Guest Blog on Travelling with a Baby By Stacey Camp @PlaytimewithOrlaith
Ever since my husband and I decided to start a family, I was always clear on one thing – I wanted to spend my maternity leave travelling. I’d seen amazing accounts such as @travelmadmum and @theworldwidewebers and I was inspired. I was always going to be tired, confused and delirious postnatally – I figured I may as well be tired and confused in a new, exciting country!
So we began saving.. Which shouldn’t be easy when also buying all the necessities for a new baby, but it’s amazing what severe hyperemesis does to your bank balance when you’re unable to get out of bed for 8 weeks!
And so in November 2018, Orlaith, my husband and I boarded our Emirates flight to Hong Kong…… with pit stops in Dubai, Singapore, and Bangkok. As a couple, we are not travelling rookies – I had backpacked around Europe as a student, and my husband had grown up visiting new countries with his family. However travelling with a baby was completely new to both of us (obviously), and so I started researching – how to survive the flight, things to pack, essential ‘must buys’.. Thankfully there are loads of amazing blog posts out there with really helpful information. I’m not going to repeat any of that here, but I can offer my real life tips on travelling with a baby/toddler.
- You are not being selfish for taking a baby travelling or on holiday. Younger babies won’t know the difference in location, as long as they are fed, warm and loved. And older babies bloody love it! I could write an essay on what our trip did for Orlaith’s development; she came back like a completely different baby and so much more social! And imagine the sensory experience of visiting new places from your little ones point of view – dipping their toes in sand for the first time, the Gardens by the Bay light show illuminating their eyes, or eating sauerkraut for dinner.
- Don’t expect to get through your jam-packed itinerary. Traveling with a baby goes at a much slower pace.. Imagine constant breaks for nappy changes, feeds, or simply just to take Orlaith out of the buggy or Ergobaby just to let her have a stretch. I didn’t see half the things I wanted to see in any of our destinations, but I’m not upset by it. Instead, I’ll remember each detail of all the amazing things we did do.
- Don’t worry if you forget something crucial. Here’s the weird thing about other countries – people have babies there too! There will always be some kind of pharmacy or 7/11 store selling nappies or Calpol. It’s okay, the world won’t end!
- Invest in good travel insurance, especially if pregnant. I’m always of the opinion travel insurance is not something you want to scrimp on, as you never know when you might need it. Use comparison sites to find the best deals, or if you have insurance through your work or bank, check the fine print. It’s better to be prepared, even though hopefully you’ll never need it!
- Just do whatever you need to do to survive, and don’t worry about creating bad habits. We had an amazing time in Asia and have also had great trips in Germany and Tunisia too, but they weren’t by any means easy. Orlaith ate far too many puddings, stayed up far too late, napped in our arms (all things we don’t do at home) but as soon as we got home, she reverted back to normal (apart from a bit of jetlag!).
I hope you’ve found this useful and are feeling inspired. I’m always happy to share my tips and experiences and you’ll find many travel photos over on @playtime.with.orlaith just drop me a message!