We do a lot of travelling so we should be an expert at this. However, we recently flew to Paris which is a whole new kettle of fish for us! So here are some of my top tips for travelling with a toddler!
1. Stock up well with treats! This is a fairly obvious one. Be armed and ready with bribes! Chocolate, sweets, Peppa Pig on the iPad… (Ah so that’s pretty much all of my tips in just one… Hmm now what to write?!)
2. Leave plenty of time! This is one we thought we did well… We didn’t! We ended up getting caught up at airport security waiting for Alfie’s water to be allowed through and running through the terminal to catch our flight. Husband having an asthma attack and being sick and mummy left sorting everything. THREE HOURS IS NEEDED!! You can entertain a toddler for three hours better than you can deal with your husband whinging on a plane for an hour and a half… So leave yourself lots of time to have a nice leisurely stroll through duty free and a coffee before you board. Please see number 8 for more on this!
3. Make it exciting! This is an easy one. Bag yourself the window seat and slowly lose your mind as you realise you and your toddler are about to become Plane spotters (this is the same in the airport FYI!) You will get excited as you see another plane going on the runway, you will get excited as our plane makes its way to the runway, and you will countdown with said toddler on your take off until you’ve been in the air a good five minutes. Who knew I could make a take off so exciting! Hey, don’t mock me, that saved me 15 minutes of the journey!
4. Be technology prepared! So I know you can’t have phones or iPads on during take off or landing. But, you’ll flipping we’ll need the 30 episodes of Peppa Pig, that you spent £11 on downloading, when all your toddler does is asking to get down from your knee and want to run up and down the aisle of the plane!
5. Buy some lolly pops! This is a strange one that I wasn’t sure about. Alfie is breastfed and that was suggested to me for take off for his ears popping. There was no chance that was happening when he wanted to stare out of the window. Queue the lolly pop. Sucking on the lolly pop has the same effect as us sucking on mints for take off, no crying about poorly ears from Alfie. Pack lots of wipes!
6. Pack separate bags! One bag for daddy, one bag for mummy and one bag for the toddler. This will save the hassle we had of routing round a huge bag trying to find what you need. I’m looking at you husband!
7. Take your pushchair to the plane! This was a tricky one as we knew Alfie would want to run around and not be in his pushchair. Clip on a buggy clip, hang up your bags, stuff blankets, coats, jumpers under the pushchair and no carrying heavy hand luggage bags for you! Imagine trying to carry a toddler that no loner wants to walk along with three hand luggage bags, a boarding pass and passports through security? I didn’t think so!
8. Don’t board first! This is an amateur mistake made by lots of parents when you are offered the chance to board first as you have a pushchair and an uncontrollable toddler (or maybe you have a nice one, calm, clean one?!) and you get the first chance to get on the plane and take your seats. Why? Why would you choose to sit in a tiny seat with a toddler on your lap for thirty minutes longer than necessary? They can’t move, they will cry and it will annoy others passengers, but mostly it’ll annoy you that they sell it to you as it’s a luxury. It’s not like they are giving you extra leg room…!!
9. The smallest person has to have the toddler on their knee! I don’t like this one. But it’s fair. Dan is 6″3 and I’m 5″3. I had Alfie on my knee for the flights to and from Paris. He wriggled and was a bit of a pain sometimes but at least my knees didn’t get squished into the chair in front of me for ninety minutes. So I think that’s called taking one for the team.
10. Don’t fly far! Come on now let’s be sensible, unless you can guarantee that they are going to sit still for the entirety of the flight, or sleep, stay nearby. It’s for your sanity…
Any other tips? Has anybody actually had a stress free flight? Please tell me I’m not on my own in this madness?!
Mummy Fox xx