Travelling with a baby can sound like a daunting prospect. I was recently chatting to a friend who revealed that she went travelling in East Asia when her firstborn was just a babe, and I am definitely not intrepid enough to do the same!
We’ve recently come back from a weekend trip to Warwick, and back in May we spent a week at Woburn Centerparcs… that is about as adventurous as I can manage and it has been a real eye-opener!
There follows a list of observations and tips for travelling avec baby (mainly based upon a popular budget hotel chain!) that should probably NOT be considered sufficient advice to undertake a world tour…
- Fellow hotel diners will not want to sit near you and your offspring. I don’t know what it was about the cackling one-year-old, screeching nine-month-old, puree/banana/sausage missiles and two harrassed mothers that caused those waiting to be seated to indicate the tables farthest from us…
- Aforementioned toddler, baby and two mothers will NOT sleep well sharing a family room. Babies find each other hilarious, particularly at bedtime. Great to be able to enjoy a shower while Auntie monitors the child though…
- Try to choose a hotel with a nice walking area outside, so that when your baby can’t sleep and a 3am stroll is required, you don’t have to endlessly circle an IBM carpark in your PJs and mum bun plus vertical fringe. Met a friendly security guard but can’t say I was dressed for the occasion.
- Be prepared to direct your problem solving talents at managing a dazzling array of high chairs. What with the ferry, service station, hotel and wedding venue, I now feel like I can navigate any combination of folding plastic legs, safety straps and tray attachments.
- Breastfeeding in a carpark is as glamourous as it sounds.
- Lightweight buggy is a MUST! It makes quick strolls so much easier and actually our boy seems to nap better in our Mamas and Papas stroller than he ever did in the Joie pram. Our buggy is fully reclinable, quick to open and close and very compact. I found I could push baby round the wedding venue while he snoozed without feeling too conspicuous, whereas a big pram contraption would have made me self-conscious.
- Babies don’t like lifejackets. They also don’t appreciate pedaloes. They are ungrateful little sods.
- Whatever “plan” you think you have for your day, particularly in terms of food, timings and sleep…forget it, fool. Don’t you know better by now?!
These are the main lessons learnt from our brief forays into the wilds of ‘The Mainland’ (as Islanders call the England that lies over the Solent) this summer. Have you travelled with a baby or toddler in tow? Dare I ask, how was it? I think it’s a personality thing… Let me know your travel tips!