Our Trip with a Toddler…

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Just over two weeks ago we embarked on one of the more daunting milestones with Daisy to date – flying. Now, I’ve already mentioned my fear of flying (I hadn’t flown for 5 years) which obviously didn’t not help but I had also heard horror stories from friends who had flown with their little ones. There were those who said I would be ok as Daisy is older and the other half who said she would be harder work as she’s on the move. Irrespective of either opinion I was so concerned I could not think as far as the holiday because the flight became the only hurdle to overcome!

However, the travel gods were on our side (or we may have been extremely lucky) and we survived and more importantly, so did Daisy – both ways! Unfortunately, I don’t have the magic formula to give you but I thought I would share some of the tips and tricks I used to get us there and back quietly and safely…

#1 Check before you fly…

This probably sounds an obvious tip but with the liquids rule in place I was worried how I would get any food/fruit pouches through for Daisy and more importantly how I could access boiling/sterilised water for her formula. We flew with RyanAir and a quick check on their site said we were free to take as much food and sterilised water on board as we wished. At security we had to wait while it was all scanned so I put it all in clear bags (like the ones your liquids would go in) to save scrabbling about when they ask to see it all. I imagine it will be different for each airline so it’s definitely worth checking before you depart. It’s also worth having a look at the airport’s family facilities to see what they offer rather than get caught out when you arrive. For instance we chose parking that was opposite the airport rather than one that was a bus ride away.

(We also discovered afterwards that some airlines allow for two pieces of baby equipment (i.e buggy or car seat) to fly for free. We didn’t spot this and paid so have a look at the airline policy.)

#2 Invest in good luggage…

We booked an extra piece of luggage for Daisy as she didn’t get any allocated which meant between my husband and I and a buggy we were outnumbered by suitcases. Until we found a trolley he took two while I handled Daisy and a case and if there’s one thing I would suggest/emphasise/stress is invest in luggage with 360 wheels. When you are already pushing a buggy, dragging a suitcase is less than ideal. My hard shell case from Revelation steered like a dream and swooshed alongside me in the airport which meant I wasn’t that person that gets in everyone’s way and is constantly apologising for taking out fellow fliers ankles! (Also go for a bright colour you can spot easily on the carousel – an old trick but a good one nonetheless)

#3 Over Pack and Distribute everything…

A someone who has experienced lost luggage (incidentally at the same airport were flying to) I was paranoid about it – more so about Daisy’s stuff than my own. Given her dairy allergy I had packed plenty of food for her that I really didn’t want to go missing as well as a tin of her formula – it’s a special formula that I would not have been able to get abroad. With this in mind, I distributed her clothing, nappies and the above mentioned food and milk between all of our cases as well as having a stash to take on board with me. Given we were landing at dinner time I put together enough to survive a night and morning should anything happen. The good news is, our luggage arrived safely although my husband now thinks I am ridiculous…

It also goes without saying, over pack. Where ice cream, sand and the sea are involved it’s better to have too much than not enough. Take multitasking items such as a giant muslin – it doubles up as a cot sheet, towel and can be wet and left underneath a fan to help cool the room down quicker. I’m also a big advocate of sharing baby products (see my previous post here) which can save on luggage weight.

#4 Take a Tablet…

No, I don’t mean that type of tablet, I mean the electronic ones. Ordinarily getting one out would normally warrant a tut or two from a disparaging parent who “would never encourage their child to watch copious amounts of telly” but on a crowded flight you can almost hear the collective sigh of relief over your own. There was one film on ours, the only film she will watch (Sing, in case you were wondering) and a truckload of downloaded CBeebies and it saved us when she threatened to lose it halfway through the flight (don’t forget headphones). We also armed ourselves with as many lightweight toys as possible and some crayons and paper – which I would highly recommend. It’s also worth letting your little one walk all the way to the departure gate (although it will be slow) to help tire them out…

#5 And finally…relax (or at least try to) 

It might seem an unachievable task but if you can manage it (or look really good faking it) the experience will be better all round for everyone. It’s a bizarre and exciting experience for your baby so they are bound to react. Remember, people might stare and might look like they are fed up of you and your child but there will be some that will most likely also remember when they were in your shoes. As we sat down on the return flight I noticed some empty seats around us so I said to the lady sat next to me that I wouldn’t be offended if she wanted to move away. Despite what I thought, she said she didn’t mind at all and in fact watching us with Daisy reminded her of when her grown up daughters were little. Her reassurance helped me to not worry so much.

 

My final top tip would be to take extra family members with you where possible! We flew with both my Mum and Dad so had things got tough we had back up…

Happy Holidays

Cx

This post was not sponsored, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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