Traveling is stressful. Traveling with a toddler and baby can be very stressful… It’s not only the stress of getting yourselves to the airport and settled on the plane, but it is also the stress that strangers can put on you.
If you have travelled with kids beofre, you know all about the look… You know the one where they stare at you with two kids and grimace, hoping you will not be sitting anyway near them. Then there are the eye rolls and stares you get if one of your kids dare to grizzle or make a sound. When you are getting these looks BEFORE you even get onto the plane, and you actually overhear people commenting how they are hoping you are not sitting near them it’s a little off putting to say the least!
Over the weekend I had the pleasure (not sure if that is the right word?) of flying to Melbourne with both of my boys for the first time. Liam was a frequent flyer when he was younger, but hasn’t flown since he started walking and it was Aiden’s first trip. I wasn’t too worried about Aiden, how I was going to occupy Liam and keep him happy was my big worry. Talking to others who have flown with toddlers I was given a lot of advice from feeding them lollies and giving them an iPad to play with to giving them phenergan so they sleep. Whilst a sleeping toddler sounded enticing, I decided against ‘drugging’ Liam and came up with a plan to keep him happy and occupied for the 2 1/2 hour flight.
My top tips are:
- Be super nice to the check in staff and ask if you can be seated in a row with a spare seat. If you are flexible about where you sit, this can be easier to accommodate
- Keep calm and be flexible – a bit tricky when you are a bit of a control freak! It’s tough when your toddler is having a ball tipping their strawberries out onto the spare seat and then putting them back into the container – but if it is keeping them amused and its not hurting anyone, go with it (this was really tough). You can then make a game out of cleaning up with wipes (another 10 minutes is then gone)
- Make it an adventure, we talked about going on the plane, looked at pictures of planes and at the airport we bought a toy plane he chose… this was a winner, he loved it and spent a large part of the flight playing with it…. the best $14.95 I have ever spent!
- Pack their favourite toys, books and foods. Liam LOVES strawberries, so we had a whole punnet cut up. He also chose 4 of his cars to take and we also had a few of his favourite books.
- It sounds obvious but be organised! I was packed and our bags were in the car the night before. I then had a list of last minute items I needed to pack before we left in the morning. It made me calmer which in turn kept the boys calm.
I’m pleased to say the trip went well. The boys were fantastic with Aiden sleeping for most of the trip and Liam keeping himself amused until he fell asleep as we began to descend into Melbourne. When getting off, I admit I gave a few smug looks to the couple I had overheard talking about us at the airport!
We are heading back home in a couple of weeks, and I’m hoping to have another smooth trip – what are your traveling tips?