Taking Baby to Spain Tips
If you’re accustomed to traveling, becoming a parent can be a big lifestyle shift. The nesting period doesn’t last forever, though. After you’ve gotten used to a new baby, built up an immune system, and gotten the go-ahead from your doctor, it’s time to start thinking about taking baby to Spain. Whether it’s your first time out of the country or your fortieth, traveling with your little one is a whole new world.
Traveling with an infant might seem overwhelming, but it’s relatively simple in reality. After all, your child needs very few things to be happy — largely, you. Since the baby isn’t mobile yet, you can strap them in a carrier and walk around as usual. You’ll need to take more breaks for feeding, naps, and changing, but this provides the chance to slow down and take in the culture.
Speaking of culture — taking baby to Spain can open up new opportunities to interact with Spaniards. With a child in tow, it’s a breeze to strike up conversations with other parents in the park. You might even find that locals approach you more to say hi to the baby.
HOW TO TAKE BABY ON A TRIP TO SPAIN
1. Take Care of Medical Issues
As soon as you start thinking about taking baby to Spain, it’s a good idea to book a doctor’s visit. Talk to the doctor about your child’s immunization schedule, and make sure you plan the trip after all necessary vaccinations. Although you shouldn’t need any extra shots for Spain, it doesn’t hurt to ask the doctor. At the same time, you can talk through any potential risks and learn how to avoid them.
After talking to the doctor, call your health insurance company to find out about overseas medical coverage. At a minimum, make sure that your policy pays for emergency healthcare and medical evacuation. If not, you can buy supplemental coverage through a travel insurance company. Chances are, you won’t need it — but if something happens when taking baby to Spain, you can head to the hospital without worrying about costs.
2. Get Your Child a Passport
No matter how young your baby is, they’ll need a passport. As soon as you start considering taking baby to Spain, apply for a passport. Depending on the time of year and agency backlog, the process can take up to two months. Need to go sooner? Expedited services are available, but you’ll need to pay a fee. Get the passport application online or at your local post office.
3. Pack Light
When you’re taking baby to Spain, you’re going to be carrying extra gear. To make the process easier, pack as light as possible. That way, you can manage all of your belongings with ease. Plus, the fewer belongings you have, the less you need to pack.
Consider the type of vacation you’re planning. Going from the airport to a single hotel in Spain? Don’t worry too much about packing; simply book a car from the airport and rely on hotel staff to help with your bags. If you’re planning to move between towns when taking baby to Spain, however, you’ll want to stick to the basics. At a minimum, you’ll need:
- Diaper backpack to keep your hands free
- Diapers and wipes
- Small toy for distraction
- Warm blanket
- Changing pad and burp cloth
- Plastic bags for soiled clothing
- Roll-up changing pad
Keep in mind that a diaper blowout can happen anywhere, so it’s always good to have a change of clothing on hand for you and the baby. For the flight to Spain, make sure to have two changes for your little one. Also, there’s no need to pack diapers and wipes for the whole trip; simply load up on enough for a few days, and stock up when you get to Spain.
4. Be Smart About Flights
The long international flight is one of the most intimidating parts of taking baby to Spain. With a bit of planning, however, you can make the trip easier for you and your child. To start, it’s a good idea to book a flight for just before or after your child’s bedtime. That way, they’re more likely to sleep most of the way to Europe.
When choosing seats, look for spots on the aisle; if your little one gets fussy, you can walk around without disturbing the people nearby. Even better? Call the airline and request a bulkhead seat with a bassinet. Te bassinets fasten to the wall in front of your seat, so you and your baby can get a good night’s sleep.
At the airport, make sure to arrive at the gate early. Reiterate your request for a bassinet to the gate agent. If one isn’t available, ask if you can be seated in an empty row. As long as you ask nicely, most agents are happy to help — after all, a happy baby means a happier planeload of passengers. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of the early boarding for families with children; this extra time allows you to get settled without holding up the boarding process or stressing out.
5. Ask for a Crib or Playpen
Whether you’re booking a hotel, a guesthouse, or an Airbnb, don’t be afraid to request a crib in advance. Most properties are happy to provide one, and you won’t need to worry about carrying one with you. On Airbnb, in particular, you can message a host before making a reservation to check about the availability of a crib. For peace of mind, you might want to bring a sleep sack for your little one in case the provided blankets aren’t suitable.
6. Think About Baby Transportation
Depending on the age and size of your child, the easiest transportation option when taking baby to Spain is a sling. This keeps your hands free, allows you to walk almost everywhere, and keeps your little one comfortable in a new environment. Plus, you’ll never need to worry about hauling strollers in and out of subways. If you do opt to bring a stroller, make sure to gate check it so it’s waiting for you at the end of the flight.
If you’re thinking about booking a car service from the airport to your hotel or Airbnb in Spain, make sure to ask about a car seat. The same goes for a rental car; most companies will allow you to add a car seat to your rental. Another great way to move around Spain is by train. Prices are reasonable, and you can pop your baby in a front carrier for an easy ride.
7. Plan to Wash Clothes
Infants are tiny, but they can go through a surprising amount of clothing. When you’re taking baby to Spain, you probably don’t want to spend much time in laundromats. That’s why it’s helpful to take along a few small laundry detergent packets. That way, you can wash onesies in the sink and hang them to dry; since the items are small, they dry quickly.
Another great option is to book an Airbnb with a washing machine. Since European machines often have long runtimes, you can wash clothes while you sleep. This is also helpful for you — with the chance to do laundry, you can pack less and have lighter bags to lug around.
8. Break Your No-Screen Rule
Are you trying to keep your little one way from phones, tablets, and TVs? When you’re taking baby to Spain, it’s helpful to relax that rule — especially on the flight. Load up your phone or tablet with soothing videos, white noise machines, or rain apps. When your child starts to fuss, the screen can be a fascinating distraction. Plus, if your baby’s sleep schedule is thrown off from the change in time zones, a noisemaker app can help them drift off.
Your first international trip with a baby can be intimidating — but as long as you have the right gear, the process is fun and easy. In fact, you might find that traveling with your child is easier and more rewarding than traveling alone. Most importantly, go with the flow and don’t worry too much; Spain is highly developed, and there’s always another parent or a doctor nearby to help you through any situation.