Flying with children whether they're weeks old or five years old may seem like a daunting task. Will the baby settle or will he scream down the plane? Will my toddler throw a temper tantrum? Will me and the hubby make it to our destination with hair still on our heads?! I know these are all things I have worried about in the past and the truth is it is a risk that you take, BUT there are so many things that you can do to prepare yourself to ensure minimal stress.
We all know that having babies, toddlers and/or children means that we have so much more "stuff". Pushchairs, bottles, toys all add up so it is worth checking your baggage allowance - especially if you're worried about pushchairs and how much formula you are allowed, which would be one of my main concerns. There is a nifty tool from APH which allows you to use their own baggage checker allowence gadget - it covers all airports in the UK. So if you have pushchairs, formula, laptops, even ski equipment you can check what your airlines allow all in one place.
Travelling to an airport with little ones in tow may be the easy part. Ensure you leave early to allow for toilet stops and bring along snacks too. You really don't want to be rushing to the airport and then your little one pipes up that they're in dire need for a loo, allow yourself that little bit of extra time. If you find yourself with extra time at the airport then it's an ideal opportunity for them to let off some steam, maybe ask if there is a play area.
Now with the ability to check in online, hopefully this again can minimise stress. When you check in your bags, if you have a pushchair, it might be worth asking whether you can keep it with you. Most airlines will allow you to check it in at the gate, some even allow you to carry them on board if there is space. Also don't forget to add a luggage label to the pushchair!
Duration of flight
Whilst the plane is taking off its worth remembering that babies and young children will be unable to unblock their ears. Nursing your baby or allowing your child to suck a sweet can help unblock those uncomfortable ears. This part of the whole flying experience is one that really might worry parents. Will my child behave/settle during the flight? If you have slight older children then it's a good idea to set out clear expectations of how you expect them to behave. With younger children it's a good idea to come prepared and offer lots of "distractions" to keep them busy during the flight. Colouring books, small toys, books or even a tablet can all offer great entertainment and won't take up too much room in your baggage allowance. Snacks are always a good thing too to have to hand. For longer haul flights, hopefully your little one will sleep through some of it. Ask for and extra blanket so they can get comfy too. With that in mind it might be worth planning your flights in the evening when they will perhaps already be tired and find it easier to fall asleep. Meaning once you've reached your destination they will be fully rested and ready to start making memories on holiday.
Have you flown with children? What would be your tips?
Mummy B xoxox