We recently took a short flight over to the U.K and while there was nothing luxurious about it there are a few tricks to making it go smoothly (not that we can do anything about the odd bit of turbulence…) Here are my tips for flying with a toddler:
My first step in preparing my toddler was to count down to the day itself, we started with months then weeks then days then hours! If he wasn’t excited enough already I also compared going on a plane to ‘flying through the air like Superman!’ He was delighted to tell this to anyone that would listen.
Another part of the build up to the big day was that I told him all the relatives we were going to be seeing, however unfortunately I didn’t make this clear enough as the minute we stepped off the aircraft he was wondering why everyone wasn’t standing at the bottom of the steps ready to greet him (maybe he has a notion that we’re VIPs!)
Thankfully as my son is now over the age of two he has his own seat and this means it’s easier to stretch our legs (easier not easy we are flying economy after all), there’s more storage space and he felt like a big boy with his own seatbelt.
With no TV screens in sight the iPad was a necessity, the only thing that caused a tantrum was the volume control. While I’m sure the other passengers didn’t mind the quiet hum of nursery rhymes playing, I think ‘Let It Go’ at full volume would have had them shouting ‘Make It Stop!’
Thankfully we were assured that we could leave our tablet on for the duration of the journey as long as we chose flight mode. Whoever came up with this ‘mode’ thank you from the bottom of my heart…
I’m so relieved that we’re not at the stage (and hope we never will be) of airlines requesting that only food purchased from them may be eaten onboard. It seems to be a universal rule that when children are bored they are also hungry (I have to include myself in this) and we devoured an insane amount between take off and landing. If we had to purchase everything we ate directly from the cabin crew I think we’d have spent more than we did on the flight itself! It’s definitely worth packing up lots of supplies.
While I’m on a roll on things I’m grateful for, next up is the fact that each passenger now gets an additional handbag sized bag. While we always brought these bags with us we no longer have to stuff them up our jumpers giving ourselves a fake pregnancy bump, or into our carry on which meant many a buckled zip.
I love allocated seating. We were quite happy to let Barney entertain E while we let everyone else fight it out to get to the front of the queue. We were actually last on the flight which was ideal because it meant less time strapped into our seats while we were safe in the knowledge that we had secured three in row together. In addition we gratefully accepted the offer for 2 pieces of our hand luggage to be checked in free of charge. It’s so much easier than trying to lug a child plus all of your bags up the plane steps.
So, while I can’t say that I enjoyed the travelling part of our trip it was definitely less stressful than it used to be. I don’t think I’m quite ready to try it without the help of my husband yet though…
So that’s my tips for flying with a toddler – any you’d add?