Planning for a long journey with children...
Apr 02, 2015
As many a parent feels from time to time – Am I doing this right? There is nothing you can go through that prepares you for the arrival of a child. The same cannot be said for travelling with a child. Proper planning and preparation prevent poor parental performance. Oh, and ensure a relaxing holiday!
From experience, my tips would be:
For babies up to 2 yrs old:
• Where you are concerned about getting milk through airport security, you can call Boots airside and reserve the specific brand your child prefers – you will then have peace of mind for the holiday and you bypass the weight restrictions.
• Consider the flight time and duration in advance and do what you can to adjust their sleep pattern up to 3 days before hand. We have done early morning and night flights and a tired child is not always a bad thing.
• The amount of supplies needed for a small person can easily push you over the luggage allowance. Have you considered a cruise from the UK? Many cruise lines allow 90 kgs in unlimited bags. There is no 3hr wait at the airport – you can by enjoying lunch on-board within an hour of arriving at the port.
For toddlers, 2 to 4yrs old:
• Pack plenty of supplies to keep them entertained – pens, paper and stickers have a good weight to entertainment value. Stick to 1-2 favoured comforters and plenty of cheap new surprises.
• They may be successfully potty trained, but an emergency nappy or two can be a lifesaver.
• Paint the pilot as a strict authority figure and highlight the seat belt on light. A nod and a wink to a
helpful air steward(ess) doesn’t harm either.
• Pack a light fleece blanket and pillow – this helps them get comfy especially if the plane is chilly.
• Remember that a buggy can be a help that you won’t have on arrival until the luggage carousel
(Thomson at Gatwick especially)– can you carry a sleepy child and the hand luggage?
• If travelling in a large party consider seating adults and older children in the row in front as your dear child auditions for a drummer in a rock band on the seat in front. A G&T for the grandparents usually is a price worth paying. Snacks, pack lots. On the day of travel Lucy never eats meals but grazes, which helps us manage the blood sugar curve.
By Andy Zealand, Dad to Lucy age 4years