A guide to travelling with your baby for the first time

Travelling abroad with your baby for the first time can be stressful, but preparing well and finding the right travel insurance will help you get on and enjoy your trip.

Travelling abroad with your baby for the first time can be stressful, but preparing well and finding the right travel insurance will help you get on and enjoy your trip.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: please check the latest government travel advice that sets out what you need to do, if anything, before you travel abroad and before you return home. You should also check the latest travel advice and entry requirements for each country you visit or transit through. Travel rules can change at short notice, so check the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) for the latest information.

Josh Daniels
Travel Insurance expert
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Posted 18 JANUARY 2021

Do I need travel insurance for my baby?

Everyone in your family should have travel insurance cover, regardless of their age. New-born babies and toddlers often get sick, so you’ll want your child included on a travel policy as soon as you book their first trip. If your baby is too ill to travel, you could claim back the cost of your trip using cancellation cover (this is included as standard on most travel policies).

You’ll want to make sure all your child’s accessories, such as buggies, are insured in case they are lost, stolen or damaged while you’re away. Having the right travel insurance policy in place means you could claim back the cost of replacing these items. Just make sure you check the single article limit, as this is the most you’ll be able to claim for an individual item – anything worth more has to be added on to a policy individually, which might result in a higher premium.

Customers with more serious pre-existing medical conditions

If you have a serious health condition, the price you pay for travel insurance is likely to be more expensive. However, there are still many providers out there and you should be able to find affordable cover. Whatever happens, don’t be tempted to lie to an insurance provider, because if you do and then need to make a claim, it could be rejected.

When you declare medical conditions on our website, we’ll only show quotes from insurance providers who will cover all declared medical conditions, with no exclusions. 

MoneyHelper has launched a directory of insurance providers who may be able to provide quotes over the phone if you have more serious medical conditions. Find more information at MoneyHelper or by calling them on 0800 138 7777.

Travel cover for the whole family

Family travel insurance typically covers two adults and up to eight children under 18. Some providers let you add children on to a family policy for free, and it can be easier to take out a policy that covers everyone. Often you’ll simply need to enter the date of birth of all children travelling when you buy the cover. Always read the terms of a policy before you buy it so you know exactly what each policy covers.

You can also get single parent cover for one adult, plus up to eight children. If you’ve split-up with your partner and aren’t sure whether any family members are still covered by your insurance, our guide to family travel insurance after separation has more information.

What should I keep in mind when travelling with a baby for the first time?

When planning a trip with your baby, consider the following:

  • Each child needs its own European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)** if you’re travelling within one of the 31 EU and EAA countries covered by the EHIC, it gives you access to emergency state healthcare at a reduced cost, or sometimes for free (you get care on the same terms as a local). This typically includes treatment for pre-existing medical conditions and routine maternity care (assuming you’re not going abroad to give birth). However, the EHIC shouldn’t be seen as a replacement for getting travel insurance.
  • Documentation Your baby will need the right paperwork, such as a child passport, before you head overseas. 
  • At the airport Check what your airline says about infants. For long flights, ask for a free bassinet where your little one can sleep. Some airports offer an ‘order and collect’ service for baby food
  • Vaccinations You should see your doctor or midwife at least eight weeks before your trip – they can tell you about any precautions you should take or vaccinations your child might need. Keep any medicines with you as hand-luggage when you travel.
  • Food and drink Check you have enough snacks, bottled drinks and baby wipes both for the journey and after you arrive at your destination (and be prepared for a change of climate). The government’s website has more information on what baby food and drinks are typically permitted at UK airports.
  • On arrival If you’re driving aboard, again, make sure you’ve got enough provisions for the journey, along with suitable seating. If you’re using a car hire company, let them know in advance about your requirements.

**After Brexit, and the UK officially left the EU with a deal in place, things have changed. You won’t be able to apply for an EHIC anymore, but, if you have one already, issued before the end of 2020, then it’ll still be valid until the expiry date.

However, the UK government has introduced a replacement called the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). If you don’t have an EHIC, or once yours expires, you can apply for a GHIC here, and it should arrive within 10 days. The GHIC will offer the same cover as the EHIC did in EU countries.

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