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I took my six month old abroad for the first time and here's what I learnt

Top tips from a first-time mum who has tackled a trip to Spain 

Rachel Avery
Homes Editor
July 6, 2024
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When I was pregnant, I still flew abroad, partied at concerts and festivals and joined in all of the fun (just with a non-alcoholic drink in hand). I always knew I wanted motherhood to be filled with amazing adventures and not just all soft play and rhyme time. I had a few raised eyebrows when I mentioned we’d be going on our first family holiday when our son would be just six months old. Not in a disapproving way, but in a 'good luck with that' kind of way. But I must say, I do like a challenge… 

We had a week-long holiday in Spain - the first stop in Madrid staying with a friend and the second leg reviewing Cosmo Hotel in Valencia. From baby-changing challenges to packing must haves, here’s what I’ve learned.

Do a test run

mother and baby on plane
We went on a test flight with our little one

If you can, take a shorter flight first to see how your baby gets on with flying. We travelled to Edinburgh a month before, so we knew our son was fine with the air pressure (I just breastfed him on take-off). Even if you can’t take a flight, try packing for a weekend away or an overnight stint as this will give you a good idea of the sorts of things you need to remember to pack.

Stay centrally

While booking a remote hotel may have been appealing pre-baby, being in the middle of everything for ease is ideal with a little one. We stayed at the Cosmo Hotel in Valencia and so much sightseeing and shopping was all within walking distance.

woman in hat outside of cosmo hotel
Choose an accessible hotel

Research your travel

Knowing your mode of transport from airport to hotel will help you decide if you need to take a car seat. Fun fact: you can book Ubers with car seats already in them in Madrid but be prepared to wait a little longer. As mentioned, our hotel in Valencia was super central but we wanted one day at the beach, so we hopped on one of the local buses which was so easy.

Remember babies deserve a holiday too 

I was a little apprehensive about staying in a hotel that wasn’t family specific, but guests and staff alike were absolutely amazing with him - all smiles at breakfast and beyond. We actually found that people LOVE a baby so expect lots of cooing on your travels around.

mum-and-baby-looking-at-view
Soak up every minute of showing your little one the world

Pack for every weather

You might not believe it, but a week in Spain in June delivered rain! Two huge downpours. We were VERY glad we had the buggy rain cover and an umbrella. But equally, the sun shade and sun cream came into play when the sun was blazing.

Don’t forget to enjoy yourself

If you think sipping fizz on a Spanish rooftop is a distant memory as a parent, think again. One evening we headed up to the small but sweet terrace at the hotel to survey the cityscape and relax with a drink. Granted, a dirty nappy required a short interlude to the room, but we still had a lovely family moment that I’ll cherish forever.

The hotel is part of the STAYING VALENCIA group, and we opted to walk to one of the other properties for dinner and drinks one night (the Helen Berger Hotel) and rocking him to sleep in the pram while sipping a delish glass of red was one of those "wow, I've dreamed of this" moments.

mother-with-glass-baby-in-pram
Don't forgo fun

Be prepared to be adaptable

The changing facilities were a bit hit and miss at small restaurants and bars in both Madrid and Valencia, so I had to get inventive with where to change my son. It made me so grateful for the UK’s amazing facilities but also proved how adaptable I can be when it comes to parenting on the go.

Don’t overpack on things you can get where you’re going

We did run out of nappies and wipes but these things were readily available in Spain. The Cosmo Hotel was right opposite a pharmacy which was so handy for us to restock. So save space for clothes and your bubba's favourite toys, and just buy other things when you're there. 

baby-in-carrier-on-father
Baby wearing makes life easier

A carrier is a lifesaver

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We used a carrier for taking our little love on and off the plane, but it was also so handy for our days out at the aquarium and the beach when the buggy was hard to manoeuvre. Plus, it's a free workout... baby wearing for the win!

The Cosmo Hotel Valencia is part of the STAYING VALENCIA group. The group, with its 11 accommodations and five restaurants, has been awarded the 'S' certificate for sustainable tourism. To book at Cosmo Hotel, please visit stayingvalencia.com

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