How to organize your baby's first trip? When was the first time you traveled with a baby? Any time is a good time to start, but I recommend waiting up to two or three months. The first few months are critical for both children and parents as they have to pass medical exams, their first vaccinations, and parents learn to be parents. Nobody is born knowing how to take care of their children, each child is different and you have to adapt to their needs. When you decide to travel with your baby in the first months of life, it is convenient to have it as a destination in your country. From 5 or 6 months onwards you can make more European and even International trips. It all depends on how you adapt to traveling, or if you are a second child and already have more experience.
Choose a destination to travel with your baby for the first time
Parents have to choose that destination, one that excites you, or one that you want to repeat as a family. The advantage of choosing a destination you have already been to is that you are safe and you will not have surprises, and it is a good option to try to debut as a traveling parent.
- The plane is the fastest means of transport to reach the destination. The baby will be in your arms and you will be able to attend to his needs at any time. But you will have to carry just the right luggage unless you check in a suitcase, making the price of the tickets more expensive.
You have to know that babies up to 2 years old do not pay a plane ticket but they do pay the taxes, they cannot carry a suitcase but they do allow you to carry the changing bag and you can check in up to two baby accessories for free such as the stroller and the car seat or a travel crib.
TAKING A LONG FLIGHT WITH A BABY
Traveling far away with a small baby is possible. However, there are a few tips we put into practice when our bears were little to make traveling with a baby on long-haul flights as easy as possible:
- When booking your tickets, avoid flights with stopovers or transfers as much as possible. In addition to lengthening the duration of the trip, you will have to deal with waiting times at the airport, with a more or less cooperative baby. I prefer direct flights.
- Favor night flights: this will make it easier for the baby to sleep during part of the trip
a cot for your baby: it is possible on long-haul flights for babies weighing less than 10 kg. You will be placed in the front row, where the cribs hang on the wall. and where you have room to move your legs forward: it's good to travel with a baby on a plane! However, you have to arrange in advance, as they are very popular.
Choose a window seat: it's more comfortable. It gives you support when you have the baby in your arms. That said, for our first long flights with the loupiots, we flew during the day and with a stopover. And we survived. But it is clear that we did nothing more on the flight than take care of our puppies.
So expect your flight to be quite active. With a small child you get up several times, whether to put him to sleep, change him or stretch his legs (and run after him because he wants to visit every seat in the aisle.).
WHAT ARE THE FORMALITIES FOR TRAVELING WITH A BABY BY PLANE?
What documentation is needed to fly with a baby?
Traveling with a baby by plane requires documentation. These depend on your destination. In the case of France, no document is normally required, but most airlines require an ID document. For other destinations, you will need for your little one
- A valid identity document: to travel within the EU or the Schengen area;
- Valid passport: outside the EU
- Your passport and visa: in some countries around the world. Sometimes the authorities even ask that the visa remain valid 6 months after the return date;
- An exit permit, also if you want to travel with a baby by plane and you are not the father.
Wherever you go, carry your livret de famille. Although you can't legally be required to show it, it's better to have it than to be stuck in an airport. As for the health card, it is essential for traveling with a baby by plane, in France or abroad. You never know. Attention: do not wait until the last minute to make these documents. As deadlines may vary, please plan ahead.
Finally, think about your travel insurance. Insurance is included in the bank card, but it may not be enough. It is often necessary to take out comprehensive travel insurance that covers all eventualities, in particular repatriation in the event of a health problem on site. There is no need to do any paperwork in case of a problem in an EU country thanks to the European Health Card (you have to apply for it before leaving)
How much does a plane ticket cost for a baby?
The good news is that traveling with a baby by plane is not very expensive. However, this depends on the airline. Some airlines, such as Air France, offer great discounts if your baby travels on your lap: you will only pay 10% of the price. Those over two years old must purchase a ticket that will cost between 70 and 80% of the adult fare. Therefore, before booking your flight, compare the fares of different airlines for your baby. Don't forget that, whatever the price of the ticket, you will have to add airport taxes, which must be paid whether your baby is 1 month old or 24 months old.
Do I have to reserve a seat on the plane for my baby?
- Up to 2 years old, it is not necessary to reserve a seat when traveling with a baby on an airplane. Your child can sit on your lap. For takeoff and landing, an additional device is provided in the form of a belt that attaches to the belt itself. When booking, please specify that you are traveling with a baby.
- However, if you are under 2 years old, you can reserve a seat, which will cost the same as for those over 2 years old. This can be more practical during the trip, for example to leave your things. An approved car seat, adapted to your child, can be a good solution to ensure that it is properly installed. This will also avoid having to put one in the cellar. If you plan to travel with a baby by plane quite frequently, you should know that there are approved inflatable car seats that are light and compact.
- For babies, the best idea is to reserve a crib.
Located on the side of the plane, you will be in the front row with your baby. According to the airline, they are designed for babies less than 9 months or 10-11 kg and less than 70 or 80 cm tall. This is a practical solution for long-haul flights, but it must be organized in advance. Please note that on some airlines, this is only a pre-booking. Cribs are assigned at check-in, with smaller babies taking priority.