Ten Tips for Safe Summer Travel with Baby
Is your first summer vacation with the new addition to your family coming up?
Have you been worrying about what to take and how safe baby will be during your trip?
There is really no need to get stressed out over it. Just check out these simple tips to ensure you enjoy the
best time ever on holiday with your new baby.
Tip #1: Adjust your expectations
There is undoubtedly more work involved in showing a baby the world than travelling solo or
as a couple – but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth the hassle. Babies need things, and you’ll
need to carry those things. Babies need to eat, and you’ll need to have food. Babies need to
sleep, and you’ll need to ensure a safe place for that.
So adjust the pace. Trying to cram as much into your days as possible will just make you all
cranky and tired. Life has changed, and if you think travel hasn’t, think again. But that travel
is now more amazing than ever, for a new set of reasons.
Tip #2: Pack smart
If you are travelling by car, you don’t need to worry about weight, but space might still be an
issue. By the time you have got the pram in your car boot, it might leave little space for
anything else. So, packing smart is essential whether you fly or drive.
If you are travelling by plane and have paid an infant fare, you will find that most airlines will
not give you a luggage allowance for baby as you have only paid for one seat. However, you
can often bring a car seat or stroller without paying extra. Make sure you check your airline’s
website to see what you are and aren’t allowed to bring, including the dimensions and
weight of the suitcases and you can check in and the number of hand luggage pieces. After
all, you will need a changing bag just for baby.
Before you start packing, make a list. The earlier you start, the more likely it is you won’t
forget any essentials. When you start packing, try rolling your clothes to maximise space. Put
shoes into bags to keep baby’s clothes clean. Most importantly make sure that any
important items needed during travel are easily accessible. Also, remember airlines do lose
luggage so if there is anything vital such as food, spare clothes or medication for baby, make
sure it is in your hand luggage.
Tip #3. Bring a sling or baby carrier
These are extremely useful even if you are taking a pram or stroller on vacation this summer
and they take up virtually no space. If your airline wants you check in your pram, for
example, a sling or baby carrier will be essential for those 2-3 hours you might have to walk
around the airport carrying your baby. They are particularly handy for anyone travelling on
their own with baby as it keeps your hands free and are often spotted at passport control.
Slings are also great if go anywhere that is not easily accessible by pram, or for quick trips to
the shops. They don’t just help carry your baby safely, they can also substitute as a blanket,
changing pad or nursing cover. If slings aren’t your thing, there are many lightweight baby
carriers about that might protect your back from injury by distributing baby’s increasing
weight. Best of all, most babies love slings and baby carriers, and the combination of your
body warmth, heart-beat and motion sends them straight to sleep.
Tip #4. Take your own formula
It’s a good idea to travel with baby formula and food as babies can be fussy eaters from an
early age. Don’t simply assume all countries will offer the same brands of baby formula or
food, as many don’t. Brands differ and it is very likely your baby will refuse formula from
abroad as it will most certainly taste different. The same goes for baby cereal and baby jars if
your little one is on solids.
If you do not have enough space to take all, then opt for formula. Your baby is more likely to
eat mashed up fruit or baby meals from a different brand (or you could make your own as
you might already do at home), than to change formula. Be extra careful to only use bottled
and boiled water when you sterilise and prepare bottles to protect your baby from germs
when travelling to countries known for foodborne diseases and bacteria.
Tip #5: Breastfeeding
The best food for baby is also the easiest to have ready when you’re on the road.
Breastfeeding doesn’t just eliminate the need to lug bottles, teats, equipment and formula
around, whilst sterilizing everything; baby will also be getting valuable antibodies that will
protect against illness when away from home. So, if you are still breastfeeding and want to
stop soon, keep that in mind and consider delaying until after your vacation.
Tip #6. Choose the right stroller
If your baby is under 6 months old, you will probably still be using a full-size pram. If this can
be converted into a comfortable pushchair for baby, consider making do without the carry
cot for your trip to save space. Just remember to check the manual for age
recommendations. It might be that the converted version does not offer enough neck and
If your baby is old enough to sit or lie back in a stroller, look into buying a lightweight
pushchair that can easily be folded and takes up little weight in your car. Even the cheap
ones are pretty durable and will be very useful for years to come. Make sure that it is
comfortable enough to allow baby to sleep and that you buy the usual accessories to protect
little one from the sun this summer as she will be more exposed in a stroller.
Tip #7. Car seats and sun shades
Car seat laws vary by state and country so can be confusing. The fact is that any young baby
will be safest in a rear facing car seat whether you travel by car or plane. If you are going
away by car, no doubt, baby will travel in its own car seat. But have you thought about sun
shades for baby’s car windows? This is vital to protect your little one. A sun wind shield
cover to keep the car cool whilst parked will also greatly help to keep baby safe and
comfortable this summer.
If, however, you are flying to your summer holiday destination, you need to think about
either hiring a car seat when you arrive at your destination or bringing your own. In case you
have a seat booked for your baby (which is not required under the age of 2) and your car
seat is approved for use in an aircraft by the FAA, then you can bring and use your car seat
during the flight which is the safest way for baby to travel. Alternatively, if you haven’t
booked a seat and intend to have your son or daughter on your lap, then you can check your
car seat in (check for airline charges) or you can hire a seat at your destination. Taxi
companies often provide car seats but beware they need to be booked in advance plus age
and weight of the baby need to be given. You can also book a bassinet if you travel long haul
but note that most airlines do not guarantee availability even if confirmed in advance.
Tip #8. Baby friendly accommodation
Don’t assume all hotels naturally have baby cribs, high-chairs, bottle warmers, etc. available.
Call the hotel before booking any accommodation to check what is provided and what isn’t –
and specify what needs to be readily available for your arrival. This will save you a lot of
hassle and potentially a lot of unnecessary packing.
If you are travelling with a baby this summer, you need to ensure that your room has air
conditioning. It is also very useful to request a quiet room. Rooms at the end of corridors
usually work best as chances are much higher that you and baby are not woken by anyone
returning noisily to their room in the early hours. It also means that fewer guests will be
affected by your baby’s crying.
Tip #9. Sun safety
Keeping your baby safe in the sun is vital, especially with those potentially hot summer
months approaching. If you do not protect baby from the harmful sun rays, it could have an
increased risk of skin cancer in later life.
When it comes to purchasing sun lotion, go for high factor (SPF 50) and fragrance-free
products. Babies have more sensitive skin and develop have an allergic reaction. Kids sun
lotion is fragrance free and thicker than adult sun lotion providing better coverage and
hence making it overall for baby safer than adult lotion.
Covering baby in high factor sun cream is just one way of keeping her safe. Sun hats covering
the neck are equally important and so are UV suits if you want to go swimming with little
one. If you are going to the beach, consider taking a pop-up tent or at least a good size
Tip #10. Travel vaccinations
Does your baby need shots? Research your summer holiday destination well ahead of time
to see if there’s a travel advisory. And don’t leave it to the last minute: vaccinations often
require weeks or even months between shots.
There are many things to consider when you take your baby on holiday in the summer. Start
planning early and make a list to ensure you don’t forget any essentials, especially if you go
abroad. That way, little can go wrong. And if it does, relax and go with the flow because
baby will pick up on your stress levels more than it will care about the forgotten sun shade!