This is a guest post in collaboration with Kira Browdy
It wouldn’t be surprising if, despite having a hankering for visiting the Big Smoke, you decide to put it off for a while if you have a baby. The sheer thought of travelling to the city with a pushchair and a young baby is enough to drive you to despair, never mind navigating the Tube and pushing a buggy around the crammed-to-bursting roads. However, it needn’t be so daunting. If you fancied staying overnight (after all, there’s far too much to do for one day, and an overnight stay will undoubtedly reduce the stress levels a little), staying at Travelodge can provide you with a pleasant stay, while the family size rooms will ensure that you and your baby have plenty of room in which to relax. As for the other aspects of your stay, here are some great tips to guarantee that you’ll leave the city having had a great time, with your sanity still intact.
Invest in an Oyster Card
This is a great tip whether you’re travelling with a baby or not. It’s free for babies to travel on the Tube and via bus routes, but Oyster cards can save you a considerable amount of money which, in turn, will automatically make the trip more favourable! Pop it in a convenient place, such as a sleeve or pocket, and you won’t have to stop, mid-crowd, to reach into your bag for it – such an action can take that much longer with a baby in tow!
Take the Sling
Leave the pushchair at home, if you can help it, and opt for a baby carrier instead. Hopping on and off the Tube will be a doddle if you don’t have to faff about with a pushchair. Lugging them up and down flights of steps isn’t pleasant, and you can’t guarantee a helpful Samaritan!
Use a Stroller
If you do decide to take the pushchair, leave the travel system at home. Opt for something lightweight that is compact and easy to carry and unfold.
Plan your Route
Use the Transport for London Journey Planner, if you wish, to plan your journey so that it incorporates baby-friendly routes, with less escalators and flights of steps to navigate. You can also find the stations that have lifts, too.
Avoid the Rush Hour
Travelling around London, particularly via the Tube, will be so much more tolerable if you’re not stuck in the rush hour. Avoid travelling between 7am and 9am, and 4pm and 6:30pm – if you can help it, that is.
Use the Bus
You may be drawn towards the Tube but that’s not the only way of travelling across London. Using the Overground services, including the extensive bus network, can be much more accessible and easy compared with the Underground.
Pack Snacks and Water
Journeys don’t always go to plan, so make sure that baby doesn’t get too fretful by supplying them with snacks and water at opportune times. Buggy books and soft toys can also help to keep them occupied.
Most of all, stay as relaxed as possible. The more stress-free and relaxed you are, the better the experience will be – for both you and your baby!