Experienced travellers know that whether you’re travelling with children, a friend,  a family member or  a loved one, sometimes, travelling can throw up some hard days. Flights are delayed or cancelled. Accommodation isn’t what you’d expected. Your rental car gets a flat tire. And on it goes.

Add in a baby who is under one, potentially add in jetlag or tired parents, and you can see the potential that not every day on the road will be smooth sailing. Remember, babies have hard days at home, they will on the road too. It’s all part of the reality of travelling with a baby.

3 things to remember so you get through the hard days with ease.

1.     Moving (or moving accommodation) days will be the most tiring.

Try to keep things really simple on arrival, have some mobile food ready for the baby in case you are having trouble locating a good dining option at short notice, and remember, you’ll feel better after a bit of rest.  It’ll help if you go easy on your plans the day after arriving. Ensure everyone gets to catch up on sleep (even if you’ve just travelled domestically, your baby may have skimped on day sleeps in the car or on a plane.). Try to stay local, eat well and generally recharge. Then get exploring enthusiastically the following day.  If you’re going to be staying somewhere for a week or so, and you have cooking facilities, consider having an online shopping order delivered the night you arrive or the following morning, to save you doing a big supermarket shop.

2.     First nights are often tricky for your six to twelve month old.

The first night somewhere new can be a bit disruptive for your baby. Once they hit six months, babies seem to really know where they are. This doesn’t mean they won’t like their new location; in many cases it means they are so excited by it that they don’t want to go to sleep at the normal time. Roll with it; usually by the second night in a new location, an under one will settle down.

3.    The last day is harder for you.

Somewhere towards the last part of your holiday, you’ll need to pack, ensure all your transfers and flights are confirmed, and generally do a couple of hours of organising. If a baby is sleeping in the room where everything needs to be packed from, have a think about the best way or time to do this.

Usually, you be leaving early in the morning; and given that mornings are fairly busy with a baby you’ll find leaving much easier if you can pack as much as possible up the afternoon or evening before. (Easier said than done I know, still the head start will make a massive difference to your stress levels on departure day.)

Additionally, because you’re now packing and organising for people who can’t do it for themselves, you may find the last day of your holiday is also busy in terms of your mental energy. Try to squeeze every last second out of your holiday, even if you are also trying to figure out when the best time to pack is.  And remember, the baby will be oblivious to all of this, and will probably be happy as Larry through the whole thing.

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Aussie journalist, travel writer and founder of babieswhotravel.com Sue White has always been a traveller. When her son was born, Sue knew her travel itch would still need regular scratching. But how do you travel with a baby under one and still have a good time? Is it even possible? Where do busy new parents discover practical tips to support those first few trips? To find out, Sue and her baby son travelled both Australia and Europe doing house sits and house swaps; cat sitting and car journeys; took on 24 hours flights and short domestic jaunts; travelled with friends, solo and family members; and cycled, drove, flew and train-ed around seven countries, all before his first birthday.
Learn more about Sue.