It’s the start of the summer and peak flight time for kids. School holidays kick off the increasing number of kids running wild in the airport. I am prompted to write this blog flying back from a work trip to Lisbon. The airport was FULL of kids! Lisbon was wonderful but putting that aside… what are the things we need to think about when travelling with kids?
The age of your children with determine the different things you need to think about. And anyone with a baby will know you need to take 5 times more ‘stuff’ than you think. The good news is, the older your child gets, there is a reduction in travel paraphernalia. Car seats, cots and buggies are the trauma of any travelling family. How does the smallest person have the most luggage?
Fortunately, car seats and pushchairs are free to check in on airlines. Thank goodness for that I hear you cry. Be careful with your car seat though. I have had more than one broken over the years from (I imagine) some over enthusiastic effort to get it into the hold. Wrap it if you can or hire one at the other end.
Then let’s talk about pushchairs. The Baby Zen YoYo appears to be a big hit. I have never had one and had the Mountain Buggy Nano instead which did the job. Either way, if you can have a buggy that fits into the overhead locker, you are on to a winner. So many airports give you have your buggy at the luggage carousel which means a trek from the plane to the luggage collection baby under one arm. To avoid this hideous mission, if you have been forced to check your buggy, wear a sling. Have it on and ready, then you can unload your little person from the buggy straight into the sling to board the plane. Can be a slight challenge if flying solo. I remember bending over to fold the buggy and my son almost sliding out onto the tarmac from the sling. Bad moment….!
As for food, be brave with the security brigade at the airport. Travel with it sealed if you can and then they are less likely to have an antsy about it, particularly with powdered milk, or you can order it at Boots to collect airside. Yup! This was a good tip off from a friend of mine.
On to keeping them busy on the plane, particularly for older kids, take something to amuse them. From colouring to iPad, to music, just do it. This is not the moment to enforce your screen time limitations. Let it go for flying for you and everyone else around you. You can reinstate the regime when you land.
And last but not least for all of you with babies in a routine, this is the BEST advice I was ever given when travelling with my kids when shifting time zones. From the moment you leave the house, to the moment you arrive at your destination, forget the time. Don’t even think about what your baby should or shouldn’t be doing. Land, get there and then when you have arrived, go with your normal routine on the local time zone. Your baby will crack it faster than you think