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A guide to travelling with your baby for the first time

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.

Patrick Ikhena
From the Travel team
minute read
posted 11 OCTOBER 2019

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.

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’s free for the parent or guardian to apply for this on behalf of the child via the NHS. The EHIC 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.

**UK residents can use their EHIC during the Brexit negotiations, until the UK is scheduled to leave the EU on 31 January 2020. The UK Government has proposed a scheme similar to the EHIC in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal, and consequently the EHIC no longer being usable. However, the implementation of that scheme is subject to EU countries agreeing to that proposal.

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