The Secret to Traveling Abroad with Baby

The Secret to Traveling Abroad with Baby

If you’ve ever seen parents struggling with a screaming baby and tons of luggage in the airport, it’s understandable that you might dread traveling abroad with baby. Traveling with babies is not easy because you have double or triple the luggage and a little human in your arms.

However, it doesn’t have to be so dreadful. With a little planning and following our essential guidelines, flying with a child can be surprisingly enjoyable. Here are the 8 tips we recommend.

Start Small

The first time you travel with a baby should not be a 10-hour flight with several layovers. Learning that your baby hates flying or gets airsick is not pretty when the end is so far. It’s also the take-offs and the landings that make baby’s ears pop, which hurts and causes them to cry.

Before we started traveling abroad with baby, we always did several road trips to our friends' places or our parents. Once the kids got used to road travel, then we made a short air travel trip to the coast which took 45 minutes. This helps kids get used to traveling before doing long flights.


Prepare the Baby Verbally

Babies may not really understand what you are talking about, but you should do it anyway. A day before the trip, have a visual conversation about the trip. Show them the airplane, explain that you will go inside it and the airport, and make them feel safe. You should not skip this step with older kids, but we found it necessary to start early. You never know what kids absorb at this tender age.

Bring Someone Else Along

Between the luggage, the baby, and the endless hoops you have to jump before boarding the plane, it’s no wonder people lose things. Having another adult help you with some stuff helps you stay sane and make the process easier.

They can hold the baby as you check in, help carry the luggage, take care of things so you can run to the restroom, and help fold the stroller. These little things make all the difference when traveling, so you don’t get so overwhelmed.

Pack Well

The packing issue is a bit controversial, and it depends on who you ask. Personally, I’d rather you overpack than find yourself stalled at an airport with no baby food and no diapers. A lot can go wrong in transit traveling abroad with baby and you would rather be on the over-prepared side of things.

What I do not advise however is carrying a lot of bulky stuff that you can get on arrival. For instance, a baby cot and highchair are not things you should take with you while traveling. The farthest you can go with bulky stuff is a stroller and car seat. Get one of those stroller car seat combos as long as it's FAA approved. Book a property or a hotel that offers kids amenities or organize to rent them on arrival.


10 Things to Pack When Traveling Abroad with Baby

  1. Lots and lots of diapers. Think about how many diapers your child uses daily, multiply by the number of days you’ll be gone, and add ten.
  2. Extra clothing because there might be diaper explosions and throwing up during travel.
  3. Two pacifiers and their clips.
  4. Sanitizing wipes and extra bibs.
  5. Baby Tylenol.
  6. Two zip lock bags for soiled clothes and diapers.
  7. Bottles, formula, and breast pump.
  8. Small toys and lots of snacks (healthy ones preferably).
  9. Comfort toy or blankie.
  10. Tablet for watching.

Carry all of these items in your carry-on bag, so they are within reach. We find that a backpack carry-on is better because you get to have both your hands free and not struggle with a tote sliding off your shoulders.

Arrive Early

The whole checking-in thing at the airport is pretty tiresome and annoying especially when you have a baby, and they have to check every item. Trust me, you don’t want to be late and start running through the airport with luggage and a baby. Save yourself the frustration and arrive early enough to do the checks and everything calmly.

When you arrive early, you will have time to sit down and relax, feed your baby, and do one last diaper change and restroom trip before boarding.

Splurge on Comfort

If you can afford it, buy a plane seat for your baby even if it’s not required. Having their own space to stretch, play, eat and sleep makes the flight much easier for everyone involved. I’ve found this to be especially helpful when taking long flights because it can be quite tiresome to hold a baby on your lap for hours. Also, since we travel a lot, we use our travel miles and points to fly business class because there is extra space to stretch our legs and better facilities.

Plan Flights Around Bedtime

One way to prevent jetlag and fussy babies is to travel at night when the baby is sleeping. Feed them at the usual time and let them sleep throughout the flight instead of disrupting their schedule. However, this will only work if you arrive at your destination in the morning and hit the ground running instead of going back to bed.

Baby Travelling on Plane

Have Tons of Distractions

Last but not least, carry a lot of distractions for your child. We like to buy a few new toys and wrap them as gifts. By the time the baby unwraps, discovers the new toy, and gets used to it, you are halfway through the journey.

Another distraction is finger foods. Pack a lot of snacks like apples, cheerios, biscuits, and anything your child likes to snack on. They will be too busy eating to cry, and full babies tend to fall asleep faster.

Speaking of food, make sure the baby is eating during take-off and landing. The swallowing will keep the ears from popping. You can also use a pacifier or a bottle, and it will work the same way. A tablet to watch some cartoons also comes in handy for a few hours.

All that said, the most important advice we can give anyone traveling with a baby is to stay calm. There is a big chance your baby will fuss, throw a tantrum even and get sick in flight. When this happens, your fellow passengers will throw stares your way and judge. Pay them no attention and stay calm through it all. Expect something to go wrong and prepare mentally for it. If you don’t panic, your child won’t either, and it will be much easier to diffuse the situation and go back to peaceful travel.


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