Travel Advice For The Royal Baby (And His Parents)

family travel advice for the royal baby
Chris Jackson, Getty Images

Royal watchers greeted the new prince this week with pomp, circumstance and silly hotel packages. Prince George Alexander Louis’ first trip will likely be to his mother’s hometown of Bucklebury, about an hour west of London, or to visit his grandparents on their annual holiday in Scotland. As Gadling’s de facto baby travel expert, with 50+ flights and 14 countries under my belt with my (now) two-year-old, I’d like to offer some family travel tips, with some special considerations for the future king:

1. Take big trips early: The first six months are the easiest time to travel, before the baby’s mobile and while they still sleep round the clock. As a tot, jet lag is easy to manage when you nap every other hour, and entertainment is easy to find anywhere when you are mesmerized by your own toes. The new parents might aim to take Prince George to visit his subjects in Canada in early October, once they’ve gotten the hang of his schedule and before the fall weather turns cold, or perhaps down to Australia during the spring shoulder season.2. Learn some local baby talk: Traveling with a baby is a great way to talk to locals, share common experiences, get help and recommendations and (possibly unwanted) parenting advice. When traveling to a country with a foreign language, knowing a few commonly asked questions and answers will go a long way in making connections. The people’s prince will be undoubtedly be popular anywhere he goes, so learn how to answer “How old is he?,” “What is his name?” and “Where is he in line to the throne?”

3. Check out of hotels: With a baby in tow, a kitchen and a washing machine make more attractive amenities than a hotel bar or concierge. Renting an apartment or house makes sense for a family, giving you extra room for the baby to sleep while the parents stay up, and a place to prepare bottles and baby food. Surely the Duke and Duchess have some castle time-sharing agreement to stay local? You might miss the service of a hotel, but if you are traveling with your own royal butler, it’ll still feel like a relaxing vacation.

4. Not all airlines are created baby-friendly: Air travel has gotten more stressful and uncomfortable for all of us, especially when you are terrified that you’ll be the one with the screaming infant. Some airlines do offer a few ways to make the experience more pleasant for you and your lap child. JetBlue still offers early boarding for families and a free checked bag (a lifesaver when you are toting a baby with your carry-on), and Emirates offers a baby kit with supplies for young children. Staying loyal to the UK carriers, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have free baby bassinets, special meals, and entertainment for kids. Even if you are flying by royal private jet, there are still ways to make flying with a baby go smoothly.

5. Don’t rush the kid stuff: Many parents think that travel with a baby means finding specially-tailored activities and kid-friendly destinations right away, but hold off on Disney — it’ll be years before they can appreciate it. Look instead for places that I call baby-friendly, with plenty of things for Mum and Dad to enjoy: a trip to Sicily where His Highness will be cooed over by Italian grandmothers while you, Catherine and William, sip wine on a piazza and take in museums too “boring” for a child, or a second honeymoon to the Seychelles.

7 Travel Options For Those Obsessed With The Royal Baby

Doug Waldron, Flickr

In anticipation of Prince William and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge’s firstborn, Great Britain has had baby fever. Now that the royal baby has finally arrived, the travel industry is taking advantage of the frenzy. Even Heathrow gave out special T-shirts yesterday. Nothing like a baby to stimulate the economy after all.

It might take awhile for the royal baby to become king. Meanwhile, we commoners can take full advantage.

1. Fly for Free (If You Are a Baby)
Infants fly free of charge today on RyanAir. Time to make a last minute travel decision and buy a ticket before the day is up. The bottle of milk will probably be an extra charge, however.

2. Sleep Like a British Baby
Kate isn’t the only one popping out a baby this year. According to Visit England 700,000 babies will be born in England this year, which is why the tourism board has opted to put an emphasis on baby themed travel options. Maybe the most notable is the Grosvenor House Hotel where you can stay in the Premium Park View Suite. In celebration of the royal birth the suite has been turned into a quintessential English nursery, including a hand-painted doll house toy closet. But sleeping like a royal baby isn’t cheap; the room runs $3,428, and that’s without a babysitter.

3. Hope You Have the Right Name
If you are extra lucky and happen to have the same name as the baby — which has yet to be announced — check in at the Jury Inn within 24 hours of the name announcement and you might score a bottle of Prosecco. There’s already a bottle of bubbles on ice at 25 of Jury Inn’s hotels around the UK.

4. Get the Royal Treatment
Playing off of the baby’s placement in royal succession, on the day the little royalty was born, Virgin America promised a special deal to its own “third in line” passengers on the day of the baby’s birth. While Kate is certainly busy being pampered and sleeping off the pains of labor, if you were third in line for your flight on Virgin America, you would have been happily treated to a special pass to the airline’s Clubhouse, complete with bubbly.

5. Study Up on Royal Baby History
Even if you can’t afford a night in a royal baby suite, you can at least buff up on your royal baby history. The Museum of London celebrates is celebrating the occasion with the ‘”A Royal Arrival,” an exhibit showcasing baby clothes and memorabilia from the last 400 years of UK history. Admission is free, which leaves plenty of extra cash for royal baby souvenirs.

6. Have a Proper Royal Baby Shower
Ok, so you couldn’t manage to get a slot to give birth at the Lindo Wing (or pay for it), but at the very least you can throw yourself a royal baby shower. Expecting mothers can reserve the Royal Baby Shower Package at St. James Hotel and Club, which includes a baby shower-themed tea, complete with delicate English cakes, and a pregnancy spa treatment. You’re feeling more royal already aren’t you?

7. See a Private Photo Exhibition All About Royal Babies
While waiting for new royal baby pictures online, you can go to the Athenaeum hotel which is hosting The Royal Child photography exhibition. You’ll find 40 rarely seen photos of all kinds of royal children from Victorian times to present, but just like any good royal experience, it comes at a price: the private exhibition, shown over high tea naturally, will run you £60 ($92).