6.   Buy things like sun protection lotions, shampoo etc there. Often they are cheaper than back home and saves you carrying them. Obviously it depends  where you are going, we went to the Croatian island of Lopud  and I ran out of nappies. The nearest place to buy nappies was Dubrovik, an hour away by boat. Luckily the owner of the apartment where we were staying arranged to bring some over with his daughter who was coming to visit him from Dubrovnik.I should also have taken raisins with me as we could not find them on the island and the kids ove them. We learn by our mistakes!

7. Take medicines like Calpol with you as they don’t have the same brands everywhere. Take swim nappies with you as they are hard to find. If your child has a specific allergy take a card with the allergy written in the language of thecountry you are going to. (allergyuk has cards in different languages)Take medical insurance card with you.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

8. Don’t stress  too much about keeping usual nap times and bed times. In Southern European countries, as in Asia or South America ,children are out until late and restaurants are full of  families with children.  Your little ones will receive endless compliments  and  free bits and pieces.. In Italy, where my family is from babies and toddlers have the same meals as adults have,just mashed or cut up small.  Summer evenings, the whole family go on the traditional ‘passegiata’ or stroll , so join in and enjoy.The whole culture is much more child focused than the Uk and so for me Italy is the perfect place to travel with baby(I know I am biased!) I remember apologizing when my son ran into an old man at the supermarketin in Lucca and he almost told ME off  saying “Don’t apologise, toddlers are supposed to run around!”

I run mum and baby holidays in Tuscany and family fitness yoga/cooking breaks suitable for babies to ten years old. Visit my website www.mum-and-baby-experiene.co.uk  and call me if you want to visit me in Italy 00393495018679 / 07785571292. 

Take a look at London Mums’ editor Monica Costa’s article about her holiday at Villa Radicata last year! It was nice to have her and other mums with babies. 

My week at Villa Radicata in Tuscany

PG-24-25 of the London Mums magazine Winter 2017-2018

About rita Kobrak

I have worked in 12 different countries as a tour manager for a travel company before having my beautiful daughter, Alessia 4 years ago. I since set up the mum and baby experience, running fitness, yoga and cooking holidays in Italy for mums and their little ones. I also run a small holiday rental business www.my-italian-holiday-home.com and www.mum-and-baby-experience.co.uk I enjoy cooking, fencing, travelling and time with my family

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