‘Let’s stay close to home this year.’ Like many new parents, when it comes to holidays that’s what Misery Guts and I have said to each other after the births of both baby number one and baby number two.
The thought of packing everything we might potentially need into a suitcase and jetting off to the unknown was simply too overwhelming, and it was almost two years before we ventured onto a plane and overseas with either of them.
Even then I was so filled with dread at the prospect I would rather have just stayed at home.
It’s only now I’m a third time mum that I’ve found the confidence to travel with a baby, so I thought it would be a good time to add to my how-to posts about staying (relatively) sane with what I’ve learnt through trial and error – mainly error – about how to travel with a baby and stay (relatively) sane.
How to travel with a baby and stay (relatively) sane
1. Don’t worry about what other people think. There might be campaigns for childless planes and the man across the aisle might be giving you the evil eye, but you’ve got just as much right to be there as your fellow passengers. Even if your baby’s shrieks are enough to smash glass and their nappies are enough to make eyes water.
2. Don’t try and schedule your travel to fit in with your baby’s routine. All you need is one delayed flight and it all goes out of the window anyway. In my experience the journeys we’ve taken at ‘antisocial’ hours are the ones that have been the easiest.
3. Do your homework. If, like us, you’d rather go self-catering than stay in a hotel then do your research because accommodation that isn’t child-friendly isn’t relaxing for anyone (trust me, trying to craft a stairgate out of a plastic patio chair and shoelaces is a bad idea).
Baby-friendly holiday company Tots to Travel visits and child safety checks all of its villas, which come with free baby and toddler kits (think cots, baby monitors, high chairs and changing mats) as well as barriered pools. So if you want to go to Greece, go to Greece (I’m loving this villa in Zakynthos – bliss!)
4. Be prepared. For example, if you’re travelling at night then get them ready for bed before you go to minimise disruption during the journey and at the other end. There are a number of baby sleeping bags on the market that come with a hole in the back and two-way zips at the front so you can thread car seat straps through, like this sleeping bag and swaddle set we were very kindly sent by Ergobaby (£29.90).
With a tog value of 0.30 your baby won’t overheat in different indoor environments, and thanks to zips at the front there’s no need to unwrap it for nappy changes. It’s also super soft, and all you need to do when you reach your destination is lift your baby out of their seat and into bed.
5. Relax! Since becoming a mum I’ve spent more time worrying about holidays and the journey there and back than I’ve spent on the actual holiday, which is ridiculous when you think about it. The chances are the travelling won’t be that bad, and if it is then there’s always next year!
Have you travelled overseas with a baby? How did it go and what are your top tips for travelling with kids and staying sane?
This post was written in collaboration with Tots to Travel. As always all opinions are my own and I would never recommend a product or service I don’t truly believe in.
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