@ana.zilhao

Where are we going and with whom? 

With a newborn baby, it's often advisable not to travel too far. In fact, the whole point of your vacation will be to try and... rest! Or at least, not to come back from your vacation even more tired. Your watchword will therefore be "tranquillity". We'd advise you to forget the long-haul flight to Thailand, the desert trek, the buddy tour or the roadtrip to South America - you won't necessarily enjoy them. As a general rule, avoid major time differences, destinations with too much altitude, or countries with extreme climates (too hot or too cold). Renting a vacation home with a group of 20 friends isn't this year's idea of the century either. You run the risk of asking your friends to be quiet when your baby naps, and of being out of step. 

Charlie's advice: opt for a vacation home with your family who can manage the housekeeping for you, a hotel with a kids' club if you have older children, or a fully-equipped rental.

What are the essentials to take on vacation with a baby?

A baby arrives with a whole range of equipment: cot, bassinet, playmat, diaper, toys... How do you carry all this equipment on vacation? First of all, we recommend that you make a list of the real essentials, then rent everything locally. Ask your rental company or hotel about it: they're sure to have a cot and high chair for older children. Secondly, there are websites that make life easier for young parents by renting strollers, car seats and other essentials near your holiday destination.

Finally, for all your travels, don't forget to take : 

  • Diapers
  • A change of clothes
  • A little toy
  • A diaper that can be used for everything (bib, changing mat, comforter...)
  • A pacifier
  • Bottle with water and powdered milk pods
  • Cotton with liniment
  • A cuddly toy
  • A baby carrier

Charlie's advice: learn to travel lighter. We often carry ten times too much equipment. And when it comes to beds, a bassinet is perfect for children under 6 months.

@sharneethorpe

Car, train, plane... How do you go on vacation? 

Each means of transport has its advantages and disadvantages. 

The car lets you go wherever you want, with no baggage restrictions. Think about the right equipment (car seat, carrycot...) for everyone's safety. 

Train travel is free for children under 4, provided they travel on your lap. If you'd like your baby to have his or her own seat - practical for the carrycot, for example - opt for a Forfait Bambin at €9 on most trains. It's an attractive price that's hard to pass up! It really is more comfort for everyone. What's more, the SNCF offers a luggage pick-up service, so you can have your suitcases delivered wherever and whenever you want. Basically, you take the train without your suitcases, and it's a bit magical... Trains generally have a changing area and a car dedicated to families. You can also heat up your baby's potty by asking at the bar.

As for air travel, most airlines offer travel to children under 2 years of age when they travel on their parent's lap. For toddlers, remember to let them suckle (pacifier, breast, bottle...) during take-off and landing, to relieve the pressure in their ears. Check with your airline to find out what you're allowed to take into the cabin with you ("stroller or not stroller, that is the question"). We recommend that you opt for short flights, and take a baby carrier with you when you walk your baby down the aisle!

Obligatory documents and health

If you're planning to go abroad, we suggest you reread our paragraph dedicated to your vacation destination... Then, don't forget your child's papers, i.e. identity card for Europe, passport for travel outside Europe. Are your papers ready? You're all set. Don't have any? Check with your local town hall, as it takes a long time to get an appointment. In April 2023, the average time to obtain a first appointment was... 66.5 days. And then there's the time it takes to produce the paperwork. 

You should also take your baby's health record with you, and make sure his or her vaccinations are up to date if you're traveling abroad. When choosing your destination, also think about medical emergencies. The idea is not to frighten you, but to give you peace of mind in the event of a problem! Make sure your vacation destination has a medical infrastructure not too far away. Last but not least, take a look at the AMELI website to obtain the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which allows you to benefit from local coverage of your medical care, according to the legislation and formalities in force in the country of stay. Handy for all family members, in fact!

What's the best way to spend the vacations with an infant? 

With a newborn, the program is simple: farniente. You're still getting to know yourself and understanding your baby's rhythm. Some young mothers are still recovering from childbirth. Plan simple activities that won't be a source of stress or intense preparation for you: nature walks, naps, swimming if you can, picnics and games adapted to your baby's age. Treat yourself, book a massage, listen to a podcast on your deckchair... Take lots of photos of your first vacation with baby with our milestone cards. Because even if he doesn't remember them, these timeless moments are essential to building your family. 

One last piece of advice for the road: stay flexible and don't try to do everything. Have a great vacation!