Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Tuesday 10 | Travelling With Children

Tuesday 10, a new series I'm bringing to my Blog! As I'm travelling back to the U.K next week what better way than to kick off our first post with my 10 Top Tips for a relatively stress free travelling experience with children. 

1. Grab an Extra Seat - Every airline I have come across allows you to travel with an infant (up to the age of 2) on your lap, for a minimal charge.  However, if money isn't an issue and your budget will allow, I'd highly recommend purchasing a seat for the baby, especially if you have another child in tow.  I always thought travelling with a child on your lap would be easy, but in reality I've found them having their own seat to be a million times better.  We always take our car seat on the plane, so it's perfectly safe and have found Oscar sleeps really well! 

2. Book Your Seats - Some (most in my experience) airlines will charge you to choose your seats in advance.  Something I always refused to pay for, but having children, I like to be able to choose where we are sat.  Firstly, so the whole family is sat together but also so we are close to the toilets. When your toddler announces to the entire plane they need to go, they need to go quickly! Some airlines also have special seats at the front of the plane with attachments for a bassinet, if the airline you're travelling with has this option, definitely utilise it! 

3. Snacks, snacks & more snacks! - Snacks are a must for keeping your child happy on the plane. You are allowed to take baby food/pouches etc. on flights, so we usually stock up before hand rather than leaving it to the airport.  Having said that, there's usually plenty of selection if you have to wait until you're in the departure lounge. 

4. Baby Carriers are a MUST! - Whether you are a regular baby wearer or not, a baby carrier is an essential item when travelling.  For us anyway.  Trying to deal with a pram, suitcases and a toddler whilst keeping your tickets and passports close to hand there really is nothing better than knowing your little baby is safe, close to you and perfectly content.  Whilst you can rush around semi hands free!  If you are having to travel with an infant on your lap the carrier is great throughout the flight. 

5. Dap Bag - Before every flight I purchase some new bits and pieces to put in a carry on bag for Emelia.  This usually consists of a new toy (small), colouring, playdoh (if I'm feeling brave) a book/comic and some snacks.  Nothing overly expensive but new things that will excite and keep her entertained for as much of the flight as possible.  When travelling on your own with two children having some things for the eldest to do themselves is great for those moments you need to tend to the baby. 

6. Forget The Rules - Whether it's bedtime routines, snack times or use of iPads and other technology, when you 30,000 feet in the air it's OK to throw all rules out of the window.  It's more about 'getting through these few hours as stress free as possible', which means doing whatever you need to do to keep your children happy (OK within reason, we still expect good behaviour and by no means do they run the show!). If it means extra screen time or a few extra snacks for an easy ride, then I'm going to take it!

7. Travel Often - Even if it's a car long journey try and travel with children as much as you can, in the long run this will reduce the amount of stress you feel.  It may seem daunting at first, you might even swear you'll never do it again but it takes practice for everyone involved and the more practice you have, the easier it will be! 

8. Cheaper Stroller & Car seat - I realise prams and car seats are not cheap and if you have invested a lot of money and like me your pram is your pride and joy, you definitely won't want it being damaged when put in the hold.  If you can afford to have a cheaper option for travelling it's worth it, in addition to the chance of your pram getting broken on route, there's also sand and goodness knows what else to contend with once you arrive.  

9. Travel Light, But Pack ALOT - Yes I know you'll all be thinking that I'm about to completely contradict myself.  Let's face it, traveling light and children don't really go together.  However, if you can get the balance between having everything you need and keeping it to a minimum then you're on to a winner.  When it comes to toys, snacks etc.  I'd recommend looking for items that are small and won't take up a lot of space.  When it comes to true essentials for you and your children, ensure you've got more than you'll think you'll need.  I always make sure I have a couple of outfits for each of us and some toiletries (usually picked up in the airport shop if not under 100ml) so I have some things to see us through in the event our luggage gets lost. 

10. Limit Expectations - Despite trying to be prepared for any eventuality, travelling with children is challenging, there are no naps for you and certainly no ime to enjoy whatever inflight entertainment is available.  If you prepare yourself for whatever challenge you feel you might face with your child/ren I can almost guarantee you'll feel calmer and ready to take on whatever that journey and your child throws at you. 

Do you have any tips and tricks you can share?  Please leave them in the comments below. 



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