Welcome to my three-part post series on travelling with babies "just in time before the July school holidays". In this post I will share my recommendations for accommodation and sleeping arrangements to ease the stress and help set you up for (what should be) an amazing journey touring the world with your babies.
Travelling with your babies sounds like an awesome adventure… in theory. Exploring new lands, sights, smells & tastes, what an amazing thing to do for your children and as a family. But… NEWS FLASH, children like their routine and travelling and routine is the definition of opposite in the Macquarie dictionary (don’t quote me on that). In all seriousness, once you have endured boat, plane and car trips with an ankle biter & and an active 3 year old with motion sickness (kill me) you’re gonna wanna take a long walk off a short pier. So listen up, not to toot my own horn BUT we’ve been to many amazing places since our girls were born, but we have also been through some pretty shitty moments whilst venturing to these places. Enduring 22-hour flights, Rubella in Capri, teething in South Africa, Vomiting in Africa... I have learnt that there are some things you can prepare for and somethings you just cant, I’m getting pretty pro at orchestrating the whole family vacay thing. From planning, packing, coordinating, feeding, bathing, entertaining all the while keeping sane and stopping to smell the roses on our ‘relaxing’ holiday.
I remember our first flight with River (our now 4 year old) to Bali when she was just 8 weeks old. The crap we packed.. my god! Being a first time Mum I wanted to be well and truly over-prepared - steriliser, formula, breast pump, bottles, kettle (yes your heard me kettle), a bulky pram, porter cot, play matt – the list goes on. Let’s just say I had two large suitcases solely dedicated to her and extra crap taking up room in our own suitcases. I am pleased to say since then we have come along way in just 3 years with a 2nd delight added to our ever growing tribe. It is so cool to say that we have now been through Africa, Asia, Pacific islands and Europe. All this with our kids by our side and to be truthful, I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Getting your tot to bed in a new surrounding
Start by doing some trial runs by setting up the porter cot at home a few days before you leave. This will get your bub familiar to the four corners and the comfort of the cot. If you are not taking your personal porter cot and plan on hiring one from your hotel it is imperative either way that the sheets your bub is currently sleeping on need to be brought with you as smell is their first sense of comfort. This will help your baby ease nicely into a sleeping routine.
P.S don’t forget their comforter.
Jet lag/ Time difference
It might be a rough start to your holiday, but guess what mumma’s you’re actually on holidays! So although it may take some time to adjust and try and listen to your body and your baby. My advice is- Go with the flow. I guarantee after 3-4 days your family will naturally fall into your destinations night and day schedule.
Benefits to an early bird
If you’re in a hot climate it’s a perfect way to start your day early (ours start around 4am) you can be first in line for any monument or gallery and do all the activities before the 12pm sun peaks. Then be back at home for either siesta or quiet time before venturing out again around 3pm to watch the nightlife come alive with local talent and gorgeous food.
Welcome to Club Med. Two words. Game Changer. Club Med is an international resort chain with a kids club run by an expert team of professional G.O’S who will attend to all your child’s needs from their sleep pattern to nutritional requirements. If you can check yourself into a Club Med- WOW, life is simple and you can be rest assured your little darling’s are getting the utmost care from professionals.
I went to the one in Bali with my first-born and was amazed. Now that’s a holiday for everyone to enjoy.
The clubs are at many popular holiday destination’s so be sure to check their site for locations before planning your holiday. Make sure you check the amenities of your destination Club Med, as some can be slightly different to others.
Being in Europe for 6 weeks with an 8 month old and a 3 year old I wanted to cook some homely familiar dishes and sterilise if need be, so having a kitchen was a MUST. Hello Air Bnb. Being away for so long it was the perfect way to cut costs and have all the amenities I dreamt of as well as being in prime locations.
My Air BnB Filters
- Washing machine
- Lift (for prams)
The host’s and Air BnB were helpful and quick to respond with any issues and also gave some great travel advice. I highly recommend using the service but always make sure you read the reviews of people who’ve used the specific host before.
The down side of Air BnB was not having access to in-house babysitters. I cheated a little (a lot) and took my parents over to help look after the kids in Bali and Europe. It added to the adventure of the trip but was also amazing for the days and nights we wanted to shop, disco or just be child-free. I advise if you're not comfortable with Air BnB speak to your local travel agent for other suggestions on kid friendly hotels, villas and Club Meds.
My next post will be tackling flight-packing necessities for the kiddies.
Happy accommodation hunting!