Wednesday, 6 July 2016

10 Tips For Flying With Little People...

As you know if you are a regular reader that we are soon to be off on our travels for our family holiday. In my eyes travelling with children can be one of the most stressful things you will go through with a young family (been there, done that, got the t-shirt!) but there are some tips that can make travelling with little uns'  that little bit easier. 

1. Plan your flight times

In an ideal world book flight times that reflect when your little people have their naps, evening flights are always a winner. This year we have a morning flight when Hector usually takes his first morning nap so I am hoping and praying that he will sleep but naturally he's just started to drop his nap so no doubt he will be wild on the plane with everything new to look at and see! 

Plan your flights around nap times

2. Bring a rucksack

Invest in a rucksack. Ever since having Hector and trying to manage the mountain of crap that Charlie insists on taking with him every time we go out I sacked off my beloved old changing bag in favour of a much more practical solution. By using a rucksack it frees up both hands making it easier all round to cope with little ones. Baby bags have taken a bit of a U turn in terms of design and now there are some pretty cool brands out there developing changing bags in the form of rucksacks. Cath Kidston have a really pretty range out and I was kindly sent the blue spotty one which not only super useful with excellent pockets also compliments my yellow pram and brightens up any dull day! 

Cath Kidston - £65.00

If you are looking for a more grown up unisex rucksack then look no further than a really cool brand that launched about six months ago called Tiba and Marl. They have created a range of contemporary, trend inspired parent changing bags and you'd struggle not to fall in love with one of their latest range. Don't you just love their Elwood Quilted Backpack?

Tiba & Marl - £115.00

3. Got milk? Got sweets?

Hector is still on milk feeds, albeit only twice a day I always make sure that if I am flying that I always have baby milk on me. Charlie suffered terribly with his ears and I always found that an extra bottle of milk on take off and landing helped alleviate any potential ear dramas mid air, now that he's not on milk a good old packet of boiled sweets should do the trick. As you probably already know, airports are super strict on carrying liquids over 100ml through security so if you are planning on taking milk be prepared and think ahead. 

Make sure to order your baby milk before your flight and collect airside after security!

Formula milk is really easy to buy ready prepared now and rather than lugging it through security and risk having to gag and vomit if the security people insist on you trying it to prove its not poisonous why not buy it airside? Boots offer a click and collect service so you can buy the right amount of milk that you need (always best to buy a couple spare in case of delays) order online and collect airside which takes away all the hassle of buying before you head to the airport. 

4. You can never have enough snacks!

I don't know about you but I always whenever we go on any journey I always have enough snacks to feed an army. Whilst it may not be the done thing the power of a packet of chocolate buttons is incredible when trying to tame a screaming toddler! My theory is keep the snacks coming. It's a flight it's not an everyday occurrence and if it's keeping them quiet then just keep 'em coming! 

If in doubt pack a pouch! Photo courtesy of Anna Brain

5. The iPad - need I say more?

Let's be honest - how an earth did we travel before iPads? Yes we all know that too much screen time is bad, it's rammed down our throats daily and we all know it, however, I challenge you to walk up and down that plane isle and not see the majority of kids using them and you know why? Because it keeps them occupied and quiet - and cards on the table, when I am flying it's stressful enough so I am definitely out for the easy life! Download, download, download! I will completely be rinsing my download allowance for this month on Justin's House, Swashbuckle, Peter Rabbit, Peppa Pig and Paw Patrol ensuring that I have at least 4 hours worth downloaded for the flight. Forget the stigma - join the crowds. 

6. Kids Eat Free at Heathrow Airport - fill up their tummies before the flight!

From July 14th certain restaurants at Heathrow airport will be giving free kids meals (with every adult meal purchased). Think ahead, book ahead if necessary and make sure to fill little tummies and yours too so that you are not having to negotiate toddlers, little people and trays on a cramped plane (unless you are flying First Class in which case dine before and definitely dine on board!). More information here

Kids Eat Free at Heathrow in 2016

7. Airport soft play - er yes please!!

Did you know that at certain terminals 2,4 and 5 of Heathrow they offer free soft play for your little ones to burn off some energy before the flight?

FREE Heathrow soft play!
Grab something to eat, get your coffee and head here before the flight - or better so, leave the kids and your partners and head straight to duty free for some last minute totally unnecessary shopping!! 

8. Change bums and do a wee!!

Picture the scene. You are just about to take off. You've spent 15 minutes trying to get the kids to sit down, iPad out, books out, you are all strapped in, just as you hear those four dreaded words - "I need a wee". I feel your pain, we've all been there. Get the wees and nappy changes out of the way before boarding the plane.

Save the dramas, wee before take off!

9. New toys!

Kids love new toys and what better way of occupying their attention than by whipping out a brand new toy (de-boxed and ready to play!). They don't have to be expensive but keep a few by to keep things new and exciting especially for the little ones as the older ones will be lured by the love of the iPad. So, what's good for the really little ones?

Buckle buster toys keep babies amused for five minutes - worth every penny!

Buckle toys! These keep babies amused for five minutes or so but the older ones amused for much longer - hell even the mums and dads will have a play clipping in, clipping out the buckles. They do a huge range and are well worth the money - you can buy the sweet caterpillar for £14.99 from Amazon

Hector loves Happyland so naturally I will be stocking up on my Happyland Surprise Bag (£2.00 each) for the flight - he can play with the little figures and rustle the packaging - happy days!

Happyland Surprise Bag - £2.00 each

10. Forget everyone around you.

This is number 10 and probably the most important tip for travelling with kids. Just forget everyone around you. Yes it can be hard when that woman from isle 6a is rolling her eyes as you are negotiating a toddler who is buckarooing whilst doing his best crying impression of a chainsaw to tell her politely to f**k off but just ignore her. On our first family holiday abroad to Turkey Charlie screamed the WHOLE WAY there and back. I wanted to cry and die at the same time. No one wants their baby to cry. No one wants to spend an entire flight pacing up and down the isles like an expectant father. Inevitably babies will cry, toddlers will moan.


I like to approach each flight with kids (and now I have two) fully expecting them to scream, cry, run up and down the isles like feral animals and generally irritate every single passenger, so, if in the event (of a miracle) that they only do one, two or none of the above combinations of scenarios then you've had a great flight. 

Just think once the flight is over you'll be heading to the nearest bar for a large drink whilst watching the kids making memories that you'll cherish for years - either that or you'll be heading home to face two weeks washing and a smack in the face back to reality swearing that "you'll never take the family abroad on holiday EVER again" knowing fully well that you will as next year they will be older and as we all know as they get older it does get easier. 

Would love to know you find travelling with little people - have you any tips?

Nathalie x

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