As we dust off our passports and get the green light (literally…!) to travel again, here are my top tips in preparing you and your little ones to board that plane…
Give yourself plenty of time (and then some…!) to arrive at the airport, park the car, get everything and everyone out of the car and safely into the terminal. It’ll take longer than you think going through security with children in tow. Most airports will provide a child friendly area such as soft play or some sort of entertainment. Source it out before you go and let your child burn off that extra energy they definitely do not be needing to board the plane with!
Snacks. Many many snacks! Not only do they save you from forking out unnecessary money at the airport on something that your child probably won’t enjoy, they’ll provide you with a few precious minutes of entertainment. If you’re travelling over a meal time, it may be worth taking more food if you have a fussier eater. Trust me, you don’t want a hangry child getting on that plane!
Whether this is your child’s water bottle, or your babies bottle, take it through empty and fill it up on the other side. This saves a load of time and hassle going through security trying to declare all of the liquids you have. Need boiling water for your bubba? Restaurant’s and cafes can provide you with the hot goods.
Pack plenty, and them some. Not just for the kids…you too! You’ll soon learn that pre packed outfits in ziplock bags are a total time saver when you’re in need of some fresh clean clothes ASAP!
Altitude is a nappies worst enemy. Just like the spare clothes situ, pack more than you think!
This may be a dummy, teddy, muslin, if you have more than one. Pack more than one! Pop them in your hand luggage so you know for sure it won’t end up in lost luggage.
Wipes and Hand Gel
One of the first things to go in the bag when we travel! You can never have too many wipes. And let’s be honest, your child is going to be touching anything and everything, so hand gel will slowly but surely become your best friend.
If you’re going to be travelling a lot, I’d say it’s definitely worth investing in a travel buggy. These fold down into hand luggage size making it quick and easy for you to get on and off the plane. There’s nothing worse than trying to get off the plane, carrying tired cranky children, bags, bottles and all! My top personal recommendations are the Baby Zen Yoyo and the Bugaboo Ant. Both super compact and sleek looking too!
Planes are always cold, no matter if you’re flying to the desert or the Arctic! Take some blankets to keep your little one’s warm, especially if you’re hoping they may have a snooze o the plane.
The most versatile piece of equipment you’ll bring along! Not only will they protect your little ones from the sun, but they’ll blacken out their buggy whilst they snooze on the move. They’re breathable, and pack away into a small pouch making it handy for your travels.
Mini First Aid Kit
Just in case..! Never say never, so why not be prepared. Stock it up with travel sachets of Calpol and Neurofen for a quick security check and handy to grab and go.
Yes…sorry…a lollipop. Or some sort of sucky sweet for the older ones. A bottle or a dummy for the bubbas. Give this to them when taking off and landing to prevent their ears from popping which can be incredibly painful.
Whether its long haul or short haul, you’re going to need to keep your little ones entertained! Stickers are a must, they’re mess free, cheap and easy. Water painting is another fun mess free option which takes a little more time. Colouring books and twisty crayons (no sharpener needed!) are a great addition to any backpack.
This is totally up to you as a parent, but trust me, it may soon become your best friend 3 hours into the 7 hour flight. Make sure your download all their favourite cartoons before you get to the airport and depend on the intermittent Wi-Fi. Investing in some child friendly headphones will also make it easier for your little one to tune into Netflix (and hopefully chill…!).
Try and stick to their routine as much as you can whilst travelling, generally it’ll make everything a little easier, making everyone a little happier! If you’re doing a night flight, change your kids into their pjs, read them a story, give them some milk…whatever your routine may be, try and stick to it! This will hopefully encourage them to sleep, making the journey a little more peaceful and that jetlag a little less painful!