We’re in the middle of holiday season and if you’re planning a trip away with new baba then we’re here to help. Here’s a tried and tested guide to travelling abroad with a smallie.
Before you even get to the airport, first we have to be sooo strategic about your luggage – both your suitcase and your carry on.
Firstly, let’s start with the suitcase, which you now have to share…so it’s time to plan your holiday days. It may seem a bit un-necessary, but jotting down everything you plan to do on your trip will be worth it — whether it’s long days spent at the beach, exploring the city or markets, or any fancy evening dinners — doing this will ensure that you cover all bases, but nothing more – especially when it comes to shoes! Making sure every single clothing item pairs with every other single one, for example take a little white top, make sure it goes with 3-4 pieces (denim skirt, shorts, midi skirt, you get the picture). I travel with one pair of shoes; two should be the max, (not including flit flops of course which aren't really shoes).
For baba, the same can be done – swimwear is so easily rinsed and ready for the next day in warm weather so don’t over pack here. UV suits mean they can be worn all day long in the sun and you don’t have to worry so much about them buring as they’ll be mostly covered. 2-3 summer hats are essential though. For the evenings it's hard to say the same rule applies as yours as babies get messy eating a bread roll (!!) but their clothes are small so keep them rolled tightly in the case and pack for half the time and rinse as you go. Sandals that can be worn to the beach but later than evening too may be all you need. Something like Saltwater Sandals are waterproof and comfortable enough to wear all day and all night – you can also get an adult pair to match!
When it comes to products, you only need a small amount of the essentials – nappies, wipes, formula milk and bottles if you’re not breastfeeding. But unless you are heading to the middle of nowhere, you will find shops selling all these things if you do run out. Travel size items are also very handy like small Sudcrem and will be plenty for a 2 week trip.
Now onto your handheld bag…packing a carry-on is a fine art for you alone, nevermind if you are travelling with a little gorgeous baba in tow.
Whittling down a heavy load into a tight edit of travel essentials does require some ruthlessness, but it will be worth it when you have to carry it for the long walk to the plane while perhaps carrying baba too and will allow for a much easier airport experience. Only bring the necessary you need for travel, a little blanket as flights can get chilly, plus some kind of distraction for baba like a small book or toy they like for the flight, a bottle for take off, hand sanitizer (as you never know where you may have to change a nappy) and maybe a sling if it's your kind of thing.
A sling is a great way to transport your baby through an airport. I use one a lot and used it a lot on holidays. You need you hands free when in an airport for taking in and out documents and carrying bags. They are also very handy for cities with cobbled streets or for trekking down steps to a beach as well.
Did you know you can bring two pieces of baby luggage with you so the buggy and travel cot or buggy and baby bag or car seat, as well as your own hand luggage? But knowing this doesn’t mean you have to bring if not necessary. Some tips for reducing your luggage are to call ahead to see if the hotel or apt or air B&B can provide a travel cot. Ask them to set it up before you arrive so it's ready to go.
If you’re using a transfer to get from the airport to your accommodation when you arrive, you can book a car seat with your airport transfer in advance with most companies.
A stroller is a definite. Even older toddlers need a stroller, as they won’t like endless sightseeing or late dinners without somewhere to nap. However, tiny babies should be able to lie flat until they’re three months old – so take a suitable pushchair.
Once you arrive, switch off, and enjoy the uninterrupted family time, the type of time that you can only get when on holidays. It’s worth it to make those memories. Enjoy x