Before I became a parent I loved to travel. Me and my partner would shove as many clothes as possible into a rucksack and jet off somewhere for some adventure. We have travelled through Italy, Slovenia, Bosnia and Croatia and whilst I was pregnant we did Finland and Russia. Truth be told, I still love to travel despite having had a baby.
Whilst pregnant I was told on countless occasions, 'oh you won't be going on holiday any more now you're having a baby', or even more annoyingly, 'well your life is over now'. I have never quite understood why people think that just because you're having a baby your whole life is going to grind to a halt and more interestingly, these unwanted comments and opinions usually come from those that don't have children themselves.
Yes, holidays might become a different type of holiday but they are still something to be enjoyed and savoured.
Our little boy is 8 months old and we have holidayed in Corfe in Dorset and Jersey in the Channel Islands and yes, he was perfectly happy during the flight to Jersey, despite the numerous warnings I received about being THAT parent with the the screaming baby on the plane that nobody wants to sit near.
I am already planning where to visit next. High up on my list are Cape Verde and New York. Whilst thinking about holidaying with a baby and having done it myself already, I decided to put together a checklist/list of things to consider when planning a holiday with a little one. I hope you find it useful!
- Is the hotel child friendly? This may seem obvious, but you don't want to turn up to a hotel to find there is no lift and you have to travel up six flights of stairs to get to your room.
- Do the hotels have high chairs? You would be surprised at how many don't!
- Do the hotels have suitable baby cots?
- Will there be air conditioning in your room if you're jetting off somewhere hot?
- Will you be staying all-inclusive, bnb or self catering? Most all inclusive hotels have child friendly buffets at child friendly times. We follow a combination of baby led weaning and pureed foods so when in Jersey we were happy to let our little one get stuck into the buffet food we were eating. Some hotels may blend food on request but it might be a good idea to take some emergency baby food pouches. We're fans of the Ella's Kitchen pouches.
- Should you take the car seat? This was a big question for me when we visited Jersey. In the end I opted not to, but I would definitely have taken it if we had been hiring a car. We did take taxis to and from the airport in Jersey but I simply strapped him in with my seat belt as you are allowed to do whilst travelling via taxi. If you do decide to take your car seat on holiday most airlines will place the car seat in the hold for free but please do double check this with your airline before flying. Many people also wrap their car seats in bubble wrap or some other similar packing material to avoid it being damaged in transit.
- What to do with the pushchair? Most airlines will also carry a pushchair in the hold for free. Alternatively you can use the pushchair up until boarding where you can hand the pushchair to a member of cabin crew who will store the pushchair for you and return it upon landing. This is useful if you need to use the pushchair whilst in the departure lounge. Again, please double check your individual airline's policies before travelling.
- To take formula and nappies? You might wonder if you should take formula and nappies with you on holiday, taking up valuable suitcase room. Fortunately, you can pre-order from Boots which is located in the departure lounge, post security at the major airports so you can just collect on the day and take on as hand luggage, saving that suitcase space.
- To book seats on the plane or not? It will almost certainly cost you money, but if you want to guarantee seats together then I would recommend booking your seats. Sitting together means that you can take it in turns to hold your baby during the flight which will be vital when you eat and need to make that toilet trip!
- Entertainment for the plane - Pack lots of toys and snacks for your little one to keep them entertained and occupied on the plane.
- Suncream, Suncream, Suncream. Remember to stock up on suncream if you are heading to sunnier climates. An SPF of at least 50 should be used and most suncream brands also have baby/kids versions which are suitable for sensitive skins. A hat is also a must for babies and if you are going to be spending lots of time on the beach or by the pool then a pop up beach tent would also prove useful in protecting your little one from the sun's rays.
- Sea swimming? Always be very wary of sea swimming when at home or abroad due to hidden currents. I would recommend cooling off in a hotel swimming pool that has fully trained life guards.
Is there anything else you can think of which you think ought to be added to the list?
Wherever you choose to holiday - stay safe and enjoy making memories.