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Anyone regret going on a long-haul/dream holiday- with a baby?

(23 Posts)
Tansie Tue 18-Mar-14 14:54:16

I have a friend who is planning on heading 'somewhere, hot, a long way away and exotic' (her words!) with her DH and 2 x DC who'll be 4 months and 18 months at the time; and his 1st DC who'll be 6, I think. They'll have to scrimp and save to go, they're not particularly well off, like most of us. She's only been to Ibiza and mainland Spain before.

I think she's mad grin. Why would one do that? Why not wait a few years til the issues associated with flying with young children/all the kit you'll need/ enhanced hygiene vigilance / enhanced environmental safety vigilance/ sun safety etc are fading a bit? And- is there a real psossibility she'll just be child-minding on high alert abroad, instead of enjoying her holiday?

I was coerced by circumstance on taking an under one year old (just) to Lord Howe Island, off Australia, years ago; and whilst it was as safe as say NSW, I really felt a bit cheated as DH and his DB went off hill walking and beach hopping whilst I was sat in the cottage BF'ing DS2 and working around his naptimes! I could've been anywhere! My parents were with us from the UK which is why I ended up going.

Our next foray abroad with the DSs was Brittany when they were 7 & 9; a much more enjoyable experience all around!

But I am looking for the positives as I can only think of negatives!

What was your experience of taking a baby/young toddler on such a trip? I know plenty of MNetters do as you see it on the Longhaul forum ("Taking DS, 4 weeks, to Borneo next week. What do I need to think of?" grin)

minipie Tue 18-Mar-14 18:44:20

Taking a baby or toddler is one thing but your friend is thinking of taking a baby and toddler and another child as well! Brave!

We will be taking DD 16 months to Mauritius next month and are a bit nervous about whether it will be worth it. I hope so but the flight could be hell, her sleeping may go to pot get even worse, she may refuse to eat forrin food, she may hate the babysitters available there so we get no free time.

If she's not likely to be able to do this kind of trip multiple times, then I'd agree, wait till the DC are older and she'll have time to actually enjoy it a bit.

Tansie Tue 18-Mar-14 19:12:03

So -um- if you don't mind me asking, why are you going if you have to take DD?! grin Is it obligatory like my Lord Howe trip, maybe? I don't think that for me that trip was 'worth it', tbh, and it wasn't cheap!

yesnoyesnoyesno Tue 18-Mar-14 19:20:40

DS just doesn't sleep on holiday. He's a good sleeper normally too so it feels like an anti holiday because were not used to being so tired.

I've only been to Europe which is cheap close and safe, but still felt I was wasting evenings babysitting. Definitely going to be a while before I return to Asia.

With three kids of those ages I don't envy her but I guess she knows what she can manage?

minipie Tue 18-Mar-14 19:22:59

In the blind optimism hope that it will all work out brilliantly of course! <stuffs fingers in ears, sings la la la> Some of the risks are not that likely, she eats anything and is likely to love the childcare. Sleep on the other hand may be a disaster but at least we'll be knackered in the sunshine!

Also, this will sound a bit (maybe a lot) spoiled but we are well off enough that it's not a once in a lifetime kind of trip so not a total disaster if it doesn't work out too well. If it was once in a lifetime I'd feel differently and would postpone.

Tansie Tue 18-Mar-14 19:29:37

But, but- even if you can do the trip multiple times, why do it once or perhaps more than once if it won't be much of a holiday? Especially as, unless you (or the breadwinner) has weeks of annual holiday available, I'd not use up my precious annual leave on such a trip myself!

Each to his own, I guess.

BranchingOut Tue 18-Mar-14 19:35:31

We went on a three-location trip to Asia when DS was 8 months, as we figured that it would all be easier before he was mobile and weaning was still fairly simple at that stage. We also thought at the time that it would be our only chance to take an off-peak holiday, as I was on maternity leave from teaching.

There was quite a lot of faff involved in sorting out his food in hotel rooms and we travelled with seven pieces of luggage, but it was still an amazing trip.

TarkaTheOtter Tue 18-Mar-14 19:36:38

I'm taking a just 2 yr old and a 4 month old to California in a months time... ON MY OWN. In defence of my sanity, dh will be joining us a week later and I am staying with family once there. In our case it's because once dc2 is older than two we won't be able to afford it. We could wait a year but flying long distance with a crawling/walking 16month old on my lap as well as a 3yr old seemed worse.
I'll report back as to what it's like. We took several European holidays with dc1 alone and it was still a holiday.

yesnoyesnoyesno Tue 18-Mar-14 19:44:47

Staying with family is different, I'd do that. I don't envy you the flight but it's never that much fun however many children you take.

