7 April 2017

Travel as I know it!

How many times have you heard the story of the lady who had it all, a fabulous career, lovely house, her Prince Charming who regularly whisks her away, then became a mum? Dum dum duuuuuuum! Life…Over as you know it! Well guess what, wrong! We have all heard the negative hype which apparently makes for a more excitable audience but the truth is that surprise surprise life does actually continue once you enter parenthood. My name is Caroline and I am Mummy to 10 month old Etta Maria. For myself my disposable income and spare time are taken up by exploring. Be it in the UK or further afield I simply love a weekend break camping or a luxurious week oversees as long as it’s some kind of adventure I’m up for it. I had been, however, a little worried that this wouldn’t be possible to continue once we had our little bundle of joy due to the logistics and confidence of travelling with an infant. But that’s why I am here today writing this to share my experiences and tips so you too can get planning for adventures with your little ones.

So to get you ready first up is the paperwork. There are 3 things as a parent you will need to do before you jet away.

Register the birth. - You can do this at your local register office. This then gives you the birth certificate you will need for babies passport.

Get baby a passport. - Now a days infants have their own passport as supposed to being added to a parents. Get some passport photos taken (this is quite a funny experience to do when they are only a few weeks old but there certainly won’t be any giggles when you show it to them at their 18th birthday!) Pick up a passport form from your local post office or download on line. Remember this can take a bit of time to be processed so don’t get over excited and book anything until you have the actual document back.

Go online and sign up for an E111 card. - Yes despite Brexit it’s still worth doing until we are actually no longer apart of the EU. From experience this is a quick and easy task and only takes only a week or so to be sent to you.
So now you’ve got the paperwork sorted you can start booking to get jetting.

The first flight I had booked with Etta was from London to Singapore. This was a girly trip to stay with friends and Dad had to work so I was going it alone for 13hours… yes I know a little crazy! In my head though I needed a challenge (since parenthood comes with no KPI’s I ned to give myself a challenge every now and again!) But a few weeks before this we decided to have a family holiday together and I thought it would be a good idea to do a shorter distance flight as ‘practice’ for the solo long haul. We decided upon picturesque Croatia with some road tripping through Bosnia and Montenegro. What an amazing first holiday we had. Before we left for the airport I had strategically packed my baby bag with everything and anything we might need and checked the airport website for information on milk allowance etc. A few things that I would recommend ensuring you have are below:

Ease the pressure– If you your baby is bottle fed have a bottle ready for take-off. It’s the swallowing action that helps little ears not sucking so try to avoid using a pacifier.

Playtime – Books are the best form of distraction along with some toys with a hook or clip which you can secure to the back of the seat in front of you. I pack my books and toys in a tupper wear container which then becomes my sterilising container for bottles and feeding items.

All change – Plenty of spare clothes for baby and lots of layers for you so you can easily add if cold or remove if you’ve been thrown up on.

Dose up – Whichever is your go to giving a dose of calpol or nurofen before you board can help in settling your little one.

Toilet trouble –Plenty of nappies of course. Remember a travel changing mat also as it’s not the comfiest experience for little one being changed in a cabin loo. I use one by Australian brand BellaButtercup which goes straight in the wash when we are home. For nappies, milk and baby food a good tip is to do an on line shop before you reach your destination and have these sent to wherever you are staying. This frees up alot of space and weight in your bags and you can be slightly smug at how organised you have been!

Bib bags – I take bibs in 2 separate ziplock bags, one marked clean one marked dirty just to minimize the rummaging around.

Teething aids – Whatever you prefer to use this is not something to forget.

That’s a wrap– Having a large muslin cloth on hand even if you don’t have a sicky baby can be a good idea as travelling can bring on an unsettled stomach. These are great as an extra warm layer too. 

Travelling solo with a baby!

Plane play time!

I have to say I always find it refreshing how much more friendly people are when I am with Etta. Children seem to be able to bring out a softer side in even the grumpiest of fellows so don’t worry about what people will think. Babies cry but the calmer you are to deal sooth them the easier and quicker they are happy campers again. Above all remember you have a right to be there be it on a plane, train, boat or spaceship so don’t feel any pressure.

Two last tips from me are to book your seats in advance (even if you are trying to do travel on the cheap just do it, trust me.)

Ask for your pushchair to meet you off the plane to save carrying your little one all the way to baggage collection.

Off you go then, enjoy!
Caroline Xx

by Caroline form @Lady_etta_and_I


1 comment

  1. Thanks this is really useful- I have a 12hr flight with my 6 year old and 10 month old coming up- ALONE!! Some great tips x


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