We vowed that travel wouldn’t stop when we had a baby and we are lucky that, now as parents to a 9 month old (where did that time go), we can still say that travel is a big part of our lives
Baby E’s 9 month Stats
- 11 flights
- 10 cities
- 7 countries
- 1 cruise
- 1 Christmas in the Countryside
We think we’ve done pretty well but there are definitely things we have learnt from our first 9 months of travel with our daughter
- Preparation is key
Whether about to board a flight, embark on a cruise or merely enjoy a day out – preparation is your key to success. Make sure you have your essentials list for every occasions and pack extras … always pack extras!You can read more about some of our preparation advice here
- Be Flexible
Rigid plans and packed agendas will be the stress of every holiday! Prioritise what it is you would like to do and take baby’s lead on the best day to do it. You know your baby better than anyone – you know if that day is going to be a none starter.And make sure your plans aren’t so rigid while out that you don’t feel comfortable with change. It was never our plan to feed our daughter in St Peters Square in the rain but you have to roll with it and is now one of our favourite travel memories!
Also be prepared to mix it up in methods of transport. Think about where you are going and chose carefully between stroller or carrier.
- Take Breaks
Lots and lots of breaks. Babies don’t have the same stamina as you and it’s not fair or reasonable to think you will sightsee at your pre-baby rate. Enjoy a coffee break, don’t over schedule and make sure you make plenty of time for things baby will enjoy!
- Baby’s sleep is your number one priority
This is true at anytime. Overnight flights suddenly become your flight of choice!If you have a strict sleep schedule make sure you think about how you will accommodate this as you travel.It’s equally important to think about naps once you are at your destination. Whether this in the booking stages by thinking about hotel location versus tourist attractions early to getting baby use to sleeping the pram. We are lucky, pram sleeping is one of our baby’s favourite things but not all parents are so lucky!
- No holiday is off limits
This is somewhat linked to point one but so long as you plan and prepare well you can do virtually any type of holiday. We have done city breaks, cruises and luxury staycations and have enjoyed them all thoroughly (click on links to read more about each).The key to success is always preparation.
- Eat during the day
We learnt this the hard way. While you can sometimes go for an early dinner we have learnt to bank on having our big meal during the day so you don’t end up in a hotel with a MacDonalds on the bed. Babies get tired and sometimes just need a night in. Eat early and enjoy spending time as a family in the hotel.
- Babies are great conversation starters
There are loads of benefits to travelling with babies (find more here!) but one of the most surprising things for us was what great conversation starters they are. There is no where in the world that doesn’t love a baby! We have so many more locals by travelling with a baby which is great to get to know people but also for finding insider local secrets!
- Baby supplies are everywhere if you know where to look
Since starting this blog I have found out how many people are nervous about travelling abroad with a baby. As expats we have had to travel so this really wasn’t an option. All I say to them is that there are babies everywhere you just need to know where to look for supplies. I now run on the website an Essential Guide series which gives low-downs on where to buy food, best changing facilities etc. This goes back to point one, preparation and research is key.
- Manage your expectations
I’m the first to say that travel with a baby is possible and fun but you need to manage your expectations. It is not going to be the same as your travel before a baby but go in with your eyes open and manage your expectations and you will have a rewarding experience and make lasting family memories.
What have you learnt travelling with a baby? What are your top tips for other parents?