NEWSFLASH: Becoming a parent doesn’t automatically mean that you’ll lose the wanderlust you’ve been fostering for years. It’s highly likely you won’t get an urge to solely experience caravans, Centre Parcs and staycations in the Cotswolds. (Unless that’s always been your bag, of course.)
Travelling with your miniature human is totally do-able. Having taken plenty of flights before and tutted at other parents, you’ll be well aware that it’s not always easy. However, going prepared will increase your chances of making it out the other side with your sanity intact.
1. Pre-book but don’t pre-board
Whilst you might think it’s nice of the airline to offer for you to go first, they’ve clearly never travelled with kids. You’re going to spend enough time in the tin can: no need to lengthen the experience.
2. Take a night flight
Not only does this make drinking gin legit, your rascal is more likely to sleep whilst you’re doing it.
"Follow a few simple tips and soon your little traveller will be gaining their very own mini air miles!"
3. Milk at the ready
Breast or bottle, it’ll help prevent pressure building in their ears during takeoff and landing. Make sure it’s in a clear baby bottle and be prepared to taste it. Don’t worry, you can swill the taste away as soon as you get to the lounge.
4. Book a bulkhead seat
These are the seats that have extra legroom with a pull down shelf for cots. Without your little lump on your lap, eating your meals will be much less of a palava, you won’t have to worry about the passengers in front of you being kicked and you’ll get a load more room overhead to store that kitchen sink you packed.
Remember, these seats are like gold dust, so you if you’re planning to use a cot, make sure to phone ahead to reserve one!
5. Ditch the tech limitations
At home, technology might be seen as the devil, but on planes it's fully encouraged. At this point, anything that keeps them entertained is a winner in our books.
6. Pack extra outfits
The smell of stale sick isn’t pleasant for anyone. Ever. Nor is poo or wee, come to think of it.
7. Take a travel blanket
Have you felt how cold it gets at 30,000ft? Cold = grumpy little people and grumpy mummies and daddies. Pick a blanket that’s warm enough for your baby but also big enough for you to steal. Sharing is caring, right?
8. Grow a thick skin
There will always be people that complain and tut when your new traveller decides to cry. Our advice? Ignore it and focus on you and your family.
9. Pack wisely
Take a sensible carry on bag with your baby’s essentials. While you may be tempted to take your gorgeous new holiday tote, a backpack that lets you use both your hands freely may work better.
10. Take a mini buggy
Make sure it complies with airline restrictions and can be stowed in the overhead locker. This will make escaping angry passengers much quicker at the end of the flight.
If things get really bad, just remember that it’s very much like labour: it WILL come to an end and, by the time you reach your destination, you'll have forgotten all about the pain.