stephmodo: Tips on Traveling Overseas with Babies + Toddlers

Tips on Traveling Overseas with Babies + Toddlers

• 05 July 2011

Traveling abroad avec les enfants is not easy or cheap, and it requires a lot of effort, but it's so worth it! Sometimes we have to make great financial sacrifices to tote our families with us and let's be honest, vacationing with little ones is not a true vacation. However, making memories and creating poignant experiences is up there with life's best moments. Here are a few tips I've penned to help you plan your overseas journey and {hopefully} make it less painful :) I can't take away all the potential drama, but I can set you on the right path!

1. Call the airlines as soon as you book your flight and reserve the crib they attach to the bulkhead. There are only a couple of these attachable, little cribs available on each international flight so reserve them quickly. You'll want to bring your own blanket to cushion the crib for baby. Also, don't forget to change your seat assignments to be next to the crib.

2. Bring along your own diapers and wipes. This not only ensures that you and your baby have what you need when you need it, but it also conveniently creates an ever-increasing amount of space in your suitcase for all those trinkets you'll bring home.

3. Consider the airline when purchasing tickets. Your experience in-flight sets the tone for the rest of the trip and let's be honest...some are definitely better than others. We recently flew on Lufthansa and I highly recommend flying this carrier if you have children. To think, this was the most cost-effective option too! I appreciated their overall friendliness and attention to making the flight a pleasant experience for our family. My kids enjoyed fresh berries with custard, chicken with vegetables, and a nice crusty roll for their meals. They gave my kids fun activities to keep them busy and in general didn't act bothered by them, despite their antics.

4. Squeezable baby food is nice to have when traveling with babies (my favorite mentioned here). It's easy to squeeze the baby food directly into baby's mouth, which means no spoon is necessary. Squeezable baby food is also lighter than it's glass-jarred counterpart, making it ideal for traveling light...or at least light"er". Added bonus: squeezable baby food is organic and offered in interesting flavors.

I hope your family enjoys a great trip together this summer! If you have any tips you'd like to add, please chime in. This is a hot topic during the Summer and I think we all worry about traveling with our kids at some point.

image of Baby Gray and Baby June together in Le Bournat, La Bugue, France


  1. Great tips! I got a bunch before I traveled with my sidekick. :)

  2. Find your comment ... the quality of diapers and wipes outside the US is less than stellar ... rather irritating. As far as I've found, Pampers can be found globally and there are plenty of quality ecofriendly diaper ranges across Europe. This kind of comment is disappointing to those outside the US who read your blog.

  3. Hey anon, I appreciate your point. You are absolutely right and to be honest, I've found product that's less than stellar here in the US. Apparently my babies require some serious protection! I've reworded that section...really it's all about bringing along what works for you and your baby...whatever that is.

    Have a lovely week!

  4. Great advice! (from fleurishing...signed with my biz name) ::wink::

  5. Thank you, really appreciate your edit.


  6. Like you, I agree that traveling with children is definitely not easy, but it is SO worth it!
    My husband and I recently spent a month traveling around Europe with our 20 month old. After returning, I typed up our personal experience traveling with a youngster. If any of your readers are interested, they can find it here .

  7. Some tips of my own:

    I have found it easier for us not to pack diapers. I learned this after I took my nine-month old to Guatemala only to find that the airline had lost our luggage. It was so easy to find good diapers and wipes, that I vowed never to carry around a half-suitcase of diapers ever again.

    We recently went on a trip to France. Before the trip, we purchased an attachment for our baby's carseat--GoGo Babyz Travelmate--that allowed us to wheel the carseat around the airport (instead of awkwardly carrying it). We thought it was marvelous, though pricey. It is worth it if you travel a lot.

    These days, iPods and iPads make traveling with a toddler or young child a breeze. If your destination includes museums, you can sometimes download a child-specific audioguide (as an app) for your child. We visited a Chateau in France that had an audioguide for kids and one for adults. The child's audioguide included images of some of the art in the chateau and encouraged the child to find the art. While our three-year old listened to his audio guide, we listened to ours.

    Baby backpacks are very important for us. We like the Baby Ergo.

    Take a jar of peanut butter (if your child likes peanut butter) whenever you travel.

  8. Just took 2 kids (1 and 4) to France and Morocco on Lufthansa and Royal Air Maroc - both airlines were super. And I too packed plenty of pampers! I've actually had great experiences travelling with my children on all the airlines we've used in the US and internationally, maybe it helps that they're really cute ;) (not that I'm a biased mom).

  9. Maybe this is just me, but I'm always a little embarrassed about all the trash that comes along with my little ones on an airplane (not to mention the stinky diapers), so I always bring along a roll of little trash bags designed for diapers (most recently the Arm & Hammer diaper pail liners found at Target in the baby section). On the airplane, I just keep putting all our little snack wrappers, baby food trash, napkins, used baby wipes, diapers, etc... into the little baggie, and I've only got one thing to hand the flight attendant when they walk by.

  10. Fantastic additions friends. I'm ready to pick up and head out and all!

    (if only it were that easy...)

  11. We have found bmi to be really great about kids on trans-Atlantic flights. But, no matter the airline, if you have a motion-sickness-prone child (like mine), going to the pediatrician for a prescription is a must. Added bonus, it helps make the little one a bit loopy & more likely to sleep. Ditto that for Nighttime Benadryl or Triaminic (for the other kids). Also, don't stress about jetlag. We adults can sort of push through it, but little bodies just can't; I've started to enjoy the few days when all of our crew sleeps in late!

  12. Oh, one other thought. We try to be among the last passengers on the plane. The munchkins are going to be stuck in seats for 8 hours, so it works to everyone's advantage to let them burn off some energy in the terminal.

  13. Great post and comments. I finally discovered the gogo babyz travelmate too and it is a lifesaver! Dealing with car seats can be the worst. My babies definitely do better sitting/sleeping in their car seats, especially as toddlers. My biggest piece of advice is to bring lots of food/snacks - more than you think you need. The int'l airlines do usually have decent food, but you never know. Be prepared with food you know your kids will eat. A fun snack is a great diversion as well. Also definitely agree with the suggestion to board last if possible. Let them run around as long as you can.

    Here are a few other thoughts on traveling with little ones in general:

  14. Another quick tip that I quickly learned traveling with my son (he went to Europe three times before he was two) is that there is a huge difference on infant international fees between the airlines. For instance, when he was three months old we flew from Salt Lake to Switzerland on Delta and his infant ticket cost $425. My plane ticket was $650. It was ridiculous. The next time we flew to Italy on Alitalia and his infant ticket was only $100.

  15. I'm loving all the additional tips here...

    Elisa, we've had the same seems that all the American carriers charge and arm and a leg just to have the opportunity to wrangle a small child on one's lap for a good 10 hours. Ugh. However, when we've flown European carriers, it's been a lot cheaper (and nicer). Go figure.


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