When you first become a mum, leaving the house can seem daunting, let alone visiting a different country with your little one in tow. There’s so much to think about before you even step foot out of the front door, but with luxury family holidays now available at a great price, travelling with children is not only more affordable than ever, but easier too. Babies are usually FREE or have a very small charge when travelling and there is no better time to travel in my opinion. I have very happy memories of travelling to Turkey in a 5* resort when Heidi was a baby and Harry was aged free. We bagged a free child place for Harry and Heidi was free so it was very affordable and something that's probably out of our budget now our children are in full time school.
So, if you fancy staring parenthood straight in the face and taking on all the challenges that come with having an infant, why not treat yourself to a much-needed getaway? Tempted? I've put together a survival guide to help you get from A to B (and back again) in one piece:-
1 - Think carefully about your destination
Thanks to improved transport routes and impeccable accommodation across the globe, holidaying within Europe or venturing to a more distant continent is relatively straightforward. That said, it’s crucial to think carefully about where you want to visit to ensure the climate is suitable for you and your youngsters.
If you want to visit Cyprus, for instance, it’s worth bearing in mind that temperatures can exceed 40 degrees in July and August and so you may prefer to visit at a different time of the year – when you can push a buggy around, without your face melting.
Similarly, if you fancy being adventurous and heading to somewhere like Thailand, be sure to check the weather conditions, as Monsoon season tends to run from July to October and could leave you a little wet and soggy.
2 - Opt for family-friendly hotels and resorts
When it comes to booking your holiday accommodation, always opt for somewhere that welcomes families with open arms. Not only will child-friendly hotels and resorts have all (or most) of the equipment needed to make your trip a success, but you’ll be able to relax and unwind without worrying that your baby will disrupt staff or guests – after all, the majority of people staying will be parents themselves.
What’s more, before you travel, find out if your hotel of choice supplies things like baby monitors, travel cots, covers, thermometers, bottle warming equipment and other such facilities that’ll make your stay pleasurable and reduce the amount of things you’ll have to pack.
Furthermore, while full or half-board packages can be appealing, as you won’t have to worry about shopping or cooking, you might prefer to opt for a self-catered apartment instead. This is because young children tend to have a timetable all of their own and you perhaps would prefer the freedom to prepare and arrange meals as you wish. You might also like the idea of having a hob to warm milk and prepare baby food, so think carefully about these options before booking.
3 - Find out if you need vaccinations
While there are many parts of the world you can visit without being vaccinated in advance, other countries will require you to get the relevant injections or take suitable pills. Of course, some types of medication such as malaria pills are not always appropriate for very little ones to take, so you might want to avoid going to malaria-risk areas altogether – or at least until your child is older. You can find out which vaccinations are necessary or recommended for the places you’ll be visiting online, so protect yourself against common diseases and don’t put any family members at risk.
4 - Prepare for the journey carefully
As a new mum you’ll know that children come with a lot of baggage, so you’ll need to prepare for the journey carefully. While spare clothes are a must, you should also pop nappies, wipes, aeroplane friendly toys (or ones that don’t make too much noise), plenty of snacks and blankets (in case the air conditioning is cold on the plane) into your travel bag.
Be aware that airlines do have strict hand luggage rules, however, so find out how much you’re allowed to take on board and remember, while baby food is usually permitted through security, you’ll have to buy most liquids once you’re through to departures.
Travelling with a baby/small person, might seem daunting but it’s more than doable, so go ahead and enjoy a wonderful family trip away.