Since I am a mom of a darling baby girl and living in a different country as my family does, I knew straight from the start that I needed to stay organised when it comes to travelling with my daughter. I first took her on a plane when she was 3 months old and since then we travelled every other month so I hope that my travel tips are useful to you.
There are different factors when it comes to travelling with your baby. Firstly would be to choose an appropriate flight time. I have it fairly easy since my flight time is only 2 hours but if you include the time to get up and get ready, drive to the airport, check in and all that it accumulates to more or less of half a day that you need to stay on top of. I usually try to take an early plane, that way it disrupts my baby less but I’m sure once she’s toddler age I would choose travel times which are in the afternoon, that way you can at least stick to your morning routine.
Before I travel I write a list of all the items I need to pack for my daughter. Those are all the most essential items. My list isn’t down to the detail but I jug down all the important things that I must not forget. Sorry these are super obvious but it goes along the lines of clothing, toys, toiletries, car seat, buggy, blanket, etc.
Where I do get far more detailed is when it comes to my carry on bag which has to entail everything from passport, tickets to my daughter’s food, changing things, toys etc. Here, I must admit, I do maybe go a bit overboard and actually write a list beforehand of all the things I have to fit in my bag. Now since we are on the topic of the carry on, the bag itself is of crucial importance. I have found out the hard way the first time when I was travelling. I actually brought my usual changing bag for my baby and my handbag and then another small holdall for bits that didn’t fit in the changing bag. It was an utter mess, far too heavy and what more … avoidable. It is not necessary these days to rely on the baby’s usual changing bag when you travel. Don’t get me wrong, changing bags come in very cute designs and various sizes but I don’t find them fit for a flight. I have found the most useful bag for this very occasions at Accessorize. They do lovely weekend bags which I always admired but found far too big. Now I know at least one reason why they can come in very handy, namely baby travel. The size of the bag is comfortable enough to fit everything I need. As any woman I tend to overpack any bag you give me, but this weekend bag is really a nice and appropriate size. The handles are super sturdy and quite big so I can easily carry it on one shoulder, even if I have packed it up to the rafter. But it also comes with an across the body strap, which I find quite useful as I do sometimes carry it across my body and the longer strap makes it perfect to wrap the bag to the handles of my buggy, double points for this reason alone. The bag also has a zipper which is great when travelling, so you can stay assured that nothing of your precious essentials are falling out. Since there are so many weekend bags out there the designs are endless and you can really hit your style, what more do we want?
Inside the bag you should have passport, boarding passes, ticket confirmation (for your return travel), money and maybe a magazine or book for yourself. I keep it down to a minimum since my daughter’s items take up a lot of space. For her I pack food and snacks, water, a small bag for her changing items, muslins, baby wipes, steriliser wipes (a godsend if your baby drops toys or her dummy on the airport floor), dummies. In case she needs any medicine I would pack that too, that might be teething gel or ointment for dry skin. Since I mentioned medicine I would also strongly recommend to take a travel pharmacy for your baby. By that I mean to pack a thermometer, medicine against fever and such, baby vapour rub and nose spray in case she gets a slight cold, teething gel and for my daughter who has a dry skin condition I also always pack lots of her ointments and creams that I use on a daily basis.
The baby car seat and buggy is crucial for my travel since these are items that I don’t have at hand when I arrive at my destination. My daughter is still under one so taking her car seat is fairly easy but a pain nevertheless. I do check it in with my bags, so at least I don’t have to carry it all around the airport. If your baby is still very small you can bring the car seat on the plane or at least to the gate right before you board. I was always fortunate that I was allowed to bring the car seat on the plane with me even though I didn’t buy an extra seat. But this is at the discretion of the airline, so if you are unsure I would call them ahead of time to find out more. I think the people at the airport just had mercy with me since my baby was still so young and it is much easier to keep a newborn in the car seat as they can sleep in it more comfortably.
Baby car seats can however also be rented at your holiday destination, just check before you travel.
A baby buggy is also a must. I can not stress this enough. A harness is all nice and fine but if you have to carry your baby around for hours in the harness it’s neither good for them nor you, believe me. I bought a buggy which folds easily into one piece and it’s my absolute life saver when it comes to travelling and also when you are at your holiday location. I got a fairly decent priced buggy, from Amazon, which has 3 recline positions, small basket underneath, rain cover and foot muff. It didn’t break the bank and I love the buggy as it’s so easy to get around with. I even use it when I’m not travelling since I have a travel system buggy which is great and all but it’s a pain to dismantle the whole thing to get it into the boot of the car. So the travel buggy is my go to when I am out and about, at home as when abroad.
These are my personal tips which have been tried and tested. If you have any more questions just leave me a comment and I will respond.