This year we intend to take Isabelle on her very first holiday abroad, it will be our first holiday abroad as a family. I am very much looking forward to having a much needed break but also a little apprehensive about taking Isabelle abroad. She will be 19 – 20 months by the time we go on holiday and she is very much an active toddler so taking her abroad for the first time is a daunting prospect as we have never really had to consider travelling with children before.
Firstly we have the plane journey, it’s hard enough to keep her seated at home for more than 15 minutes so how will we cope on a flight for a minimum of two hours? I’m praying that we opt for an evening flight so that she can sleep through most of it or maybe that is just wishful thinking. I want to avoid as much disruption to her routine as possible. If my plan fails how do I keep her entertained on the flight? I can take a portable dvd player so that she can watch cartoons and the like and lots of snacks but I do not think that this is enough to keep her seated and entertained the entirety of the flight. Some friends have suggested taking crayons and playdoh to keep her entertained as well as some reading books and possibly a toy. This is already a massive list that doesn’t include any of her usual traveling items like nappies, cream, changing mat, drinking cups, food snacks, wipes and a spare set of clothes. At this rate she will require a hand luggage case all to herself, , I am glad that we have purchased a Trunki case for her. Then I don’t know the rules about car seats, will she need one on the plane or am I just being silly? I know that she will need one when we hire a car but I’m sure we can get one from the car hire company. There is so much to think about even before we reach our destination and to top it all off other passengers may not be as appreciative of our child as we are especially if she is tearful.
The preparation leading up to our holiday seems very stressful when we have to take into account that we would have to travel with everything bar the kitchen sink. There is so much to take with us even just for a week’s break and that is not taking into account the items that I need to keep Isabelle entertained, she loves her ride on toys but can I justify taking a truck on a plane, I don’t even know if we would be allowed to travel with it. Obviously I can purchase items to keep her entertained whilst we are on holiday but I like to be prepared.
She needs her own passport, even though she will change a lot over the coming years it is required that she has a photo passport to prove she is who she is.
Last year Isabelle was 8 months old when we took her on her first little break, she had only been crawling for a few weeks so it was easy to keep her in one place and since we were only in the uk we had no limits as to what we could take with us. We wouldn’t have been able to cope taking her abroad last year especially since she was bottle fed and we would had have to have taken all of her sterilising equipment with us plus other endless supplies of items including baby milk. So instead we took her camping to a caravan site in wales, if you want to have a search yourself, that site is a good starting point.
It wasn’t too bad since our tent isn’t really the kind you find at a festival and cramped for space; it’s a huge tent with living areas and sleeping areas and more than enough room for you to stand up in all areas. Minus the facility of running water it was near enough a home from home situation with all of our home comforts.
Here’s a list of my essentials for travelling with a baby/toddler this holiday season
- A good comfortable carrier – I use a Mei Tai which helped save a lot of room and also we didn’t have to take the pram most places. It was the perfect choice for us as it kept my hands free to do other things and also I could keep Isabelle happy, especially when she wanted cuddles.
- A backpack harness – now Isabelle is toddling everywhere at a rapid speed we cannot leave the house without our children’s backpack harness. We currently use one from Pacapod, Isabelle loves to wear it and she can carry her little toys, some changing equipment and maybe some snacks in there to.
- If your hotel or place of stay do not have travel cots we found a great little product called My First Ready Bed made by worlds apart, and basically that is what it is. An inflatable bed for toddlers and most of them come adorned with the latest cartoon characters. The best part about it is that is comes complete with its own pump and travel case. It’s incredibly easy to inflate and Isabelle loved it so it must have been comfortable. They are perfect for holidays and even sleepovers at friends or relatives.
- If your baby is bottle feeding then sterilising tablets and bags can be purchased so you don’t have to take an electric or microwave steriliser with you.
- Calpol – last year we made the mistake and had to venture out late at night to purchase calpol for a teething Isabelle. With a very grumpy teething baby it’s always best to be prepared.
- Baby Aid Compact First Aid Kit – It’s always better to be prepared for those unavoidable boo boos.
- Chair Harness – You can’t always rely on a restaurant having children’s high chairs so by taking one of these small packs along with you then you have no worries and it will keep them secure in an adult chair.
- A Trunki Case – Although a little on the expensive side we can keep all of Isabelles books and toys for travelling safe. The fun and exciting designs are perfect for little ones.
I hope these can help and if you have any more tips then feel free to add them as a comment below