If this is your baby’s first holiday it is completely normal to feel a little anxious about travelling, especially abroad or to hotter climates. Although there is nothing to worry about if you do all the preparation necessary, one thing to expect is less of a jam-packed schedule and a little bit of a slower pace. A change in routine can be a shock to a baby, but they will soon adjust, and it is a great chance for them to experience a new environment and to see and try new things. Planning and packing for a hot holiday may seem a little daunting but it is well worth it; with the right research and preparation it is sure to be a meaningful and memorable experience for the whole family.
We’ve put together a list of a few things to consider when getting ready to take your baby on holiday.
When you begin your search for a destination, consider whether it is family friendly; the same places you may go as a solo traveller may not be the best for baby. All-inclusive can be invaluable when you have small children as you have the luxury of having everything you need, such as food, on hand.
Try to stick to somewhere with a reasonable flight time, under 6 hours is least stressful for both parent and child. Make sure to check the temperature of your destination, although you may want to soak up the rays in the height of summer, this is not advisable to babies. It is best to go out of season, so that it is a little cooler and baby friendly. Average temperatures of 24-26 degrees are manageable.
You may be concerned about the amount of extra luggage you will be taking however by preparing in advance, you shouldn’t have to take too much more than usual. Before packing, ensure you have applied for your baby’s passport and they are covered by family travel insurance.
Here is a checklist you can use as a guide when packing:
o Travel changing mat and bag
o Baby monitor
o Mix of clothes – for cooler and hotter weather
o Baby wipes
o Sun cream – extra gentle with a high SPF
o Baby Friendly Mosquito cream or patches
o Sachets or Ibuprofen and Paracetamol – keep some handy in your hand luggage
o Travel sized first aid kit, including antiseptic cream
o Bowls, cutlery, bottles and Sippy cups
o Travel steriliser
o Baby Food and formula – if necessary
o Nappies – local supermarkets will sell them so don’t worry about taking a big number
o Swimming Nappies
o Lightweight Pushchair
o Babies blanket or sheet – this helps them settle as it is familiar
o Travel Cot – with shade is perfect for beach days
Especially if it is their first time on holiday, babies love to explore. This will be particularly true if you take them to the beach; there are a few ways to ensure their safety in these new environments. When you do go to the beach; set up away from the sea, so you won’t have to move when the tide comes in.
Don’t let them put things like shells, sand or pebbles in their mouth but don’t panic if they do; just get it all out and give them something to drink. Keeping them cool and hydrated is key, you can even take a water spray to cool them throughout the day.
In the sea, and in pools, stay in the shallows and keep hold of them. If they have a flotation device, they can have more freedom in the pool. Remember that your intuition is usually right and don’t do anything you’re not comfortable with.
Most importantly, enjoy your holiday!