TarkaTheOtter Tue 18-Mar-14 20:03:57

Only staying with family first week - then two week road trip grin

Tabby1963 Tue 18-Mar-14 20:18:02

We decided to tour NZ for a couple of months when our two were 2 and 3. It worked very well even though I forgot to put the umbrella stroller I'd bought specifically for the trip into the taxi bound for the airport. Only realised once we'd arrived. But we managed ok without it, thankfully; DS did a lot of walking lol.

OP, the 4 month old will be easy to carry, more portable, so I would definitely go for it, sounds like an adventure.

PortofinoRevisited Tue 18-Mar-14 21:35:24

Why are you worrying about someone else's holiday? A 4 month old is perfectly transportable. Have done it myself. Holidays at 4 months, 6 months, 15 months, 18 months, 2.2 years, 2.6 years and every year ever since. Flying/driving etc. You just need to prepare.

minipie Tue 18-Mar-14 22:00:08

Tansie there's a risk it might go wrong but I think it's only a small risk. Otherwise I'd not be doing it of course! And I am the breadwinner, by the way.

primigravida Tue 18-Mar-14 22:06:24

We did a big dream holiday with my son as very small baby and it was fantastic. He was bf and small enough to go in a baby carrier all day so it was very easy. It was also great having DH around all the time to share the babycare.It would have been horrible if he had been going off doing his own thing. We decided not to bother with a routine and just slot DS into what we were doing. This wouldn't have worked with an older baby as I found by six months both of mine were in loose routines with regards to solids and naptimes.

We have tried long-haul holidays with a one year old and eighteen month old and they were much much harder. We are currently waiting until our youngest (a toddler) is older before we fly long-haul again. I think under six months or over four years are the best ages for long-haul or dream holidays.

happydutchmummy Tue 18-Mar-14 22:16:11

I got dreadfully bored whilst on maternity leave with Dd, and decided that if I had to be changing nappies and general baby care then I might as well enjoy it in the sun rather than rainy England. So before she was 1 I'd taken her to Egypt (with oh), Morocco (with a friend) and for 2 weeks in Cuba (on my own) plus lots of trips to Holland to see my family.

It as easy to do as I didn't have to pay for her flights, she was breastfed, she still had long naps in the day and was happy to be lugged around in a sling.

poocatcherchampion Fri 21-Mar-14 22:00:24

because children are fab and creating memories and enjoying new experiences are what it is all about?

we have 2 under 2 and are going away for a week in a few weeks. it is the canaries so not exactly exotic but we are dead excited. we haven't taken them both abroad yet and I can't wait to enjoy it with them.

we are quite relaxed in our family though.

poocatcherchampion Fri 21-Mar-14 22:01:00

that sounds amazing happydutch

TheZeeTeam Fri 21-Mar-14 22:03:26

We've holidayed all over the place from when all the kids were very young. I don't remember one bad holiday! It's all in the mindset, I reckon. I would rather be breast feeding on a tropical island than sat at home in the cold on my sofa!

Fairylea Fri 21-Mar-14 22:08:07

I take my hat off to people brave enough (daft enough? !) to holiday abroad with small children. Personally I would rather stick pins in my eyes!

I have two dc (11 years and 20 months, big age gap) and I didn't go anywhere further than the nearest haven or centre parcs with dd from when she was about 4. We're now having another holiday gap as ds is so little.

I think a lot of it is I love routine and I have ds in a really good routine with a 2.5 hour nap everyday and 12 hour sleep at night. I'd rather not risk upsetting that and knowing my luck a holiday would!

Parsnipcake Fri 21-Mar-14 22:09:01

We went to the US with an 8 month old a couple of years ago - it wasn't planned, but we foster and he was with us longer than expected. It was much better than I expected- we were given bulkhead seats and he thought all the people queuing for the toilet had come to play with him so had a great time! He slept all the way back. He was fab on holiday, unlike the teenagers who pretty much ruined it.

minipie Sat 22-Mar-14 13:17:05

ah Fairylea perhaps there is a hidden benefit in having a dreadful sleeper - DD doesn't sleep well at home anyway so we have nothing to lose by going away!

Creamycoolerwithcream Sat 22-Mar-14 13:25:47

Fairylea, we didn't do any long haul holidays until DS3 was 5 but did do really a lot of short haul holidays up until then and I didn't find routine/sleep effected in the slightest. Most of our holidays had a two hour time change which didn't mess anything up, I do know exactly what you mean though as my routine was really important to me when DC were young.

foxdongle Sat 22-Mar-14 14:08:58

ours went aboard for the first time aged 3 and 5 years short haul to start and our dcs have been all over /worldwide etc since, before then we stuck to the great british seaside and centre parks type holidays .
our dcs sleep for England anywhere and eat anything so we probably cud have taken them earlier.

we went to loads of far flung destinations together before dcs came along so we didn't feel as though we were missing out. whereas if we had not had that opportunity before we might have been tempted much earlier.

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