Summer is finally here, and with it comes the opportunity to explore, travel and unwind in the sun with your little ones. Whether it’s taking a baby to visit relatives; bringing them on a long drive; or going further afield by sea or plane, you want your children’s summer to be safe, secure and happy.
We can’t guarantee you peace, but with a few steps, we can give you a little more peace of mind. Here are some essential tips for travelling with an infant this summer…
Local Holidays and Driving
Holidaying at home is understandably popular with young families – you can put your baby (and their many accessories!) into a car and not have to worry about passports, air cabin pressure or troubling too many other passengers.
The car safety EU requirements are well-known, but in case you’re not familiar, there’s a handy list of rules and regulations available on the Road Safety Authority site. These include: Rearward-facing child car seats must never be used in the front passenger seat of cars with an active airbag; always use safety belts (in conjunction with the appropriate seat) and children’s seats must be reverse-facing until the child is 6 months old.
On a less formal note, take the time to familiarise yourself with the car’s baby seat, how it works and the location and function of every strap and buckle. (Some parents to be even practice strapping in a seat before their baby comes along!) Our own Group 0, 1, 2 Car Seat is a comfortable, sleek and award-winning device.
If you’re already a parent, you’ll know that even a trip down to the local shop requires planning. Here’s what you need to prepare in advance of a flight:
- Harnesses and/or seats: Most airlines will provide these, but make sure to check on their website before you travel. Is it first come first served? Can you request it when booking tickets?
- With carry-on luggage, again, planning is essential. Make sure to bring every item for changing, feeding and any medicines with your carry-on (i.e. not checked-in) luggage. Soft toys are recommended for flying too. Remember, electronic devices can’t be used when taking off, landing or even approaching a gate. While there are liquid restrictions for carry-on baggage, they’re more relaxed when it comes to baby food, but again, check with the individual airline.
- We hate to say it, but if you have a toddler, it’s not recommended to sleep on a long haul flight if you have an unrestrained child. It’s best to nap only when they nap, and while they’re restrained.
Ferries, cruises and boats
Raising a baby is no picnic, but it is easier in some ways than looking after a toddler. This is especially true if you’re travelling by sea and your child is too young to crawl or run.
However, regardless of whether your child is a baby or toddler, we would recommend booking a cabin for long journeys – a quiet private place for your child to sleep, get changed and play is worth the extra money.
You should also take note of lifeboats, exits and baby facilities the moment you board. Then you’ll have more peace of mind when you find the deckchair with the best view!
Other Little Tips
Yes, we know that excess baggage can be cumbersome and costly, but regardless of how far you travel, it’s advisable to pack everything you need. For instance, that cute B&B or apartment complex might not have appropriate sleeping facilities for your little one. Make sure to bring a foldable travel cot mattress and carry cot.
Similarly, whether disembarking from your own car, a ferry or a plane, it will be reassuring to have your own buggy and equipment: and many, like the Cupla Travel System, have plenty of space for storage.
Travelling with a baby can be a challenge, but just a little care and preparation will make your travels safer, more relaxed and (yes) even more fun.