“Are we there yet?”. Well that was five minutes into the car ride to the airport. Then little man got bored of sitting in the pushchair… and that was while we were checking in.
I think the first time you travel with your children it’s so daunting, all I can say is ‘do it’…. The second time is easier because of what you will learn the first time.
With summer holidays coming up, here are my top 10 tips for travelling with a child on a plane (which we have learnt from traveling with our own).
1. Plan your babies routine – mentally run though the day in your head and think of food times, milk times, nappy times and nap times so you can mentally plan and prepare your trip.
2. Pack a bag for the plane – make sure you have enough nappies, bottles, milk and change of clothes for the flight. Keep essentials in a bag that fits under your seat. The non-essentials can go in the overhead compartment, also pack some teething powder and Calpol just incase.
3. Pack extra wipes – You may not be able to pack a change of clothes for you all for the flight, but wet wipes are great at wiping up the, dare I say it…vomit, and any food that will come flying your way.
4. Drink for the take off and landing – if it is tough on our ears, it must be even tougher on the little ears. Sipping a drink or, if they are old enough, sucking a mint really helps with the popping! Fluids will help with de-hydration from travelling, which can also make them cranky.
5. Keep the sick bags ready – The last thing you want when they are throwing up is the panic of finding the sick bag and opening it. Keep it ready to go by pre-opening the bag and then storing in front of you (or them) in a easy reach place.
6. Toys for the plane – Entertaining a little person on a plane can be tricky. There is not a lot of space and you don’t want to do anything very noisy or messy.
- Take a sticker book – a fun non-messy activity
- Finger puppet story book
- Post-it pad and pencils – post-its are fun to stick on the seat
- iPad – make sure you have fully charged it and pre-loaded the apps and films they like
- One toy that they love – for comfort
7. Take food for your little one – You may be delayed or the plane food time may not suit your baba’s time schedule, so take them a sandwich or a snack to keep them fed. Young children may find it difficult to eat from the tray table and as all of the food comes at the same time there is not a lot of space to feed them and feed yourself.
8. Don’t be shy, take them for a walk around the plane – Go for a walk around the cabin, stand near the big door and let them look out of the window. Everyone understands you can’t keep a small person in one place for ages. If you can, share the chore with your partner.
9. Take your pushchair right to the gate – and ask the crew to make sure it is there on the other side, so you don’t have to carry them once you finish your flight, while you are going through passport control, waiting for bags on the other side.
10. Try and get an aisle seat – so you have more space for you and your baba.
Remember, children cry on planes – it is not a big deal. They also need the toilet at the worst times so try to pre-empt before you start your descent. Happy travels. It is all worth it in the end.