Tips for Your First Vacation with Your Baby: 5 Do’s and Don’ts
Family vacations are one of life’s greatest joys, but they can also be stressful. When you’re planning your first vacation with your baby, there are some essential Dos and Don’ts to bear in mind before you take off, which will keep your getaway golden, memorable and stress-free.
DO- choose the right destination
Once you’ve arranged for some time off, you can begin searching for the perfect destination for your first family vacation. There are multitudes of family-friendly destinations all around the world, so whittling them down to just one can be a tricky task. Among the most popular are places like The Caribbean, or staycation destinations like Florida and California.
Often, it comes down to how many family-friendly resorts there are, and which kinds of activities you can enjoy with a little one. This is usually why beach getaways are more popular with young families, as city breaks can be overwhelming, and the activities on mountain retreats are better suited to older kids.
Booking into a resort is easy when there are so many online booking platforms to choose from. Many of these resorts have all-inclusive packages available, so your trip is guaranteed to be great value and stress-free.
DON’T- book at the last minute
Even the least popular resorts get booked up quickly, especially when you’re hoping to travel during peak season. You don’t want to compromise on quality and safety when you’re searching for somewhere to stay, so make sure you book your trip in good time to allow yourself more flexibility.
The thing is that booking at the earliest possible time isn’t always best. Instead, book your resort whenever you see a great deal pop up. Avoid missing out on these deals by signing up to a newsletter or specialist travel site, so you know you’re getting the best deal for your money.
With flights, there is a sweet spot you can book in to make sure you are flying at a great value fare with your baby. You can expect to book between 4-6 months for a long-haul flight, and about 2 months for a short-haul destination. Bear in mind that certain airlines are more baby-friendly than others, so don’t just book the cheapest flight you see.
DO- protect your baby from the sun
Babies have the most sensitive skin when it comes to the sun, and increased exposure to sunlight at this age has been linked to skin cancer later in life. This is a big stress for parents when traveling to a hot destination, as this means your child is at more risk from spending time in the great outdoors.
There are luckily some handy steps you can follow to ensure your baby is never in harm’s way. The first it making sure you pack a sunscreen that is suitable for babies. With better protection than regular sunscreen, these special creams create a soothing barrier against harmful rays from the sun.
You should also stay away from harsh sunlight from 11 am to 3 pm, as this is when the sun is usually strongest in the sky. If you are hoping to go out during this time, invest in some protective clothing for your baby, which will also help them to stay cool and comfortable. A sun hat, some loose tops, and some sunglasses should be at the top of your list.
DON’T- pack the wrong items
Protective items should always be on your list, but there are a whole host of other belongings you need to bring with you when you are traveling with your baby for the first time. These items are there to keep your vacation stress-free and fun
Alongside your travel documents, you should pack a first aid kit that is filled with everything your baby could need if an accident happens. For example, your baby might be suffering from diaper rash, so you’ll need to bring some soothing skin cream to pack in your kit. Other useful items include cough medicine and a thermometer.
General baby items are also necessary when you’re on vacation. Things like diapers, a baby stroller, and a changing mat are all bulky and take up extra space, but you will need them. To save money on baggage space, make sure to only pack enough of what you need for the trip. If you book your luggage early on, this will also save you from paying for overweight baggage at the check-in counter.
DO- make time for yourself
This getaway is all about taking your baby on their first trip away, but it is also a time for you to relax. This can be tricky when you have your baby with you, but it’s more than possible to come back feeling rested and refreshed. With 46% of travelers admitting that vacation stresses can prevent them from enjoying their time away, having downtime is more important than ever.
If you are traveling with a partner, relaxing is even easier. On one afternoon, arrange for your partner to take care of your baby while you book in to have a beach massage or go shopping. If you’re a single parent, don’t worry. Many resorts have a creche you can leave your baby at for a short while, where you don’t need to feel guilty for having a few hours to yourself. You can also be sure your baby is in good hands.