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Travelling with children

Baby products to take on holiday

By Anna Studman

Article 1 of 2

Follow our family holiday essentials checklist to make sure you have everything ready for travelling with your children.

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When you go on holiday, check what baby equipment the company you're travelling with, or the place you're travelling to, can provide. If you're hiring a cottage, highchairs and cots are often provided and, if not, you can normally hire such equipment through the holiday home company.

If you're travelling abroad with a tour operator, you'll probably be able to hire cots and even buggies through it, as many pride themselves on the baby-friendliness of their resorts. Alternatively, you can contact the local tourist office.

Travelling with children checklist

Here's a checklist of items you might want to consider taking with you:

  • Child car seat - It may be a bulky thing to transport, but it's worth taking your own child car seat if you'll be driving abroad. While car-hire companies will usually supply a child car seat if requested, we regularly get reports from our members about poor quality and outdated seats. Make sure you avoid a Don't Buy child car seat if you're hiring one abroad.
  • Lightweight buggy or stroller - If you don't already have a lightweight umbrella-folding stroller or buggy, now might be the time to get one. You will probably find you start using this regularly at home as well.  The most basic strollers, although fine as a spare, tend to be less user-friendly than more sophisticated models. Check out our five most popular lightweight strollers.
  • Baby carrier/sling - This could be an alternative to taking a buggy. Discover our Best Buy baby carriers and slings.
  • Travel cot - Our guide on how to buy the best travel cot can help you decide whether this is something you really need. You may well be able to borrow one, or have one supplied at your holiday destination. If your baby is very small, a Moses basket may be more appropriate.
  • Travel steriliser - You can buy more compact sterilisers for travel, but you will still need a microwave. Alternatively, you can buy cold-water steriliser bags or, if the facilities are available, simply use boiling water in a pan. You can also buy disposable pre-sterilised bottles.
  • Travel bottle warmer - Consider whether this is something you really need, or whether a bowl of hot water will do. You may also be surprised to find your baby doesn't mind unwarmed milk.
  • Formula milk - If you're not breastfeeding your baby, you should make sure you have enough of their regular powdered formula milk, as you may not be able to get their normal brand abroad. You can also buy ready-made cartons which are sterile and very convenient.  
  • Food - If your baby is weaned, you may find taking some ready-made snacks makes your life a lot easier.
  • Disposable nappies - You'll find the best disposable nappy brands are available in most foreign resorts so, if you need to restrict your luggage, it’s worth buying them once you get there. However, they can be more expensive than in the UK. If you’re travelling abroad by car, consider taking a full supply of nappies with you. The same goes for baby wipes.
  • First-aid kit, medicines and sun protection - This really is essential, and you may find it hard to find your child's usual medicine brands such as Calpol abroad. Rehydration powders should also be included in a kit for any trips abroad. We've put together a list of other must-have first-aid items in this first-aid kit checklist.  
  • Travel blackout blinds - Taking some portable blackout blinds could give you some precious extra time in bed on your holiday. We've asked real parents to give their opinions on several of the blinds on the market in our first look reviews of blackout blinds.
  • Travel booster seat or fabric chair harness - Not necessarily an essential but, if you've got the space, a booster seat could prove useful. Some chair harnesses pack down very compactly.
  • Duct tape - A useful tool for temporarily baby-proofing a room.
  • Snacks, books, toys - You'll want plenty of things to keep your child entertained and distracted during long journeys.