Going on holiday abroad is a fantastic experience and one that the whole family is likely to enjoy, irrelevant of their age.
If you have a young baby travelling with you, however, it can take a little more preparation than you might have thought and the following questions are five of those that are most frequently asked on holidaying abroad with a baby.
- Does my baby need their own passport? – irrelevant of how old your baby is, yes, they need to have their own passport. There are various stipulations relating to a baby’s passport, just like an adult’s passport (for example, the background needs to be cream and blank and the photo must only be of the baby’s head) and therefore if you’re unsure of anything, it’s worthwhile giving your local passport office a call.
- What is my baby going to be like flying? – something that’s impossible to judge, your best bet is to think that the flying experience is going to be a bad one and prepare for it, feeding your baby during take off and landing to help with the popping of their ears and taking toys on board to keep them entertained. There’s a good chance they might sleep the whole way or enjoy being in a different environment, but prepare for the worst and you won’t be surprised or disappointed if it’s not a fantastic experience.
- Do babies need to be in the shade at all times? – if your baby is less than a year old, it’s important that they are in the shade at all times. If they’re over a year old, being in the sun – before 11am and after 3pm – is OK, but any baby, irrelevant of their age, must always be wearing appropriate sunscreen, a long sleeved t-shirt, long shorts and a wide brimmed hat.
- How can I sterilize my baby’s bottles? – taking a sterilizer with you on holiday isn’t really practical and therefore the best way to sterilize your baby’s bottles is to use a liquid solution instead. All you have to do is put everything into a bowl, pour over the solution and leave according to the time in the instructions.
- What do I do if my baby is ill? – it might sound like a simple question, but if your baby is ill and you’re in a foreign country, it can be difficult to know what to do. Firstly, you need to assess the situation. If your baby has an upset stomach, for example, a trip to an English speaking pharmacy might be a suitable option. If things are more serious, however, try and get hold of your Holiday Rep first, as they’ll know where the nearest English speaking doctor or hospital is. If you can’t get hold of your Holiday Rep, speak to someone at the hotel – even if they don’t speak fantastic English, chances are they’ll be able to understand you when you’re asking for a doctor or hospital (a great way to avoid any language barrier is before you travel, learn not only basic introductory and pleasantry phrases in the local language, but phrases for use in emergencies, too).