9 Tips to Surviving Your First Family Trip Carry. On.

By Frankie Collinson | Photo by IStock

Congratulations! You’ve birthed a tiny human – you most definitely deserve a holiday. 

But if you feel overwhelmed by the thought of planning your first family getaway you’re not alone. Traveling with babies can be majorly anxiety inducing. What to pack? Will either of you sleep? Will everyone on the plane want to eject you overboard?

A lot of things definitely change post-birth but your love for travel doesn’t need to be one of them. Whilst you may not be able to enjoy lazy lie-ins, boozy brunches or 5 novels a day in quite the same way, it is possible to holiday in a style you’re accustomed to. 

At Tiny Travelship we pull on the collective knowledge of mamas well-travelled to act as your expert resource, proving that parent pleasing and family focused can go hand in hand. 

We’ve rounded up 9 of our top tips for holidays with babies, from our community of mamas.

1. Size (and age) matters

Whether you previously viewed accommodation as just somewhere to rest your head, or booked purely on aesthetics, certain practicalities now need to be considered.

The younger the babe, the easier it is to travel. Make the most of your sprog being small, sleepy and super portable. Most hotels are incredibly welcoming of families, even if they don’t openly advertise as such, so don’t cross those boujee boutique options off your bucket list just yet. Now is the time to board the long haul flight (night flights are the best). Planes basically act as a giant white noise machine, so you can make the most of all those contact naps with movies and magazines. 

As you start weaning your little one you might want to consider villas or Airbnbs. Easy access to a kitchen is a big tick. Serviced villas who come with a daily maid service to take care of the clean up for you is an even bigger tick. If your Tiny Traveller is in their own room at home, it’s a good idea to look for places with separate sleeping spaces. There’s nothing worse than being a prisoner to your baby’s naps on holiday. This doesn’t need to be a suite with a second bedroom, you can make a nursery out of a walk-in wardrobe or even a super large bathroom. Seek out stays with the golden sleeping baby : sunbathing mama distance; rooms with outdoor spaces are a godsend. Even better are pool or beach front rooms. It’s worth checking with your accommodation from which rooms the baby monitor range will stretch. 

2. Do some research, your future self will thank you for it

A good flight really begins in the planning stages, especially when flying with a baby. If you are flying to a destination that has multiple airlines serving it, it is worth spending some time comparing options, particularly if you plan on using the bassinet – they come in different shapes and sizes. 

3. Packs snacks, snacks and more snacks 

If your tiny traveller has a pincer grasp, smaller snacks (like blueberries) can “buy you” more time. Pack them in boxes with compartments (search craft boxes), the opening & closing is just as much fun as the eating.

4. The gift that keeps on giving 

Fill a packing cube with (cheap) new toys. The novelty will keep them entertained for a lot longer than usual, especially if you wrap them like presents first. Local charity shops and Facebook Marketplace are great places to stock up.

5. Be Monica level organized with your packing 

Embrace your inner organiser. Use them wisely and packing cubes can change your life. Think of them like portable drawers, helping you keep super organised. Plus they condense your clothes so they take up less space. Separate out swimwear, pjs and outfits into different cubes. It makes unpacking a breeze.

6. Be space savvy  

If you are short on suitcase space (who isn’t with a baby), use a pram bag as extra baggage. Carry your baby to the plane in your sling and check your pram (in its bag) in. Most airlines don’t weigh prams so you can stuff the bag with bulky items, such as nappies, wipes, blankets etc.

7. Hand luggage only

Ok, that might be optimistic, but you don’t always need to pack the kitchen sink. Yes, babies don’t tend to travel light, but hotels, villas and even Airbnbs are getting savvy to mamma’s needs and offering a whole range of baby equipment, from the standard highchairs and cots to bottle warmers, sterilisers, baby monitors and toys. Check what’s available at your destination and don’t be afraid to ask for photos.

8. Stick to your routine (as much as possible)

Babies are creatures of habit, so try to stick to your normal routine as best you can. This doesn’t mean being militant about timings, but creating a home from home vibe for your tiny travellers. Take a pillow spray with you, so wherever your baby’s bed for the night is it always smells the same.

9. Ensure everyone gets some beauty sleep

Familiarise your baby with their new sleep environment as quickly as possible – play a few games in the travel cot, bonus points if you can make your baby laugh. Making them feel safe and secure in their new sleep space will do wonders for minimising those middle of the night wakeups.

You’ve got this mama!

Remember, your baby is never as loud as you think they are; the flight will end; your routine will naturally fall back into place when you get home and the magical memories will far outweigh the madness. 

Tiny Travelship is a community for parents who want stylish family travel with zero compromise. Follow @tinytravelship on Instagram for a curated collection of handpicked holidays that don’t dial down on food, ambience or style. Plus, as each and every one is mama inspected and selected; you know you can 100% trust them. Keep your eyes peeled early next year as they’re due to launch a modern travel platform for parents, acting as a one stop shop for all your family holiday needs.

And now for some travel-perfect pieces…