Tips for Traveling With a Baby

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Advisor - Lauren Cherney
Curated By

Lauren Cherney

  • Family Travel

  • International Travel

  • Domestic Travel

  • City Travel

  • Cancun

  • Portugal

  • Kid-friendly

  • Multi-Country

  • Multi-City

Baby with a passport in a stroller.
Curator’s statement

Traveling with a baby can feel daunting, but it can also be very rewarding! Babies tend to do relatively well on airplanes and in new places — don’t get me started on flying long distances with a two or three year old, that is not for the faint of heart. With a few tips for traveling with a baby, it will actually be enjoyable, and you may even get some relaxation time in for yourself!

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Where to stay with a baby

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Things to do with a baby

Baby's hand on an airplane's window.

How to fly

Flying with a baby may seem like the most stressful part, but with a little preparation it can be fairly simple! You can gate check a stroller, which makes getting through the airport a breeze. Make sure to bring extra pacifiers (one always gets lost under the airplane seats, and no amount of cleaning will make that ok!), and extra bottles if you are using them.

Having your baby eat or use a pacifier during take off and landing will help with the change in pressure, and chances are they will fall asleep and nap through a large portion of the flight.

If they are old enough to grab things, bring a roll of painters tape. Babies who can grab love to rip pieces off of the tray table or window, and this will keep them entertained for longer than you think!

What to bring

Traveling with the seemingly endless amount of gear that babies need can be the most daunting part of traveling with the under-one set. What you bring will depend heavily on the length of the trip. If you are planning to be gone for a few days, it makes sense to bring just the bare essentials. If you are gone for longer, you may still be able to get away with only bringing the essentials if you consider renting the things that are harder to travel with.

With rental places such as BabyQuip, which has many locations globally, or Rents4Baby, which is only available in the United States, you can rent pretty much anything - from the obvious strollers, cribs, and car seats, to the less obvious (but very important) high chairs, baby gates, monitors, and even toys. Talk with your travel advisor about renting baby gear, as many locations have local versions of baby gear rentals.

A short list of the essentials:

  • Baby carrier - essential for naps on long airplane rides and when you want to venture out, but don’t want to lug the stroller around

  • Sound machine

  • Stroller - a great thing to rent if you can

  • Car seat - while they are babies, I always feel more comfortable bringing my own, but this can also be rented. Just be sure to check the safety regulations of the area you are traveling to, and make sure you are able to rent a seat that is height/weight appropriate

  • Diapers - only plan to bring a few if you are going on a longer trip, you can buy these almost anywhere you are heading

  • Extra pacifiers - especially if your baby prefers a specific style, you don’t want to lose your last pacifier before the end of the trip

  • Bottles and formula - if you are using bottles or formula, make sure you bring them along. For formula, depending on the brand, this may be easy to find while traveling, but it makes sense to at least bring some just in case

Places to stay with a baby

A family with baby sitting on a beach.

Many resorts will accommodate babies, but there are a few that are known to be particularly baby friendly. My favorites are:

Martinhal resorts in Portugal

You really can’t go wrong with any of the Martinhal resorts, they are all very baby and kid friendly, but feel nice and chic enough that adults also love them! All of them provide in-room baby gear, kid friendly menus on site, and little stuffed animals upon check-in. This collection is a personal favorite!

Sani Beach Resort

This resort is simply amazing for all ages, but babies get the special treatment here! They have a baby friendly kids club (which can be very hard to find), complimentary beach babysitting, baby swimming lessons, and handmade baby food

Finest Playa Mujeres

This all-inclusive resort has spacious rooms stocked with baby-amenities (crib, monitor, bottle-warmer, and baby bathtub), which means you aren’t stuck sitting in the dark once your baby goes down for the night. All of the restaurants serve baby and toddler friendly foods.

When you are booking a hotel with a kid (or kids), the room options become an important deciding factor in where you choose to book. Hotels that mainly have suites or lager rooms are great, but sometimes you have no choice but to book a studio-style room. In that case, check out the closet space! If your room has a large walk-in closet that fits a crib, this is a great option - you can leave the door cracked, and it still gets super dark.

If you are going somewhere warm, having a balcony is a great way to continue the vacation at night, rather than just sitting quietly in a dark room, whispering to avoid waking the baby.

Also think about bringing playing cards/games - on more than one occasion, I have sat in the hallway with my husband playing rummy with a drink from the mini bar.

I’ve heard the phrase “vacationing with kids is just parenting in a different place,” and while this is true with kids of any age, babies are a great age for traveling. Vacations look very different when traveling with children of any age, but babies make great travel companions! Don’t forget to slow down, grab a drink with lunch, and know that you are instilling a love of travel in your child, and that is a wonderful thing.

Advisor - Lauren Cherney

Travel Advisor

Lauren Cherney

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For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Charlotte Burgoyne’s guide, Best Kid-Friendly Things to Do in Bangkok.

This guide is part of our ongoing series on Family Travel. In need of further inspiration? Check outMegan Steely’s trip report, Adventure Family Travel Ideas with Austin Adventures.