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Holidays with a baby?

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by Coolgiraffe, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. Coolgiraffe

    Coolgiraffe Occasional commenter

    I am due to give birth to my first baby in 6 weeks and could do with some advice please...
    Me and my husband love travelling and have always loved our holidays but we are prepared to sacrifice exotic holidays and travelling to have a family.
    In the past we've enjoyed going to places like Italy, france, Mexico, Las Vegas, Cuba as well as many places in England and Wales. We love everything from camping in our own tent to all inclusive luxury hotels.
    What I'd like to ask please is have you got any recommendations for what sort of holidays might be possible with a young baby during my maternity leave (up to 10 months). Can you recommend types of holidays as well as specific places you've tried?
    Many thanks, Coolgiraffe xxx
  2. We went to South Africa when LO was 9 months old and tbh I wish we'd gone earlier as she was in between crawling an cruising so quite frustrated when we were on the plane and also found we found it hard to make the hotel rooms safe for her. If she'd been much younger she would have been in arms and so much easier to move around with! Or now that she's walking she could have wandered around on the beach etc a bit more.
    I would also say that self-catering is the nest option as then you can eat evening meals in line with when your baby sleeps and have lots of snack around (if you're anything like me!)
  3. We took LO to France at 16 weeks. He had a great time. Ferry was a good option for us (overnight cabin on long crossing) and then cabin on return. Agree with Saripop re self-catering giving you lots of flexibility. I couldn't imagine trying to manage in a hotel. We were lucky and found a really family-friendly house to rent. Owner had young grandchildren so had set it up really well for children. We had a great time was glad we did it althoguh not as exotic as perhaps we are used to. Was nice to do.
  4. tartetatin

    tartetatin New commenter

    Believe it or not but the younger they are, the easier it is (with regard to travel, that is!).
  5. Haven't braved a plane yet with LO. wish we had done it earlier. I think now it would be rather difficult. 14 months. Having said that one of our friends has asked us to go away with them (they have 3 children 5,3 and 1) because they don't think they can manage the plane with just 2 of them!
  6. Coolgiraffe

    Coolgiraffe Occasional commenter

    Thanks for your replies so far - very helpful!!!
    I was wondering if anyone had been on a Keycamp type holiday in a mobile home in France? I have their brochure and some sites look quite good.
    My only worry is how long baby would be in a car seat if we travelled dover to calais the across to Brittany.
    I suppose a long channel crossing to St Malo might be better for baby's back but that means being on a ferry for 11 hours and paying a lot more money for the crossing and a cabin.
    I can't imagine being able to go on a plane yet until baby is old enough to have a cheap fold-up stroller. Our pushchair / travel system is quite bulky. I'd be afraid we'd take up most of the plane's excess baggage allowance with baby stuff!
  7. Coolgiraffe, you could use a sling to carry your baby in the airport until s/he is bigger. Also, the Maclaren XT and XLR umbrella style buggies are sold as suitable from birth. A lot of airlines allow you to carry extra baby equipment for very little cost e.g. on Ryanair a buggy is free if you have an infant with you, but it only costs £10 to pre-book another item of baby equipment if you wanted to.
  8. Cool giraffe - why not take the St Malo crossing but during the day and rent a cabin. Day cabins are really cheap. You get a base to dump all your stuff and it's ideal for napping etc. Brittany ferries are excellent for children/babies. I wouldn't hesitate in doing it again. We paid for an upgrade to a commodore cabin for the day crossing. Well worth the £40. Complimentary drinks also went a long way towards the £40. We holidayed in Brittany and as a result of the St Malo crossing meant LO only had to endure 1.5 hours in the car. No problem at all.
  9. Coolgiraffe

