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.

Josh Daniels
From the Travel team
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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.


A travel traffic light system has been introduced for international travel. From 19 July 2021, trips to green and amber listed countries are legally permitted if you live in England and Scotland. However, you’ll still need to fulfil any pre-departure requirements, such as testing. If you live in Wales and Northern Ireland, you still need to follow the rules for your relevant local authority.

If a country is on the green or amber list, you still need to check the latest travel advice and entry requirements for each country you visit or transit through. This is to ensure you’re aware of any specific requirements relating to entry and to check travellers from the UK are permitted. Countries can have their traffic light status changed at short notice and you should take this into consideration when looking to travel. Please check the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advice for the latest information.

The FCDO currently advises against all but essential travel to red listed countries. Should you choose to travel against the FCDO rules, you will not be covered by any travel insurance policy you purchase. Some providers do offer cover for international travel if you’re travelling for essential purposes, however most do not. In all cases, should you have any queries please check the policy wording or contact your chosen provider before purchasing to ensure the cover meets your needs.

Travel within England, Scotland and Wales is permitted under the current guidelines. However, public health rules and lockdown restrictions continue to vary, including entry restrictions for Northern Ireland. Check the latest guidance from the official tourism boards for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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Customers with more serious pre-existing medical conditions

Our panel includes insurance providers who quote cover for all medical conditions declared on our website, with no exclusions.

The Money and Pensions Service (MaPs) has launched a directory of insurance providers on its Money Advice Service website that may be able to provide quotes over the phone, if you have more serious medical conditions. Find more information at the Money Advice Service or by calling the British Insurance Brokers’ Association on 0370 950 1790.

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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