RoomCritic Tip | How to enjoy an overseas trip with your baby without needing a holiday when you return.
You don’t have to stop travelling just because of a new addition to the family, but there is a lot to think about when taking a young baby on holiday.
All babies travel differently. Some well and some not so much. But, there are easier ages to travel than others and many things you can do to ensure your next holiday is awesome.
Here’s our top 10 tips for ensuring you enjoy your next overseas holiday with a young baby.
1. Do a lot of planning, but don’t plan on doing a lot.
A few weeks before you go, plan out as many of the activities you want to do while on holiday. Work out how long they’ll take to do. How will you get there. Walk, hire car, public transport or taxi? And how much stuff will you need to take with you. Finding places to change nappies or heat up formula can sometimes be a challenge, but not impossible with a little planning. For long haul trips, contact your airline well in advance and book a bassinet and find out what weight restrictions they may have on them. If you are travelling alone with your baby, upgrade yourself to business class. Believe me, it’s worth every single frequent flyer point.
2. Pack more than you need.
Gone are the days of travelling light. Before you pack, write a list of all the baby’s things you’ll need to take, then pack extras. You’ll use it. Spare, spare clothes, bottles, formula, bowls and plastic spoons. Take a few extra packets of baby food and baby cereal, just in case. The last thing you want to be doing is searching for a supermarket or chemist when you get there. Don’t forget to take washing up liquid for your baby bottles and other stuff too.
3. Spend the extra money and book a bigger room.
Do not try to save on your accommodation. You need a big room, in a nice hotel. Ask yourself “if everything turns to shit, could we all live in this hotel room for a week?”. Most of the bigger hotel chains are super family friendly with staff that will help you even without you needing to ask. When you book your hotel, get a baby cot. Make sure they put it up for you before you arrive, you’re on holiday and have much better things to do. If you are staying in a hotel, don’t take one with you. If the hotel you are booking doesn’t have a cot, change hotels.
4. Take a traveller on the plane.
Give your baby a bottle of formula, water or breast feed just after take off to help prevent them from getting sore ears as you ascend. Make sure you give it to them just after you take off, who knows how long you’ll be taxiing or waiting on the tarmac for, and you don’t want them to be finished before you’re in the air.
5. Kick the jet lag as soon as possible.
Babies generally adjust well and quickly, so this is all about you. Stay up during daylight hours and go to bed during the night. It’s as simple as that.
6. Use your hotel as base camp.
If sightseeing in a new city, take shorter looping walks back to the hotel. Connect a few sights in one walk so you get to maximize each trip out. Explore the local area first before going on the long trips. This will help you find the local shops and transport. Every few hours make your way back to the hotel, this lets you change, feed and more importantly get them out of the pram.
7. Take a camera with you everywhere.
Whether just a smart phone or full on DSLR it doesn’t matter, just take as many photos as possible. Don’t forget to take as many as possible with your baby too. Snapping bub sightseeing will make looking back through the pictures later even more fun.
8. Don’t forget about yourself.
Pack some dressy clothes. Don’t ever give up on the idea that you’ll go out for a nice dinner even if you don’t. A really nice touch is to organise for your hotel to leave something you love in your room for your arrival. On a recent stay at The Hilton Auckland, Justine organised for two locally brewed beers to be waiting in the room for me when we arrived. After we put Saxon to bed, they helped me settle in nicely. Thanks again J.
9. Take a practice run.
Like everything, practice makes perfect. If you’re planning a long haul trip away, book yourself a short weekend away in a city closer to home. This will be a great test run to see how well you and your baby do. Test and learn.