Travelling With Your Little One
We have all heard those horror stories about people changing flights because there were kids, toddlers, babies, etc., on the same flight. That look of sheer terror at the sight of a woman with her baby in a stroller as you are boarding a long haul flight across the oceans of time...(ok, perhaps that was a bit much, but, it does happen).
Some people have this ridiculous idea/thought/musings, if you will, that kids are absolutely horrid travellers. Well, ok, let's blame the movies for making it seem that if a pacifier does fall that the plane will shake, rock, rattle and roll into the nearest mountain or welcoming seas below. I am here to say, though some may have experienced those allbeit trying journeys with kids onboard, travelling with your child(ren) does not and is not a death sentence, no pun intended.
Now, clearly, what works for me may or may not work for you, but the truth of the matter is, my son absolutely LOVES to travel. And I think once a child has such a great outlook or view on the fact that they are going to be in a new country, experiencing new things and just the excitement they go through can make or break that flight with your darling little one, ones.
My son has been flying since in the womb. I truly have planted something in him with the love of an adventure and that half the fun is getting there. I'm happy to say that his first time was when he was just a few months old, and I am happy that he sucked his finger, because that surely helped with the discomfort I'm sure he would have experienced with the cabin pressure etc.
As a parent, you MUST prepare your child for this. Speak to them about where you'll be going, take out a map, globe, ok, fine Google, and show them where they will be going. Make it fun for them to seek out that destination and find out out what makes that destination so awesome. But, as much fun as all that prep-work is, you MUST be prepared for the flight. As my son, Austin, grew, I ensured smooth trips by allowing him to have his own carryon and knapsack filled with his own toys and things.
Here are a few things I do:
- Prep him on the destination(foods, sights, activities, location, etc.)
- Dress him comfortably(shoes easily removed, t-shirt, comfy jeans etc.)
- Pack beloved-must-have-can't-sleep-without toy...he's allowed 1 (the main squeeze, Puppy)
- Sketch pad, a set of colouring pencils(he loves to draw)
- A few of his fave books(Geronimo Stilton)
- Smartphone/tablet(the phone has no data, but he loves to take pics and watch vids of planes etc..
- Pack a few of his fave snacks(carrot sticks, apple & cheese, fave candy - 1 for the duration of the flight)
This is usually enough to keep him entertained, of course if he's fortunate enough, like the last time he travelled with his Nana, he was seated next to a gentleman who was an aviation engineer, and he and my 6 year old at the time, had a most thrilling conversation about planes and how they work and an engineers role etc. As it were told to me, the gentleman was simply fascinated as to how a 6 year old knew so much about planes and their engines and all it entails. If only that man knew what I endure with my little one, lol. He has oodles and oodles of books on planes, trains, ships, and mighty machines. What can I say, he's an awesome kid!
He's now 8, so naturally some things will change, but he's much more mature, asks more questions, which makes me run to Google, but it's all well and dandy. He has travelled as an Unaccompanied Minor(that's a different post), to visit his Grandparents, and as nerve racking as that experience was I believe for the both of us, it has surely helped him to be more comfortable and responsible, and it has helped me to be able to relinquish some of that need for him to be an individual as he grows into his own person.
What are some of your travel tips you use when travelling with your little one(s)?
Safe travels with your little one(s).