When flying with littlies, preparation is vital. Familiarise your tot with the adventures ahead by reading kids’ books about your holiday destination or travelling in general. When booking accommodation, go for an apartment over a room. The extra space and home-like amenities, such as a kitchen and washing machine, will be lifesavers. It’s also a good idea to find out if your hotel rents out strollers and other baby gear to save you from carting it along with everything else you need.
Make sure you have your child’s favourite snacks on hand. They can be a great distraction on long drives and you won’t have to stock up on junk food at petrol stations. Take lots of breaks to give everyone a chance to get fresh air and stretch their legs. If there’s time, encourage your kids to have a run around. If you can tire them out, there’s a chance they’ll snooze for the rest of the journey. If sleeping isn’t on the cards, television shows, movies and games on your tablet are an easy way to entertain young ones. You could break up screen time with a classic road trip game of I-spy.
Most airlines will let you sit with your bub on your lap if they’re under two, but it’s a good idea to pay for an extra seat so they can move around. When booking, go for aisle seats to avoid having to jump over other passengers, especially if you have an active tot. Before you board the plane, explain the entire process in a positive way to your child, from finding your seats to take-off and landing. Be prepared for the spills and accidents that come with turbulence and cramped conditions by packing a change of clothes for them and you – plus lots of wet wipes. Entertaining a toddler in the sky can be difficult – a good idea is to pack a few new toys she can play with, giving them to her one at a time, so she doesn’t get too bored too early on.
Snack containers: If you’re preparing your own travel snacks, consider investing in some reusable bags, like organic cotton ones. They’re free of nasty chemicals and kinder to the environment than plastic snap-lock bags.
Wipes: You’ll need even more wipes than usual for sticky fingers and accidental spills.
Bibs: Keep some disposable bibs on hand if you’re not going to have easy access to laundry facilities.
Snacks: Stock up on healthy and nourishing snacks to keep your bub happy, not ratty.