How to Plan a Baby Friendly Holiday
Having a baby can change your life in a number of ways, and one of the main times you will notice this is when it comes to planning a holiday. You won’t be able to just hop on a plane with hand luggage and spend days on end lying in the next to the pool, you need to think about your little one too.
Just because you have a baby now, this doesn’t mean you should be stuck at home and unable to enjoy the long sunny holidays that all your friends are going on through the summer months, it just means that you need to do a bit more planning and preparation.
Here’s what to think about when planning a baby friendly holiday to ensure that everyone has a fun and stress-free break:
Decide how far you are willing to travel when it comes to your holiday – would you rather be able to drive somewhere or are you happy to fly? If it is your very first holiday with your baby, then you may be best off just travelling a short distance either somewhere within the country or to a relatively close destination such as France or Spain.
If you are planning on travelling quite a long distance, then make sure you consult your doctor, as children under four months old may not have had all their immunisations, so they will advise you on your individual situation.
Think about your holiday budget, as everything is more expensive when you have a little one in tow. Try and get a good deal on your accommodation and if you can go at a time of the year when travel is cheaper.
Consider whether you would rather pay a bit more for an all-inclusive holiday so you know where to have all your meals, or whether you are planning on eating out every day – visiting a different restaurant every night can often add a huge amount onto your holiday expenditure.
You may dream of endless water-skiing and boat trips for your summer holiday, but when you have a baby with you it is best not to be too overly ambitious. If there are lots of different things you want to do though, then you could look into holiday childcare.
Before you go on holiday do your research on the different baby friendly activities available in the area. There may be a zoo or animal park you could take them to, or even just a baby pool with different floats and toys for them to enjoy near your hotel.
There are usually a few different choices when it comes to booking accommodation for your holiday – hotel, self-catered villa, B&B etc. Do your research on the Internet and read as many reviews as possible from other parents to find out what would be most suitable for you in the area. Make a list of equipment and think about what you can take with you and what needs to be present at the accommodation already, such as cots and high chairs, as this will help you find the best option.
Make sure you plan your accommodation with plenty of time to spare, as baby friendly villas and hotels are very popular and start getting booked up from as early as January. If you want to go on holiday in the most popular summer months then it is worth looking to book in December.
Travelling can often be tricky with a baby, especially when you are taking them on a very public form of transport such as a plane or train. If you are going to be driving, then make sure you take frequent stops, as this should keep your baby calm and allow them to stretch out a bit.
Most trains in the UK and Europe allow babies to travel for free, so just check before hand that they have suitable changing facilities and make sure you book a seat so that you don’t end up standing up.
Planes can feel like the most daunting form of transport for parents, but there are some things you can do to make the whole situation as easy as possible: choose a flight that departs at a reasonable time and gives you a large enough baggage allowance. Give yourself enough time at the airport and make the most of the family friendly priority seating policy, this should ensure you have a comfortable and stress-free flight.
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