Top travel tips for travelling with tots on Planes

Hi friends!

Below we’ve decided to share some of our top travel tips based on what we experienced on our 9 week journey with Evie and Thea. Hopefully they might help you when planning your next whirlwind adventure.

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Always, always arrive as early as you possibly can for your flight. Inevitably your small person will need to go to the toilet, need sleep or something else to cause a hold-up. You do not want to have a meltdown or argument with your significant other because you didn’t get there early enough.

  • Check in:
    • Don’t use the machines, just don’t. We have ended up being held up by machines so many times that never worked. Find the nearest human and check in with them
    • Get rid of your luggage as SOON as you get to the airport so you are only carrying the carry on for as much of your time as possible.

      20190329_174237
      No-one wants to take this much luggage around the airport with them for any longer than necessary.
  • Getting around the airport:
    • Take a front pack, Evie was rarely carried any other way. They are easy to get on and make it simple to transition through the airport’s stairs, people and long corridors.
    • We used a Mountain Buggy Bagrider for Thea, our 3.5 year old daughter. It’s a carry on suitcase that doubles as a pram for kids under 15kg. Unlike a buggy which they make you fold down at the aircraft door, you can actually keep using this on board too!
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  • Security Checkpoints:
    • Of course these are everyone’s favourite part of being at any airport. You get scanned, occasionally patted down and even have your worldly good exposed to all the other passengers
    • Pack your liquids into a plastic bag near the top of your bag, that way you can whip it out and put it in the tray
    • Unfortunately, your baby has to come out of their comfy front pack for these checkpoints so make sure you get through them before your bubba needs to sleep as there’s nothing worse than waking a sleeping baby at an airport.
  • Timing;
    • Choose your flights carefully. It’s not only the flight time you have to take into account but at least 2 hours on either side to deal with check-in, security, baggage collection, and airport transfers.
    • If you are flying long haul try and book a late afternoon or early evening flight. We flew to Singapore at 3pm and it was great for our kids as they slept the 2nd half of the flight but bad for us as we were starting to get tired just as they turned the lights back on for the final meal service.
  • Carry on luggage:
    • Make sure to take the standard: wipes, nappies (about 8 – 12 for an infant and 3 – 4 for a potty trained child) and at least 2 changes of clothes for each of them
    • Toys are ok, but I would take a select few. Possibly even head to your local op shop and pick up some plane-specific “new toys” so that there is plenty of interest in them.
    • Snacks – this is a bit tricky due to different country’s guidelines about food crossing borders. We took crackers, dried fruit, nuts and bliss balls with us, all of which could be transferred across most borders (barring the dried fruit.) It meant we had something to keep the kids going when there wasn’t a meal service.
    • Refillable drink bottles – grab a couple of these to take empty through security and to fill on the other side before getting on the plane. The air hosts are happy to fill these for you in the plane, which means you don’t have to leave your seat to get a cup of water.
  • Getting kids to sleep on board:
    • I’d highly recommend buying a plane pal for any child you have over the age of 1. The baby bassinets on the planes are only really long enough for under 6 months or a very small older baby.
      Image result for plane pal

      • Plane pals let your little one lie flat during the flight which means they sleep much better.
      • Only certain airlines allow these, do yourself a favour and book one of them
    • Download a white noise application on your phone. This will cut out any noises like people going to and from the bathroom and talking near you
    • We took our own sleep bags (Merino Kids) for the kids to sleep in, but you can also just use the provided blankets.
    • Take a large black cloth (approx 1.8m x 2m) to cover the seats around you to create a blackened space for sleep. This means you’ll be able to keep sleeping even if the meal service starts or the cabin lights are still on.
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  • Food:
    • Infants who have not got a purchased seat do not get a meal. Take this into account if you have a baby who needs feeding.
    • The children’s meals are very large and often come with special treat snacks – maybe hide these in your bag for surprise treats later if your little one is asleep.
  • Keeping them occupied on board:
    • Screen time – we normally minimise this as much as possible at home but on a flight I would suggest letting them have a fair amount as honestly there is not much else to do.
    • Create a present/activity pack – a friend made one of these for Thea and it was great. Fill a satchel with wrapped “gifts” that your child can open throughout the flight (good items to include: figurines, stickers, masks to draw on, coloured pens, mini lego kits (for older kids), a new picture book)
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  • Remember to breath:
    • The flight will end, you will get some sleep and you will enjoy your holiday.
    • Try to give each other breaks if you can so that you can watch a movie or take a walk or catch some sleep.

All I can say is good luck, you are a champion for even considering travelling with tots.

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