As thoughts turn to booking summer holidays, chances are you’ll be considering a well-deserved relaxing holiday abroad. Like many families, the thought of the journey – especially a flight – can be off putting. However, travelling with precious cargo doesn’t have to be stressful. Here are a few top tips to make a flight more enjoyable:
On the Go. Try to carry everything you need in a backpack rather than a shoulder bag as it’s easier if you have both hands free. For children who are walking use a backpack harness it’s much more relaxing if you know exactly where your tot is at all times when in the terminal. For babies, a sling is the perfect in-flight companion as you can stroll up and down the aisles with them in it.
Relax that routine. On holiday it’s time to go with the flow and listen to your baby or child’s needs, especially on the flight. Allow them to sleep and eat when they want.
Take Extras. When flying, it’s important for a baby to suck at take-off and landing to prevent ear pain so if you don’t use dummies and your little one isn’t drinking water, ensure you take some extra milk (if you’re not breastfeeding). To avoid any security hassles, you can pre-order cartons of formula at Boots airside at Edinburgh Airport or even your whole holiday supply. For older children a lollipop or juice with a straw is a good idea. This rule applies to food as well. Check with your airline before you fly if they provide baby food or get pre-ordering some Ella’s Kitchen from Boots.
Entertainment. Invest in a few new toys which don’t come out the bag until you’re in the air. Usborne’s ’50 Things To Do On A Plane’ Activity Cards are perfect for children aged 3+ when you’re running short of ideas. For babies, some new toys (preferably with lights rather than sound) or soft things they can throw around are ideal. Oh, and don’t feel bad if you put baby in front of the in-flight entertainment screen – the pictures without volume will keep them entertained for a short while.
Favourite Things. As with any trip, take their favourite things that are familiar to them. If you use a musical toy for bedtime at home or a comforter it’ll come in very handy on the flight. Also, ensure you take extra blankets or a gro-bag. There is nothing worse than having a cold child – they won’t get a proper rest if they’re not comfortable.
Timing. Split your flight into one hour slots, you will soon feel the time is flying past by dealing with each hour individually rather than looking at the flight as a whole.
Taking it in turns. If you’re travelling with someone and it’s your night-time but baby decides it’s really not theirs take it in turns to entertain them. There is no point in both staying awake as you’ll both cope much better if you have had some sleep or know you are definitely going to get some. If you’re on your own, try to sleep when baby does and don’t be scared to ask the flight attendants for help – in my experience they are always very willing.
Long Haul. Do take pyjamas and changes of clothes if you’re flying long haul. Although you are not sticking to routine it is good to get them into their jammies before a big sleep…plus it gives you something else to do. It’s worth taking an extra outfit as you don’t know when travel sickness could strike.
Worst Case. Little ones can get air sick easily so always plan for the worst case and pack a change of clothing – not just for them but for the whole family. Nobody wants to start the holiday in soiled clothes, after all!
And last but not least remember a happy parent makes a happy baby, so if it all goes to pot remember that it’s only for a few hours and you’ll be back on track before you know it!