Cart is empty

Your First Trip Abroad. 9 Hacks From Parent to Parent.

The first trip abroad as a new family can often be accompanied by a sense of fear of the unknown or the utter overwhelm of planning. However, after travelling abroad with my baby boy Eddie at 2 weeks, 3 months, 5 months, 7 months, and 10 months old, both together with my partner and solo, I can personally give some cool, practical tips from parent-to-parent and hope to help bust a few myths along the way!

  1. Let go of any expectations or comparisons of what travel used to be like alone or with your partner – it is a whole new experience, and it is actually really fun. Things will take a little longer to plan, and everything on your journey just takes a little more time. So if you are not in a hurry, take your sweet time and give lots of leeway for nappy changes, feeding sessions and snack stops; I promise you will 100% learn to enjoy this new dynamic.
  2. On food, milk and snacks, take many – more than you think you could ever need for both yourself and your bambino, especially if they have started solids. I found airport security to be lovely and relaxed when you’re with a baby or toddler, so don’t stress with the amount of stuff – Fun, new snacks got me through a solo 2-hour flight with my awake 10-month-old, and we both consumed everything we had!
  3. The baby carrier is king! Especially for getting on and off the plane and getting your baby to sleep once in the air. We use the Najell Easy Breezy model and have loved it from the newborn phase. You can use it until 15kg – it is super comfortable for Eddie and me and has easy magnet clips to get him in and out when you need to put their seat belt on. You can take your stroller all the way to the gate if you wish; however, we usually check it in so we can wear Eddie and be hands-free at the airport. Most airports in Europe also have strollers that you can rent for free and take all the way to the gate with you if your baby is a little bigger and breaking your back!
  4. Absolutely rinse your baby’s luggage allowance! Every airline I have flown with so far (Norweigan, RyanAir and Easyjet) allow you to check 2 baby items for free into the hold. Size and weight are not specified, but they typically say a car seat and stroller. We have a Bugaboo Donkey 3 and bought a second-hand Bugaboo travel suitcase for it to ‘protect’ it in the hold. This means that you can stuff it full of your own luggage too. It usually gets checked in as oversized luggage as it is quite large and has never been questioned or checked. My boyfriend and I never ever paid for luggage pre-baby and hate that most airlines are now making you pay for a carry-on. So in these instances, we just use the free check-in allowance, and each has a small rucksack full of baby stuff and snacks to avoid paying anything!
  5. On paying for stuff – paying for a seat on an aeroplane is my biggest bugbear. Pre-baby, we never would have paid, and it would just be a potluck to see if we were sat together or not. If not 9/10, we’d find a nice person to swap with, or there would be a free seat anyway. Of course, it’s different with a baby – You want to be sat together, and I always prefer an aisle seat to easily escape. On this, whenever I have travelled alone with Eddie, I have never paid and have always been allocated an aisle seat automatically. I’m not sure if this is just luck or whether parents with infants on laps have to have an aisle seat. Either way, when travelling together, we just had to take the hit and buy 2 seats together – we always found sitting right at the back of the plane is the best. Closer to the toilet and open areas if you need to walk the baby around. Also, the opportunity to get on the plane last and off the plane first (if they open the back door upon landing!)
  6. On checking in/getting on the plane, of course, everyone is different, but I have found it way more beneficial to get on the plane literally last every time. Especially when Eddie was 10 months and all wiggly, it meant we were on the tarmac for as little time as possible.
  7. Get to know the airport you’re travelling from – are there any areas to let your baby crawl around to burn off some energy before the flight? Where are the best changing facilities? Where is the drinking water tap to fill up your water bottle for free?
  8. If you are hiring a car once at your destination, really do some research into exactly where it is (is it in the Arrival Terminal or 3 miles away from the airport?) and whether it will actually be open when you land! We’ve been burned severely with early and late flights, so always check!
  9. This one might seem obvious unless, pre-baby, you were a hotel-loving traveller. Opt-in for an AirBnb. You can filter properties to find the family-friendly ones, and they usually have at least a cot and a high chair. Staying at an apartment allows you to pack lighter. You can take fewer clothes for your baby and always do a quick load if the smoothie landed everywhere but in the belly.

I always wanted to make sure that when I looked back on first or new experiences with my baby, they were always positive, fond memories, and I think that once you’ve mentally adjusted to the dynamic of your new family, it lets you take a breath and takes away the traditional stress associated with travel.

Waitlist Leave us your email and we will let you know once there is an available spot.