As some of you know we just returned from our holiday abroad. We spent some time in London, Brussels and Amsterdam and we had an amazing time! It was our first time out of the country with our 8 month old and I must say traveling with a baby is more work than when you are traveling on your own. It can be hard but if you bring everything you need to make your life easy it should not be a problem!
I am posting this to give you some tips when traveling with baby! We took a direct 9 hour + flight from Vancouver to London and many train rides between countries (averaging 3 hours each)!
-When traveling by plane make sure to bring you own airplane approved car seat if you buy a seat for your baby. We knew we had a 9 hour plane ride ahead so we decided to purchase a seat for my son. It was worth it because he slept on his car seat for about 5 hours on our way there!
-Always check in early as you can try getting the best sitting situation for you and your family (even if you didn't buy an extra seat for baby). If the plane is empty they may give you a seat for free. We ended up getting an extra seat on our way to Europe so we had 4 seats for the 3 of us. It made it a lot easier to travel with the extra space! You can also try to get the airline baby cots (if they have not been taken).
-Bring LOTS of wipes and diapers. Either cloth or disposables if that is what you prefer. I used my wipes to clean the arm rests/ T.V screens and other surfaces close to us on the plane because I knew my son was going to touch them a lot.
-Drink lots of water during the flight specially if you are breastfeeding! You need to keep hydrated to continue producing enough milk.
-Make sure you have a passport and all the documents needed for traveling for your baby! Do all the paperwork ahead of time so you are not rushing close to your trip! Nothing like stressing about that before you go.
Top 10 Must Have Items when Traveling Abroad!
-Good Quality Light Stroller -
We had a lot of luggage with us and having a stroller that was easy to collapse and carry was very helpful. When going through security you must collapse the stroller so it was great having something that was easy and fast to open and close.
During the flight and train rides we had to use the pacifier many times and it was great to know that it was always attached to his clothes and ready to be used! Plus I didn't have to deal with pacifiers falling on the dirty floors! A must have!
-Teething Toys and other toys -
I brought a couple of teething toys for my son to play with. I didn't think about bringing more than two but after a couple of hours flight/train ride he was getting really bored playing with the same two things! I should have brought some more. I recommend taking with you a few small toys that you can rotate between during the travel time.
-Sunblock lotion and Hat -
Be ready and always have sunblock lotion with you and a hat for all your outings. It was definitively necessary for us since we were out exploring a lot and it was very sunny most of the time.
-Thermometer and Infant's Tylenol-
You should always have a thermometer with you to take your baby's temperature in case they get sick plus some tylenol if they have a fever or for pain relief. Aidaan was teething and had a couple of nights when I had to use some tylenol for the pain.
Bring a couple of blankets with you. I had to buy one in London as I left the blanket at the hotel thinking it was going to be a hot day but by the afternoon it was really windy and a bit cold. Always bring a blanket when you are out in your diaper bag!
Bibs are always useful and needed. I brought lots of bibs because they didn't take any extra luggage space really and they are super easy to wash. You can hang dry them and they are ready to go.
-A good nursing cover you are comfortable using-
If you are still breastfeeding your baby make sure to bring a nursing cover that you love and have used before. During our trip I was breastfeeding in MANY public places! Planes, trains, buses, boats, parks, restaurants, etc! Having the right cover made it all comfortable and easy!
-Pad to put under your baby for diaper changes-
This one is a must for me. I am a bit crazy when it comes to germs and I hate dirty changing stations! I brought my own pad and it was easy to have a safe surface for changing his diapers. I did change a few diapers with him standing because there are so many places without baby changing facilities! You just adapt to the situation ;)
Very important! Don't forget to bring a car seat for your baby. Even if you are not taking it with you on the flight you can always check it and pick it up when you arrive. It is definitively NOT SAFE to travel in a car with your baby and no car seat. We used it for all car travel and for our touristic outings we took transit and walked to avoid carrying it all the time. Remember it is not worth risking your little one's life!
I hope you find some good helpful information here and that you enjoy your trip wherever you are going. Traveling with a baby is fun if you are prepared!
Have Fun and Be Safe!