    Coolgiraffe Occasional commenter

    Thanks to you both - that's great advice! I'll look into those options then.
    Coolgiraffe xxx
  10. We went to Greece when LO was 4 months and we also went to Thailand this summer when LO was 15 months. Both times havebeen brilliant, but we did learn from the first holiday. We were in a hotel and as he was very small and didn't need solid food, plus i was BF so he didn't need formul, we thought this would not be a problem. We had a great time, but felt quite restricted by the one room that we had to share, esp in the evenings. We sat on the balcony and had drinks etc, but as it didn't lead anywhere we were a bit stuck! Our trip to Thailand we rented a beachfront bungalow so though it was still only one room we had a verandah which led directly to the beach (and the bar!) so one of us could go and get drinks and bring them back while the other stayed on the porch. This felt much better. We also went with other people on this holiday which really helped give us that 'grown up' time in the evening as they came on our porch and we played cards etc. We're quite sticklers for routine so LO went to bed at around 8-8.30 most nights (at home it's 7-7.30) but i know lots of people are happy taking LO out on a night with them then you would be even more free.
    We were most worried about the flight, the time difference and the food. All proved manageable! We got bulkhead seats for the flight, the airline provided a sky cot but it was far too small for LO so he had to sleep on the floor! We put down the blankets you get on long haul and he seemed comfy. The main flight was 11 hrs (3 flights in total-others were 2hrs and 1hr), and he slept for 8hrs. He coped so well. We took him his own bag and pacled it with snacks and new little toys so he was well occupied.
    The time difference was tricky at first, the first couple of nights he wnet to bed fine but woke about midninght full of beans! First time i got up with him, we played then after a couple of hours put him back to bed. Second night we kept the lights off and he played in his cot in the dark. Next time we just said its bedtime and he went to sleep eventually. No probs after that.
    Food was an issue as we had no cooking facilities in our bungalow but we did have a fridge. He ate nothing much at all for about 2 days, but he was drinking lots of water and milk and seemed completely fine so i didn't worry. After that we found stuff he liked and he was ok. We also went to a supermarket and bought some baked beans, and the bar heated them up for us, so he could eat those with bread!
    This is a massive post sorry! I don't know if this is even helpful for you lol! Basically - go somewhere with more than one room, self catering would be best i think, but other than that go for it!
  11. Coolgiraffe

    Coolgiraffe Occasional commenter

    Thanks Fleur for taking the time to share your experiences - it is amazing how helpful people are on here in giving advice.
    It is good to hear that you could still take a very long haul holiday and survive!
    Cheers, Coolgiraffe xx
  12. We took our 11 month old to California. The only thing I'd add is that we got her to sleep on the floor but were told she wasn't allowed to stay down there so had to pit her in the baby seat thing infront of us (bulkhead seats also). We had a self catering uk hol when she was 16 months and it was brilliant!!
  13. We took LO to Greece when she was 5 months and 8months. The 5 months was much easier as she was bf and couldn't get around! Flight was fab (Easyjet allow 2 of the 3 free of charge buggy/carseat/cot and we packed the buggy bag with nappies and her clothes!). We also used a sling at the airport as our buggy is big too and we just checked that in so we didn't have to lug it about. I'm not sure I'd fancy hours in a car, but then she did sleep for the whole flight both ways! We stayed in a friends house so it was really easy to keep a routine.

    I would say do what you want to (within reason) as babies are quite adaptable, don't get stressed just plan well and enjoy. Also be prepared that the holiday will be very different to pre baby, it came as quite a shock that there was no lying by the pool as baby still needed her routine!
  14. In awe of these adventurous ladies. Holiday booked for us when LO will be 10 months in spring time so not v hot in family resort in majorca. Booked half board with room which has a little sitting room off it where i hope we can entertain ourselves in the evenings!!! Cn i ask, our tour operator will let us take our massive heavy Quinny pushchair but im not sure its a good idea. Should we buy a cheap fold up pushchair so it is light and more portable or stick to what we know???! If the former, any recommendations for cheap pushchair? Did you take sling/back carrier?
    Tour op says our coach transfer of 1 hour we will have to hold baby on our lap no provision/seats for children/babies. is that standard? concerns me a bit although i guess majorca is not exactly developing world and coach should be newish and safeish.

    Thanks x

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