Your top 8 questions answered about first time travel with baby

As seasoned travelers but brand new parents, we're caught between knowing exactly how to plan for our upcoming overseas trips but simultaneously not having a clue. As soon as you put your precious little bundle of joy front and centre of your trip you all of a sudden come up with a million questions about what to take, where to go, how will it affect sleeping and feeding and so much more. That's why I've gone straight to someone who knows what it takes to have a successful holiday with littles.... Wendy, founder of Tots to Travel and baby travel guru has answered all of your baby travel questions ...

Where is the most baby friendly holiday destination you’ve been?

Most of Europe works really well for families but my favourite baby friendly destination is probably the Canaries, and specifically Lanzarote (for villa holidays) or Tenerife (for resort style holidays).
Whilst it’s all year-round sunshine is a huge draw, the temperature is relatively constant and it never gets to the intense summer heats that you’ll find elsewhere which really helps when you have a baby. Air conditioning is standard, food non-challenging and the Canarians love babies and children so this is a really ‘easy’ destination to holiday and making getting away on holiday easy for yourself counts for a lot with a baby.

In terms of getting there, there are stacks of flights from all over the UK so you can fly relatively inexpensively from your local airport at times to suit you and your baby, with short transfer times at either end.  All in all, ideal. 

What should you look for in baby friendly holiday accommodation?

This is a great question!  Most families tell us that they have at least one terrible holiday before they realise what it is that they really need from their accommodation. Holiday accommodation shouldn’t make your life more difficult with every day baby duty so, my top tip is to ask as many questions as possible to make sure you get what you need from your accommodation. Here are 3 main areas I think about:

1. Safety First

      The most important aspect is obviously safety, particularly if your little person is on the move.  Pools with some sort of barrier are a must as are stairgates (remember, many hot destinations use a lot of marble or tiles for the stairs, so they can be much more dangerous than our carpeted equivalents). 

What’s more difficult to know from afar is things like the width of balcony or bannister railings or the trailing strings on blinds or even the bleach down beside the loo… the list goes on which is why, at Tots To Travel we visit and put every property through a stringent child safety check that looks at all these aspects which gives you peace of mind. 

2.    2. Easy Layout

The layout of the accommodation is important too. I have always found that it is beneficial to have a small kitchen with a fridge, particularly for bottles but also for whipping up a quick pasta or bowl of cereal.  Where possible do book accommodation that gives your baby somewhere separate to sleep so that you don’t have to sit in darkness from 7pm onwards! (this can often be the case in some hotel rooms) Apart-hotels, villas on a resort and villas work really at this stage.

3.   3. Travel Light

Moving anywhere with a baby is like a military operation so do opt for somewhere that provides all the gear.  The less you have to think about, the better and of course, if you are flying then it’s impossible to take it all with you anyway!  At Tots we provide a list of the 20+ essential baby & toddler items as standard so you can travel light or make room for an extra pair of shoes!

What are your top tips for ensuring safety of mobile babies whilst travelling?

My advice is to do a safety check when you first arrive and move anything that you are uncomfortable with.  Ornaments or glasses on low shelves are obvious examples.
Particularly check the width of bannister and balcony railings (these should be no more than 10cm wide), obviously there is little that you’ll be able to do once you are there other than to keep vigilant.
With regards to pool safety, there are a couple of ‘danger times’ on holiday, the first is when a family first arrives, and they are unpacking the car or checking in, and the second is when a couple start to relax on holiday and everyone thinks that someone else is looking after the young child.  This is when accidents happen so just make sure that you continue to communicate with your partner and designate one of you to be in charge.

Any tips on taking essentials such as milk, nappies and weaning on holiday?

I used to find myself packing everything and getting myself in a tizz…until I reminded myself that there are children growing happily and safely into adults in every destination I’ve ever been to! 
Nappies are almost universally available, and generally with brands that you would recognise.  Having said that, I would always advise packing a few days’ worth so that it’s not the first thing you need to do when you arrive.   

Baby milk is worth bringing with you just so you keep the formula the same as your baby is used to.  In terms of baby food, I used to pack a banana and an avocado so I could create a quick mash-up on the move as well as a couple of sachets of baby food for emergencies.  The good news is that many of the popular brands like Ella’s Kitchen are now available almost everywhere so there is no need to panic.  In addition, some hotels will have a puree menu so do ask what is available.

How do you keep baby in their sleep routine without everyone sitting in the dark and quiet past 7pm?

There are a couple of strategies here and it depends on your parenting style as to which you use, alternatively experiment to see which works for you?  The first is to buy a Snoozeshade which is a UV cover that goes over the top of your pram and allows you to stay out and about whilst your baby sleeps. 

The second strategy is to book accommodation that has enough space for your baby to have a separate room or perhaps a balcony for you to sit on?  We’ve done that thing where you sit in the bathroom until your baby is asleep and that’s no fun which was how we ended up in cottages, villas or villa resorts.

If you could take just 3 toys to occupy baby during travel and the whole holiday what would you choose?

Wow!  That’s a tough one!  Your baby’s favourite cuddly toy is a must and then I’d also pack their favourite board book and a bottle of bubble mixture or a balloon. 

How can parents still enjoy a touch of luxury and some relaxation on holiday with young children?

It’s the ‘work arounds’ and problem solving that are tedious on holiday so I think the answer is to choose accommodation that is kitted out for babies so that you can relax into it.  If you’re open to the idea of getting a babysitter in for an evening then that will allow you to go out for dinner together as a couple or alternatively take it in turns to look after the baby and book yourselves in for a massage or some quiet time with your book on the sun lounger!

What is the most valuable piece of advice you can give to new parents going on holiday?

Being the parent of small children is joyful but it can also be quite a limiting time and fraught with worry. 

That is why I think our role at Tots is to widen the world for parents, so they can recharge, reconnect and savour the magic of time together in beautiful, stress free holiday destinations.

So my advice to new parents is to be brave and get that first plane ride and that first holiday under your belt and you won’t look back!


Thank you Wendy, that was so helpful to read and you're right, new parents have just got to be brave. Travel has always been such a part of our lives that we hope to continue enjoying our adventures with the littlest Inspiration. 

Have you got a great travel tip to share with other new parents? It would be so great to hear them....

1 comment

  1. Love all the tips and advice! Consider taking on your next trip or vacation!


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