Some of you may know from my previous post that I have moved house.
What I didn’t mention was that I was moving interstate and doing the trip on my own with my 2 girls (aged 1 and 3 years). So to add to all the regular stresses of moving, us 3 queens also had a domestic flight to survive!
I’ve done quite a bit of air travel with the girls both domestic and international. I often see parents on forums and in groups that are looking for the ‘Holy Grail’ of how to travel with kids. Unfortunately, I don’t believe anything of the sort exists (sorry) because we all know that our little darlings are unpredictable, erratic and complete individuals in every way shape and form. What works for one kid almost NEVER works for another haha. So parents, this is NOT the ‘Holy Grail’ of travelling with kids but I would love to share some hints and tips that I have tried and tested.
The kids are less likely to scream and make noise if their mouths are full. Pack a good range of snacks depending on the length of your flight. Try to stay away from anything sticky or hard to clean up and snacks that are insanely full of sugar (we all know how sugar filled kiddies act). I normally pack cheese and crackers, cut up fruit and vege (carrot, grapes, apple and pear are great), biscuits (like nice or scotch fingers) and maybe a few juice pop tops.
Whether it’s a nice outfit to change into when you land or a spare set in case of an accident. Having an extra set of clothes will save you A LOT of stress (particularly if there is a toilet emergency). If you happen to have space, chuck a change of clothes in for you as well. On 2 different occasions Maya had nappy malfunctions ON ME and I wished so badly that I had something else to change into.
I know it’s pretty obvious to pack baby formula, bottles, nappies, wipes, pacifiers etc. But pack a bit extra of those things because in the event that your flight is delayed. Having extra on hand will really prevent a full-blown crisis.
If you are one of those perfect parents that doesn’t allow screen time, then good on you. But just remember what happens in the sky stays in the sky! Load up a device with kid-friendly apps and movies. I promise you will thank all the flight gods that you did. Flying (especially long haul) is SOOOOOO BORING, even for adults. Imagine how painful a flight is for an energetic little person who has the attention span of a goldfish. Having a device on hand is another thing you can throw at them that will provide a bit of entertainment (even if it’s only 5 minutes).
Whether it’s a pacifier, special blanket or a ratty old stuffed toy, if there is something that assists your little one to sleep BRING IT.
I am not sure how widely available Rescue Remedy is but I have always had some in the medicine cabinet. However when the occasion to fly with the girls arises that little bottle becomes my best friend and gets upgraded to a nice safe, warm and cosy pocket in my handbag. It’s a herbal (I think) liquid that you buy over the counter at the chemist and it helps with relaxation. It doesn’t work drastically or in an instant (it is not Xanax) but I do notice a difference with my stress levels after I’ve had some. I don’t drink alcohol but I suppose having an alcoholic beverage on the plane would have a somewhat similar effect.
Obviously, you would have packed any medication that you or your little ones need to take. I also like to pack some children’s Neurofen (pain relief), paracetamol or ibuprofen and something like Gastro Stop. They don’t take up much space and can be total lifesavers if they are required.
Hahaha this one is not a joke and yes I know that you can’t pack time! What I mean by this is give yourself plenty of time. Make sure you allow for traffic when travelling to the airport, long queues and allow for “Mum I need to go to the toilet” “Dad I want something to eat” “I need to go to the toilet AGAIN”! Running late sets you up for disaster before you even take off!
Write lists, pack the night before, wear your lucky underwear. Do whatever it is that works for you in the planning world. If you suck at planning enlist help (which leads me to my last tip)!
Ask for help! You don’t get a medal or cash prize for doing it on your own. I’ve recently learnt that people want to help, you just need to ASK. For my most recent flight, because we were moving house I had 80 kgs worth of luggage, a pram, port-a-cot, x2 car seats, x2 carry on bags and my 2 little humans. I would not have survived the day without the help of my youngest brother and he was happy to help!
Remember that no matter how strictly organised you are and how perfectly you’ve planned, there is no guarantee that all the planets will align and your commute will run like clock work. Kids can smell fear, anger and uncertainty. When something unexpected arises do your best to keep calm and take it in your stride, you will survive.
I hope these hints and tips help you and your kiddies with your next flight. If you have any hints or tips for travelling with kiddies that you would like to share please add them to the comments below.
HAPPY TRAVELS XOXO