I’m planning my next trip to the UK…this time flying solo with my two munchkins. If I said I’m shitting it, that would be the understatement of the year! I am absolutely dreading it, but I’ve got no choice! My husband has started a new job and I’ve got commitments to attend. I’ve not had the best flight experiences when travelling alone with my first child, so who knows what’s going to happen when I rock up to check in with another one in tow! If you see me on CNN… you know the deal…
Despite the apprehension over the flight, and the levels of incompetence I’m about to face, I’m thinking positive vibes only, hoping that I encounter kindness and compassion. I’m excited to be going home for a few days, seeing some friends and family and eating my way through deliveroo.
I can pack for a flight with my eyes closed I’ve done it often enough. Here are a few of my must haves, that you can consider if you’re planning a flight with children:
You’re likely to be feeling like you’re carrying everything but the kitchen sink! Ask yourself if what you’re packing is a must have or a nice to have. Nice to haves stay at home, you’ll be grateful for having less baggage! Your carry on will be in the overhead locker during the flight. Try to pack essentials in a smaller additional bag that fits in your carry on, that you can easily grab and stow under your seat.
Give your kids their own backpack with their own items. It gives them a sense of ownership, and helps you out a little. Don’t get sucked into these cute, awkwardly shaped suitcases designed to get kids ‘excited’ about travel, but essentially end up being carried by the parent. They’re annoying, cumbersome and don’t hold much.
Change all nappies before you board. If you’re lucky and it’s a short haul flight you may never have to experience trying to change a nappy in those ridiculously sized toilets on board, barely large enough for one human, let alone a parent trying to change a nappy.
Bring a change of clothes for you and the baby(ies) I’ve forgotten to take a change for myself once and ended up covered in a virgin mary and baby puke. The smell was not becoming I can tell ya!
Snacks…you can never have enough snacks. Preferably ones that can be resealable and aren’t too messy, if you’re Marie Kondo in the making decant your snacks into containers for toddlers. I like to live on the edge, decanting isn’t for me…
Distractions - Stickers and a colouring in book for children aged 1 year and upwards. Variety is the spice of life. Depending on the duration of your flight, bring a few options, and don’t bring them all out at once!
Yawning and swallowing activate the muscles that open your eustachian tubes and helps equalize the pressure between your ears and the airplane cabin, to avoid that blocked sensation. Depending on the age of the child - take one of those fruit pouches the child can suck on during take off and landing. Breast fed babies, stick a boob in their mouth during take off and landing.
Muslins and wipes. Can any parent live without these with an under 2 year old??! Take a few and at least two packs of wipes.
Blanket in case it gets abit chilly on the plane.
If you’re keen on screens make sure you’ve downloaded your kids flavour of the month to your device, and don’t forget to charge up the device and pack the charger!
A baby carrier is really useful whilst travelling through the airport, especially at security. Trying to open a pram whilst holding a baby can be challenging, a baby carrier solves this problem. It’s also really useful if you are travelling with more than one child.
Take a foldable pram you can either take on the aircraft and stow in the over head lockers, or a one piece foldable pram that can be taken to the door of the aircraft. And make sure you empty your pram basket before you leave home. It’s easy to forget all those miscellaneous items we throw in the bottom of the pram on a daily basis. Finding an argos catalogue. a bucket and spade and wellies at security is not fun!
Separate your liquids in hand luggage. No doubt if you’re travelling with tots you’ll have some form of liquid. To make life a tad easier when going through security have them all in one section of your bag so you can easily pull out for examination.
As with everything check with your airline carrier to ensure you’re travelling with items that are acceptable in their policy. And never be afraid to ask for help!
Basque in the joy that you can’t lose your toddler on the flight! Comforted by the inevitable truth that no matter how tough the journey sooner or later the plane will land! Ignore tutting passengers, and try and enjoy your flight. We can do this!
I’d love to hear your tips for flights, especially with more than one child. I need it!! Thanks for reading! Please like, share and follow me.