Planning baby’s first international trip

London bridge, England - Travel Photography by Lola Akinmade Åkerström
I took the easy way out on this one. While I still have Croatia and Montenegro on my radar for July and big dreams (well, plans) of dragging Emelie all over Asia, Africa, and South America before she turns two, our first trip will be somewhere I consider a fourth home (1st – Lagos, 2nd – Maryland, 3rd – Stockholm, 4th – London).

Mid June, we’re heading to England and Scotland for a few days, meeting with family and friends, and just taking it easy. This will be the hubby’s first time in Scotland so I’m looking forward to showing him a country I have a mild crush on.

Before baby, hopping on a plane with a carry-on was usually my way of traveling. But now with a breastfeeding 4-month old who requires frequent diaper changes, a place to sleep, and attention when she needs to be entertained, coupled with airline luggage restrictions and maintaining our overall sanity, I’m looking forward to the challenge.

Plane tickets

Many airlines usually charge around 10% of the parent’s ticket or even less for infants sitting in laps. Since she’s under two years old, we need to take as much advantage of the low infant rates before she requires her own seat.

We’re just a few weeks from traveling so I got us open jaw tickets on one of my favorite budget airlines, Norwegian. For those of us living up north in Scandinavia, they’re solid and an excellent way of getting around Europe relatively cheaply, even when buying one way tickets.

Local transportation

Securing baby is of utmost importance and we’ll have her car seat/stroller combo with us. Unlike our tentative Croatia/Montenegro trip where we’re looking at possibly going the rental car route, we’re sticking to public transportation in England and Scotland. London’s underground network is pretty reliable and we’ll be catching a train up to Edinburgh.

Lodging

I haven’t even touched this one yet. Ideally, I’d like to secure a few family-friendly rooms in London and Edinburgh I can review here on my blog as well as share via my social media outlets. And if I can get a good story out of a stay (please see example), I might reach out to one of my editors for a larger piece.

The three main things I’ll be looking for as I research hotels and potential short stay apartments are:

1) A crib or cot for baby – We will be bringing along a small portable carrier she can sleep in but ideally, having a cot available to her is essential.

2) A fridge – My minibar-hitting days are long over so I’ll be pushing aside tiny bottles of alcohol to store bottles of pumped milk.

3) Large sink – Or bathtub as we’ll need to bathe her every other day.

Any other amenity would be a plus at this point.

Packing

Since we’re going the budget airline route, we have to pay for luggage and paid for only one right now. After calling Norwegian to check their requirements on strollers and baby gear, we should be able to check both her carseat-stroller and one baby bag for free.

Their disclaimer? Make sure you “pack” your car seat/stroller. Words previously foreign to me.

Number one packing priority -> Transporting the stroller whilst incurring the least damage possible.

Everything else, we can technically get on the ground if needed. As we get closer to departure, I’ll probably do a special packing post. It warrants that.

Resources I’m using

There are tons of baby travel resources out there. Google took me to Bon Voyage! International travel with children, Have Baby Will Travel, and Travels with Baby. I’m also a fan of Amie’s Ciao Bambino site and will be checking it more often now that Emelie’s in our travel picture.

Do you know of any additional baby (infant) travel resources worth checking out? Please share below.