Your family holiday is approaching, but instead of feeling happy and excited you’re filled with dread. How are you going to survive the flight to get there? Yes, you can do it and here are some tips to make your plane trip as easy and enjoyable as possible.
- Choose your flight schedules to suit your child’s normal routine. If you have a good sleeper, aim to fly when your baby is likely to be asleep for most of the trip. On the other hand, if you have a child who has a hard time falling asleep at strange places, travelling when she’s awake may work better for you.
- Prebook your seats. Request a bassinet for your baby as soon as you book the flight. Even if she doesn’t sleep in it, you’ll get more legroom and a place to put your food tray where little fingers can’t reach it.
- Decide if you’re using a stroller or a baby carrier to get around airports. Some airports provide strollers. At others, you may be allowed to bring your stroller to the gate of the aircraft. Check this in advance so that you know what to expect. A baby carrier is a great alternative to a stroller – it will give you more flexibility and a free pair of hands.
- Arrange meals. If meals are included in your fare you’ll also get a baby meal, but you must preorder it. Some airlines offer special toddler meals, others don’t. Additionally, pack a few of your children’s favourite snacks in case they don’t like the food served on board and to have something extra to keep them occupied.
- Pack toys and clothes. Remember to bring favourite comfort items and some toys but not too many. There will be plenty of new objects to explore on the plane. Unlike toys, spare clothes are something you’ll need lots of and don’t forget to bring some for yourself. Expect that your child will play with food, spill drinks and wipe her fingers all over you. Besides, have you noticed that nappy blowouts tend to happen only if you’ve run out of clean clothes and nappies?
- Get organised before take-off. Before you store your bag take out bottles, nappies, toys or anything else you may need and put it within easy reach.
- Feed at take-off and landing. Have a bottle or dummy ready, or offer a breastfeed to ease ear discomfort.
- Get friendly with other families. This should be easy because families are usually seated in the same area on the plane. You can lend each other a helping hand plus there is nothing better to entertain a young child than another child.
- Go for walks. Going up and down the aisle offers a great distraction for restless little people.
- Keep the end goal in mind. Your flight is not likely to go down in history as the best 6, 8 or 12 hours of your life, but it will come to an end. And then it will be all worth it.
By Tatiana Apostolova