Little ones don’t deal particularly well with changes in their routine so taking them travelling is unpredictable, right? Wrong! With the right preparation and travel accessories you can have wonderful adventures together and make memories you’ll treasure forever. Don’t wait till they are teenagers – do it, and do it now!
Whatever mode of travel suits your lifestyle, whether it’s jetting off overseas, taking that bucket list road trip or doing it backpacker style, we’ve got the tips and gear to do it pain-free.
Tip 1: Choose a practical pram
If you are travelling with a baby, taking your pram along is a non-negotiable. It will keep baby safe and be a familiar place for her/him to sleep and hang out while you go exploring. Besides, most airlines will allow you to travel with your pram without charging for extra luggage.
If you take your all-in-one travel system with you, you’ll also have a bassinet to use as a stand-in cot, and a car seat should you rent a car at your destination. A quality travel system will have sturdy wheels made for all terrains – something that will come in handy on Europe’s cobbled streets. If your little one is already mobile, you may want to leave your travel system at home and rather take a lightweight stroller with you.
Tip 2: Pack all the essentials
Speak to any mom who has travelled with a toddler and she’ll probably have a horror story about a favourite blanket or soft toy which got lost or left behind. If you can, pack two of these items! Then make sure you have enough of everything your child will need on a long flight. Your ideal travel bag will have loads of pockets and compartments to have everything organised – we all know that feeling when baby is screaming and you can’t find the pacifier.
Besides nappies, bottles, formula and lotions, also pack some games, toys, spare clothing and snacks. Make sure your bag has enough space for your essential items too, like a water bottle, sunscreen, map, selfie stick, etc.
Tip 3: Prepare for long car rides
While flights can generally save you time, road tripping is all about the journey and that means long, boring rides in the car. You’ll want your baby or toddler’s safety to be taken care of with a quality car seat that is easy to take in and out of the car. A car seat with an Isofix base (which comes with our Spin Travel system) is super easy to click in and out of the car, with no seat belt wrangling necessary. It keeps baby safe for up to 1 year (13kgs).
Tip 4: You can never, ever have enough snacks
As one mom rightly says – forget the toys, snacks are where it’s at. Think biscuits, dried fruit, squeeze pouches, crackers, fruit. You can do the balanced meal thing when you’re back home, but when it comes to distraction, snacks are great for busy toddlers. Get a Clip on Caddy for your stroller, which can also convert into a shoulder bag, and load it with snacks when you're out and about. It also keeps your hands free when you have to hold a passport and boarding pass, a coffee and a map.
Tip 5: Exploring on foot
If you are feeling particularly adventurous, look into a backpack to carry your baby with you on your travels. This keeps your hands free, your baby safe and makes travelling on public transport and sightseeing super convenient.
If you prefer walking with your pram, it’s a good idea to pick one with a swivelling seat unit. The Baby Africa Luxury Spin Travel System has four different seating options, so your toddler can face sideways, front or rear without having to be lifted out of the seat.
Tip 6: Don’t forget to keep moving
Use every possible opportunity to get your toddler to move and work off some energy, whether it’s a few laps up and down the airplane terminal or a jog around the parking lot when you stop for petrol. Just a few minutes is all you need to recharge and refresh on a long journey – and avoid an impending tantrum!
Tip 7: Look for clever multi-taskers
When you want to save some space in your luggage for shopping, multi-tasking items are a must. For example, our Multiuse Cover can be used to protect your baby against wind or cold, block out light on a day flight, and can double up as a breastfeeding cover when you have to breastfeed in public places. Our Stroller Insert (which has a summer and a winter side), not only keeps your baby comfortable in the pram but can also double up as a changing mat during a nappy change. And our ultra-comfortable Baby Africa Lounger is a great cot substitute when your baby is not mobile yet.
There you have it – with the right accessories and planning, you can have a memorable adventure with your baby or toddlers. Safe travels! And if you haven’t decided on a travel system for your baby yet, read our tips on what to look for in your first pram.