Make It Easy On Yourself - Tips For Taking Babies On Holiday
Travelling with little ones can be a challenge. Luckily, there are some tried and tested paths to a calm and happy break for you and your baby.
Go with the flowAs a new parent, you already know that having a baby can change your everyday life in ways you'd never imagined. The same goes for holidays. With baby in tow, travelling takes on a whole new shape to accommodate feeding, sleeping, changing and play. Once you surrender to baby's holiday agenda, the days settle into a relaxing rhythm that will allow you and your baby to enjoy a blissful break, side by side.
Take your timeWhoa there, jetsetters! You'll need to slow things down a notch if you're going to travel with baby. Whether you're in transit or sightseeing, make sure to factor in extra time for regular breaks, and some unplanned ones too, for feeding, changing, comforting and all those unforeseen baby needs. While it may take you longer to get from A to B, setting a relaxed schedule will mean a happier baby.
Do your researchThankfully, holiday operators have woken up to the needs of parents with young children, so there are plenty of accommodation and services out there to make your holiday easier. Your accommodation options include self-catering apartments (perfect for getting the environment and routine just right for your baby, while providing you with the space to unwind once he or she drifts off to sleep). Then there are family-friendly resorts, which often provide childcare and baby gear. Crèches and holiday nannies can also help. Again, it's down to what suits you and your baby, so get online and start searching. (Try the websites of travel operators like www.cosmos.co.uk for family-friendly ideas.)
Pick your distanceThey say every baby's different, and you know yours best. If you find your little one tends to get fractious on long car or train journeys, you may want to consider choosing a destination that's close to home. (There are plenty of great places you can get to in just three hours from the UK, such as Faro, Portugal, and Costa del Sol, Spain.) But if you're willing to bet that your baby will be happy to fly further, it can be well worth it. Just think: the logistics of travelling with little ones get even more complicated once they're mobile, and it's generally cheaper to travel with small infants.
Be preparedThere's no such thing as packing light (or last minute) when you're on the move with a baby. When a baby's involved, even a simple picnic requires military-precision planning. Careful packing and preparation is absolutely key to taking a baby on holiday. First, find out what baby equipment is available at your destination, then make a detailed list of everything you need. Break it down into things for sleeping, changing, feeding and playing to make sure you cover everything off. And don't forget practicalities like passports, either (find out more on www.gov.uk).