We are the outrageous. True story. We are actually now though the outrageously financially depleted ones recently returning from 2 long haul trips around the world with an ankle biter in tow.
2 trips, guys. 2. 2 long haaaaaul trips. One to Japan via Helsinki. One to Bali via Changi in Singapore. Our wee amigo, I year old soon to be approaching 2. Yes, we are crazy and I repeat we are seriously financially depleted.
But, by jove we saw the world with some of our favourite friends and as the dear Edith Piaf once barked whilst drenched in cigarette smoke “Je ne regret rien”. We made some memories we will keep forever. Cherished moments. A bit like birth, the flight is over in no time and you don’t remember the bad bits. Just the beautiful and amazing bits. So buckle up and enjoy the ride – or at least the following blog post.
I would imagine there have been around 5679 articles related to travelling around the world with toddlers and babes. But this is my spin on tings for what it is worth. Throwing my large inflatable ring into the mix of the world wide web blog like swimming pool just for your pleasure
- Arrive 3-4 hours before your flight takes off. You won’t regret it. Things take longer with the wee folk, especially if you are doing the long stay and bus with 456 pieces of luggage, get the wrong turning on the motorway or have an umpteenth toilet trip needed on route. Trust me. Extra time, just means no stress or more like less stress.
- Soft play at the airport. They do exist. If your child walks, exercise them as much as you can, they will need it. Knacker them out. Seriously. It is amazing how much energy can be expended before a long haul flight. It may mean you can have a bloody mary on the plane and that time you have spent at Soft Play has enabled that moment for you. Sure, Thank me later.
- Order a Bassinet if you can.. This is not an obscure woodwind instrument but a baby cot that fixes to the wall in front of you. Some aircraft do have space on the second row back next to the window seat.This may enable you to have a hot beverage or even 3 Bloody Mary’s. Bassinet – Saviour.
- Distractions, distractions, distractions… toys, pencils, pens, puzzles, dollies. I mean I would wait to pull out the The Big gun – the ipad/laptop. Ifthey are old enough and can get involved in a film early doors on a flight crack on. Create a bag full of stuff that they have never seen before. A whole new world.
- Long haul and night flights are a really good shout too. More sleep. The happier everyone is. The happier everyone is – the easier it is to handle onward adventuring.
- Boobs, bangers, norks, dummys and bottles for take off and landing are essential. Babes can’t equalize with the change in air pressure so this really really helps and most importantly keeps them comfortable. If you have an older child I would also consider a sugar free boiled sweet.
- Ask your flight attendant if they have any children’s activity packs. Quite often they do and it is just another thing they haven’t seen before so will help.
- Put your essential items in the pocket in front of you for easy access– for us this was. 2 nappies, wipes, water bottle, clean dummy in case.
- Snacks – pack a tonne of healthy snacks – they are time killers and quite often flight operators don’t provide babes on laps with food. Some do. Some don’t. Don’t risk it for a biscuit ( see what I did there). We took a couple of meals also with us too. These can be heated by the flight attendant. Little Dish are really yummy and full of the good stuff.
- Baby carrier – there is a chance your baby will not want to sleep, sorry spoiler alert, but altitude can do some weird shiz to little guys. So to have options to try and help soothe and comfort them with a rock up and down the plane is a good idea.
- If your baby still takes from a bottle, bring yours on board. You will have to have them screened separately through security but it is totally allowed. Boobs are not screened but also extremely handy for calming babes on long haul flights if you are still boobing. In the words of Luthar “ The Best things in life are free” as in boobs on long flights.
- Ask the flight attendant if you and your partner if travelling with someone, if you can take it turns to have your meals. Singapore Airlines and Finnair were amazing with this and super mindful to our needs. This helps massively. If you have no bassinet. Someone has to hold the baby and you then can enjoy your meal one by one. Otherwise it is quite a feat. Trust me. It looked a scene from obsessive compulsive hoarders on one of our flights during mealtime with a baby sitting right in the middle.
- Some say Piriton or Calpol helps the babes sleep. In short, I reckon it does for some and doesn’t for others. Make sure to try out this before your flight. It can really go either way and a 13 haul flight is not the best time to find out that your child is completely hyper and behaving like they are at a rave for one when taking Piriton or other similar brands.
- I changed our babe into her night time get up when it was time to dim the lights and took her favourite blanket also. I also had a childs night mask if the cabin is light – in attempt to try and create a feeling of nighttime on the plane and most importantly get her to sleep. It worked a couple of times, but not always – but worth a shot. Everything is worth a go.
YOU CAN DO IT. YES YOU CAN AND REPEAT. YES YOU CAN.
Here are some of my essential flight items when travelling long haul with a wee person.
- Antibacterial Wipes
- Nappies (more than you need)
- Snacks/ Food
- Bag of Tricks/Games/ Toys
- Dummy (take a few)
- Spare change of clothes
- Neck rest (optional)
- Night time outfit/babygrow
- Bag to put your rubbish in under your feet/ they sometimes provide/floating nappies not cool when you cant get out of your seat
- Cosy or soft toy from home
- Patience – a lot of it.
- Sleep mask
- Patience – did I say that.
- Medic bag – Calpol/Piriton/Nappy Cream/Thermometer