The summer hols are upon us, which means you may be contemplating travel with your small humans. If you’re planning to fly to your holiday destination, here is Rach (who has travelled the globe with her small human, Ella) with some top tips for how to stay sane!
When you’re making the booking, reserve an aisle seat if you can so it’s easy to get up and walk around without having to ask other passengers to move. Little people just love walking up and down and up and down and up and down the aisles!
Try and take the quickest route possible. No explanation needed!
If it’s possible to pre-order children’s meals in advance, then it’s worth doing. Their meals will come out first so you can get them fed before you have your own.
To Trunki or not to Trunki – that is the question. I’d say 3 is probably a good age to start Trunki travel. At this point your little one should be able to pull it themselves and ride on top without falling over. Any younger and they can be more hassle than they're worth.
If you can find a play area at the airport, take full advantage and let your little one run about to burn off some energy before getting on the flight. Airports can be particularly hectic in summer and small people can pick up on this frantic energy. A good run around before you head to the gate should prevent too much stress and (hopefully) wear them out a bit before they have to sit still.
Every airport is different, but if you have a baby, hold on to your buggy until the very last minute. Checking it in at the gate will make life so much easier for you as you make your way through the airport. When it has been tagged, ask the ground crew if you’ll get it back as you exit the plane or when you collect your luggage.
When you’ve gone through security, fill up your water bottles so you can stay hydrated on the plane without paying exorbitant prices for a bottle of water. You should be able to do this in one of the eateries - just say it’s for your little one!
Don’t feel you have to rush to board the plane. Boarding last means less time trying to keep them in their seat before the plane takes off.
Once you’re all settled, keep your Bubble & Pop bag under the seat in front of you with all your essentials. I’ve road tested mine on a few different airlines and it fits perfectly.
If you can give your baby a quick feed as you take off it will help their little ears. Try giving toddlers or older children a sip of water.
If you’re flying long haul, where possible fly overnight as (fingers crossed) your baby/toddler should sleep at least some of the way.
Most airlines will provide a bassinet or crib for small babies on long haul flights so that you don’t have to hold them the entire time. Just make sure you reserve one in advance if you can. And bring a blanket or sleepy sack from home so that it smells like their own bed.
Bring a small pillow for your toddler so they can curl up on your lap and get some sleep.
Bring a change of clothes for everyone with you on the plane. Just in case there’s an accident or some motion sickness.
Snacks, snacks, snacks! I always bring lots in my baby bag. I do try and keep them relatively healthy but there are times when gummy bears come in very handy!
I also try and bring a couple of surprises, like a new book or some colouring things. A little treat like this helps to keep her in her seat for a bit longer before the next little stroll down the aisle!
Tablets can come in very hand on a long-haul flight. I usually download some new cartoons or games before we fly. It gives us a few minutes to relax while she’s engrossed in Paw Patrol. Toddler headphones with sound limitation mean she’s not blasting either her eardrums or the person sat next to us!
Try not to stress too much if your baby cries or your toddler causes mild chaos. Most people know exactly what you’re going through and will sympathise. And if they don’t – well you’re off on your hols and you never have to see them again anyway!
Have a fantastic holiday wherever you go.
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