In the last eighteen months we have done some serious traveling. Call me crazy, but we are loving our new adventurous lifestyle. Our first international flight was to America when Jasmine was only eleven months old and Jack was almost three. Since then we have flown dozens of times and we have pretty much mastered flying with toddlers. Here are five tips that will hopefully help you when you start traveling with your little ones.
- Stay calm.
Previously I was an extremely anxious flyer. I was terrified during take off and landing and through out the flight, if there was any turbulence I would freak out. I have since worked on that and am mostly calm when flying. It is so important to remain calm when traveling with toddlers. As you probably know, babies and kids pick up on your vibes. If you are stressed out and cranky, they will sense this and for some reason, they act out, throw tantrums and misbehave. If you are happy, calm and positive, they will feel more relaxed and the flight will go way smoother. When the kids were babies, Mike used to hold them for the duration of the flight, because they would just sleep for him because he was so chilled out. I have learnt to centre myself, relax and now I am confident enough to get through a flight. I also always make sure I have Mike or my mum flying with me. It makes me anxious to fly alone and I know I’m not calm so I would rather not stress myself out.
- Snacks and dietary requirements.
Both my kids are gluten and dairy intolerant. They don’t break out in rashes or anything major, however their behaviour does change dramatically. It is so important not to trust the airline to supply you with a meal to suit. On our first flight, I requested a gluten and dairy free meal for Jack when I booked. I double checked at the counter upon check in too. When given a chocolate muffin in his meal, I double checked again with the hostess on the flight. They all confirmed it was what I requested. I assumed it must have had cacao so I let Jack eat the whole thing. Lets just say our normally calm kid spent the next hour throwing a wobbly and crying uncontrollably. Lesson learnt. Once I spoke to management they told me the meal was gluten free, not dairy. My point is to be prepared with enough food to cover the whole flight. I also pack surprise treats, so the kids get excited.
- Bring Ipads for each child.
I was always anti Ipads. I hated that kids used technology so much and I wanted to raise my kids sitting at the dinner table having conversations and playing with their toys or outside instead of staring at a screen. Once we started flying more and had to find ways to keep the kids in their seats for hours, my views changed and we invested in an Ipad. As soon as Jaz was old enough, we ended up getting another, because they would constantly fight over the one we had. The Ipads have been a life saver. We can normally always bribe them to sit still until the seatbelt light goes off so they can use their Ipads and then they sit for ages playing their games. I cannot recommend them enough for flying and airport delays. Kids also love watching movies on the dvd players on the back of the seats, but some planes don’t have them. It is always a good idea to download the airlines in flight app on your Ipad ahead of time, just incase there are no dvd players. When we flew from Fiji, we had four hours and the plane was small so they didn’t have dvd players, so luckily Mike quickly got the app so the kids could watch the movies on our Ipads. It was a lifesaver. I still pack other things like play doe, colouring in, and toys but the Ipad is at the top of my flying with toddlers list.
- Take a baby carrier.
Even though Jack is four and Jasmine is two, I still travel with my Ergo baby carrier. I don’t use it every time, but it has been useful on many flights. We seem to be that family that has a ridiculous amount of luggage, backpacks for all of us, suitcases, car seats, prams etc. Last time we flew back from Orlando, we had multiple transfers and it was pretty stressful getting to the next flight. On the last change over, both kids fell asleep on landing. I was left with two options…wake them when they were overtired (and I knew they would cry and be too tired to walk…or try and carry them both off myself, while Mike grabbed the six carry on bags we decided to take on board. Because we had the Ergo, we managed to put Jack asleep on my back, while I carried Jasmine. Then as I made my way off the flight, Mike checked all the seats and dragged all our luggage off the flight, to the transfer bus and onto our next flight. I honestly don’t know how we would have managed without the Ergo. P.S…we also learnt this day, not to have so many carry on bags. I thought it was cute that the kids had their own backpacks but it’s just a big pain now, so we try and fit all their things in our bags. I hope these tips will help you on your next flight and if you can add any more useful ones, please comment below.
5. Don’t stress about the kids ears.
Both my kids have flown from about a month old. I stressed out so much about their ears hurting on take off and landing. Both babies ended up being asleep for their first take offs and I was stressing out. What we discovered was that, they weren’t even fazed and remained asleep the whole time. What a relief. Yes, it’s better to feed babies at these times, however it doesn’t always go to plan so try not to worry. If they do stir and wake up, just be ready to feed them, just in case. I always have a lolly pop for the kids now and make them sip water and have still had no problems with their ears. Because Jack is a little older he is aware of the blocked feeling in his ears but other than that, they are all good.
Until next time, if you enjoyed reading this please feel free to share it on your favourite social media.