We took the plunge and booked a trip to Europe when Little T was still camped out on my belly. How does one even do this? Aside from the logistics, Why would anyone ever do this?
What Were We Thinking?
We’re not going to stop traveling. This is an important goal for our family. If something is important to us for our new family life, it’s worth putting in the effort even though it will be hard.
A lump instead of a handful. We hear people wish they had traveled while the baby was under 6 months. They felt it would have been easier than when the baby is older and needed to be entertained more.
Booking before we change our minds. Parents wish they had traveled earlier on, they also could not have imagined planning a trip while taking care of a newborn. We decided to eliminate this issue by planning ahead of time because . . .
We can cancel if we want to. Get travel insurance. You can plan without worry of losing money. We’re treating this like travel during my pregnancy — plan first and cancel later if we just can’t go. If our son has health problems of any kind, we can cancel.
Lap Infant Fees
Lap infants are NOT FREE on international trips. They must be added to the reservation and paid for.
Different airlines have different fees. Some are a flat fee, some are a percentage of the fare, etc. Here is a great chart that shows some of the different rates. Check directly with the airline before booking.
Wait, the baby doesn’t have a name or birthdate yet. We booked this before he was born and called back to add him later. The fee was 10% of the adult revenue fare at the time we added him, so it’s important that we didn’t wait long. I’ve heard some nightmare stories of people having to pay lap infant fees the day they get to the airport and having it be a percentage of the walk up fare. Don’t do this!
Nuts and Bolts
We’re insuring the trip to cover non-refundable costs. We’re doing this the same way we used travel insurance during the pregnancy.
The baby can’t be insured until he’s born. We called after he was born to add him to our policy. We had to buy the policy before he was born so we could have “cancel for any reason” coverage. For more on this, click the link above.
Padding our itinerary. We’ll be in two countries and a handful of cities. We’re researching and guessing about how much time we can spend in different places and how much movement the Little T can handle. We’re adding more time in each place than we normally would so if we have a complete meltdown day, we won’t lose all our time there.
Do We Regret this Now that We’ve Had the Baby?
No. I’ll be honest, there are many difficult moments when we wonder, “what were we thinking?!” But as dust as somewhat settled, we’re really glad we have the trip to look forward to.
It’s giving us a goal to get used to getting out of the house instead of sitting around. There’s no way we can take a baby that’s been a homebody to Europe — we’ve been practicing taking him around town and he’ll have two short trips before the big one.
There’s no way we would have made these reservations after he was born. We were right. I can’t imagine trying to make these plans while sleep deprived.
Stay tuned! We’ll report back and let you know how it goes!