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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.

Patrick Ikhena
From the Travel team
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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.


Starting on 5 November, the Government has introduced a national lockdown for England that will last until at least 2 December. As part of this, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advise against all non-essential domestic and international travel.

If you choose to travel overseas to a destination while the FCDO has advised against non-essential travel, or domestically against the instructions of the UK Government, then your insurance policy will be invalid, and any claim will be rejected.

For those living in the UK but outside of England, the public health rules may differ, but you must abide by the restrictions imposed by your local authority.

We’ll continually review the situation, and update you with the latest FCDO or Government guidance on travel.

For more information, please see our coronavirus and travel insurance page.

Until then, stay safe.

Customers with more serious pre-existing medical conditions

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

The Money and Pension Service (MaPs) has also 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 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’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 after the 31 January during the transition phase of the UK leaving the EU. This means that the EHIC can continued to be used in the same way until the 31 December 2020. What happens to the status of the EHIC after the transition phase will be decided as part of the negotiations on the future UK-EU relationship.

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