Esmeralda Tijhoff

Some thoughts on History, Politics, and the Art of Living

DIY travelling with babies

Travelling with babyThis year, we will take our twin baby girls to Indonesia for a backpack holiday. Travelling with babies is a whole new experience. People tell me I’m mad for taking baby’s along. Nicer people tell me I’m brave. Mad or brave, it’s gonne happen. This is the story of our adventures abroad.


First, you need to know whether or not you want to use a travel agency or book the flights and stays yourself. We like to do it all ourselves. It gives you freedom, it’s way cheaper, and it’s really not that difficult. Booking a flight these days is easy, just as booking a hotel or home stay. We intent to book a hotel in Jakarta for the first days we arrive. After that, we will use local information and the internet to find cheap places to stay across Java, Bali and West Nusa Tenggara.

Passports and visa

First things to look into is passports. Babies need passports too these days. So take a mug shot of your kid, pay the money and get your kid this vital document.

passport babyNow you can look into visa. We opted for the 30days tourist visa ( which you can extent for another 30 days once you are in Indonesia. This is the easiest way, because we can get the visa at the airport in Jakarta. Other travellers reported that getting the extention was relatively easy if you use an agent or very boring and frustrating by standing in line for three days. Visit any Indonesian Immigration office, fill out the required forms and hand over your passport, 2 passport photos, and photocopies of your passport . Return the next day to pay your 250,000 rp fee. Return the day after that to the office again to pick up your passport.


Do you need shots? Vaccination is recommended for Indonesia. Hepatitis A and DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio) are the important ones. In my case, we did not need to get any because mothers who are breastfeeding are advised not to get the Hepatitis shot and like most people, the baby’s and I already had a DTP shot. More importantly, it turns out that children under 5 don’t get very sick from Hepatitis A, and children under the age of one are advised not to be vaccinated (at least, that’s the advice in the Netherlands).

To battle the dangers of malaria, we cannot resort to medicine for the baby’s. Because you know, you can’t give them to baby’s. We will bring travel cots with mosquito nets for the nights (Deryan baby travel cots are supposed to fit in a backpack), put the baby’s in loose clothes with long sleeves and trousers. We will also try to avoid high-risk areas of malaria.

baby on plane


We almost forgot the flight tickets! Get them for the best price using
Booking flight tickets for babies is mostly done by phone. The online machine’s won’t let you book a baby. While you are on the phone with the airline, make sure to ask for a cot. You want to be seated in the family row so you get more space. The cot is (officially) for baby’s up to 9 months or ten kilogram. You can keep the baby on your lap if it’s younger than two years old (check with your airline!), or book a separate chair for it. One adult can fly with a maximum of two baby’s (one on lap, one in car seat).

Some airports have a discount on the extra chair for your baby. If you fly with a baby in a separate chair, you need a car seat that is less than 42 cm wide to put the baby in. You also need to inform the airline about the dimensions of your car seat a couple of days before you fly, because they need to ask permission! The car seat functions as the hand luggage of the baby, at least with KLM. But you can bring a buggy with you to the aeroplane. On a long distance flight, the airline will provide nappies and food for your baby’s.

One tip I’m not sure of. They let you board first if you have a baby. But why not board last? Why sit there with your kid being totally distracted by all the noise and people searching for their seats? I think it would be best to board last, when all is settled. Feel free to comment about this!

So far so good!


Next blog will be about packing for your babies!


Practical links in English

Practical links in Dutch:




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2 Responses to “DIY travelling with babies”

  1. ladybug says:

    Good luck!

  2. Yvette says:

    Ik vond zelf Airbnb ook super, vooral wanneer je met een kind/kinderen bent. Zo hadden we in Bangkok een appartementje met zwembad. Ken je Ilikelocal al? Dat is misschien ook nog wat voor echt local experiences :-). Ik heb het nog niet gebruikt maar ga het wel proberen tijdens onze volgende reis.

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