We just got back from our first family holiday and happy to report it was a success!
I was a little bit nervous about travelling with such a little baby, but he was a champ. My parents live 20 minutes by train from Amsterdam. The flight from Edinburgh to Amsterdam is 1 hour and 20 minutes. I felt a nice short flight was perfect for our first time. Some things went really well, and others could have gone better.
Here are things we learnt on our first family holiday. These should help you if you are planning to take your baby on holiday.
First, we had to apply for little chicken’s passport! We used paspic.com for the passport photos. It is fast and really easy to use. We took a picture of baby boy against an off-white background and uploaded it on the web. For £6 they edit your photo and send it to you in the post within 2 working days. Awesome.
I picked up the relevant passport application forms from the post office. Once the paperwork was filled I opted to get them checked by the post office staff. They charge a fee for this, but they go over the forms to make sure it is all filled correctly. This was a good idea as I signed touching the edge of the box and had to fill in a new form. They advice the passport can take up to 6 weeks, but we had it after 9 working days.
When I bought the tickets, I chose the flight that got to Amsterdam nice and early and a late flight to come back. This way we would not loose a day from our holidays. As a first time mother I failed to think about how this would affect our baby’s sleep. Whoops! I actually felt really bad when we had to get him out of bed at 3 am. He looked so confused when we were at the airport at 4 o’clock in the morning.
We flied with KLM and I must say I was impressed with them and we will definitely fly with them again. Hubby and I had 1 piece of hand luggage plus 1 extra bag each. Baby boy had his changing bag and a 10 kg checked-in bag. We also took a foldable stroller that we could check-in or wheel up to the plane. And we opted to check it in and babywear in the airport.
We did not get the judgy looks you can get from other airlines. No need to cram my handbag inside my hand luggage. Nobody counted our luggage to see if we had an extra bag. And if they did, they were very discreet. Nice one. On the flight we were offered a complimentary sandwich AND a drink! I had packed sandwiches for us so passed on that, but I really did appreciate a coffee at 6 am.
Despite the crazy hours our little boy was really good at the airport and slept through the whole flight. He was not bothered by the pressure during take off and landing. We are really proud of how well he managed it all.
Note For The Future
Baby wearing in the airport was brilliant, but next time we will take a sling instead of our stretchy wrap. We love our stretchy wrap, but it is not practical when travelling. We had to take him out of the wrap to pass the security point. A sling with buckles would have been much quicker and easier to deal with. Also, he would get tired of the stroller after a day out doing touristy things and tying the wrap in the street without dragging it on the floor can prove challenging.
Other than this and the crazy-hour flights, everything else was great. He enjoyed Holland and spent some quality time with his grandparents. Our next holiday will be Tenerife for little boy’s first birthday. It will be a 5 hour flight, we might need a strategy in place for this one.