Holidays and Travelling
In order to ensure that you feel perfectly comfortable with your child when travelling, holidays and journeys should be planned well in advance. When choosing a holiday destination, be mindful not only of your own needs, but also those of your child. In addition, you should take into account the climate and hygiene conditions of your chosen location and the medical services available. The journey should be as short and comfortable as possible.
If you decide to travel to the mountains, your holiday location should not be higher than 1 500 metres above sea level, as the amount of oxygen in the air diminishes at high altitudes. If you choose to go on a beach holiday, you should be careful to avoid very hot temperatures, to ensure that no undue pressure is exerted on your child’s circulation. It is better to stay in the shade between 11am and 3pm and to visit the beach in the morning or the late afternoon. In addition, you should ensure that your baby is adequately protected from the sun at all times.
If you travel abroad, your child requires his or her own identity card or passport (children can no longer be included in their parent’s passport). You should also check if your child’s immunisation provides adequate protection, because the risk of contracting children’s illnesses in other countries may be higher than at home.
If you are travelling by car, try to avoid stretches of road that are prone to traffic jams and stop regularly to have a break (at least every two hours). Be mindful of the temperature inside the car, as hot temperatures can quickly result in sunstroke and your child may catch cold from a draught (from the air conditioner or an open window). Consider making part of your journey at night, while your child is sleeping.
Up to the age of 6, your child can travel free of charge on public trains. Moreover, travelling by train gives you greater freedom of movement and offers a change of scenery. On some routes in Switzerland, there are special family wagons equipped with a playground or family compartments where you will not disturb fellow passengers and with ample space for the whole family.
Travelling by plane is particularly suitable for children below two years of age and is often free of charge on package tours. However, your child is not entitled to his or her own seat and must sit on your lap for take-off and landing. It is recommended that you reserve a seat with adequate legroom well in advance. To counteract the pressure created during take-off and landing, it is a good idea to breastfeed your child or to give him or her a dummy or a bottle.