Lets be honest people; the thought of flying with small children that can barely speak or sit upright, is a little daunting. Even for the most seasoned of travellers, heading over the seas with the little humans is an artform not for the faint hearted. So, with that in mind, we’d like to share some of our tips to make your journey at over 10,000 feet, easier and dare we say it, enjoyable.
In the sky with babes
Ok, first thing is to plan your flight times around your bubbas sleep schedule, as much as you can. Then, nab that baby bassinet, pronto. This wont necessarily be a full-proof plan but will at least mean you’ll be in the air during the times that your bubba routinely is asleep. A sleeping baby is a beautilul sight but a sleeping baby on a long haul flight, is simply magic.
When packing your baby bag, be sure to include extra wipes, lots of clothing (avoid onesies as difficult when changing) and a decent range of distraction toys: soft books, glowing rattles and a favourite snuggly.
Remember to try and feed your bubba upon take off and as you descend to land. The suckling action will allow for their ears to unblock naturally, avoiding any discomfort and pain for their little lobes.
One word; snacks. It’s all about keeping the wolves from the door with these little action hero’s, so, be sure to have a plethora of hearty snacks on the ready. If your toddler is no longer on the bottle then chomping on something during take off and landing will help ease their ear discomfort. Also, I’m not one for sugary treats, but a lollipop brings a whole lotta love on a long haul flight.
If you have reservations around technology for kids this age, as many of us do, I urge you to put them speedily to one side. No, actually, bury them immediately. Technology when you’re in the air can be a complete parent-saver, so be prepared and bring the ipad or tablet loaded with favourite toddler friendly content. The inflight kids entertainment is plentiful, but be prepared in the event of unwanted technical difficulties and tarmack wait times.
Having a little surprise and delight stashed away in your handbag is a great idea if you need emergency distraction therapy. A little lego box to put together or a stencil and new pencils will be a very welcome diversion.
Thankfully this age group is slightly easier to manage because they can understand what it is you’re about to do and the rules around it. Be open and explain exactly what’s going to happen on the journey and highlight all the fun stuff. Remember to explain that “rabby” or “bun buns” will no doubt need to take a trip through the x-ray machine at customs, and no, they won’t take their furry friend and stash them in the baggage compartment.
Remind them that when you take-off and land there is a time where they can’t use any technology and be prepared for this with activites, food or games.
I would highly recommend investing in a pair of kid-friendly head phones that your Preschooler can use on the plane. These cancel out more noise and won’t be as ill fitting as the fiddlly ones the airline supplies.
With all that said, here’s a quick list of other things you may want to ponder in preparation:
Free Kid Zones
It’s a good idea to check where the free kids areas are in your departure and lay-over airports. For example, the Singapore airport is renowned for its brilliant kid zones including a soft play area that’s completely free. This allows them to burn of extra pent up energy and will give you a hands free break in the traffic.
Airline/Airport Greeting Service
If you’re travelling solo with the kids, organise ahead to have the airport or airline greet you with an extra pair of hands. Wrangling more than one child at a baggage claim can be a parents worst nightmare. Trying to keep them from climbing on the moving carousel , all the while trying to spot your multiple bags, then, pulling them off the carousel with your littlest in the front pack. It is a cluster of all clusters. If you book this extra pair of hands they will meet you and take the weight off for at least a short while. Namaste.
Shake it out
The day before the flight (and leading up to the flight), get your kids out of the house. Run in fields, scooter the blocks, jump rope or have an epic dance-off. This helps get the silly’s out and makes good pre-flight sleeping and calmer humans as you start your journey.
Pack a plethora
While we know you want to pack light, always consider packing two of most things. And don’t shy from extra activities – travel games, pencils and journals, sticker book, card games and activity packs. And consider giving your toddler their very own carry on back pack or Trunki, this promotes independence which they love and easy access to all of their bits and bobs.
Be your best self at check in
When you get to the airport and check-in, it always pays to be a super nice human. Appeal to the staff, and explain your situation, ask if there’s a chance they could find the best seats for you, as you don’t want to disturb anyone too much. Some times you can nab unoccupied seats and it gives you that extra bit of space to manage the kids.
Most flight attendants are really helpful when you need it; you just have to ask. They will be happy to heat food and milk, even mind a toddler when you need to go to the bathroom. I’ve always found the staff on flights to be quite taken with the little ones and happy to chat to them, allowing you some hands free and steal the odd quiet moment.
If you have any tips or experiences you want to share, let us know! We are always open to new ideas and we know how genius you parents can be. Happy and safe travels
“Don’t just fly, soar”.