Feeling like it’s time for a getaway? Holidays can be blissful escapes that do all sorts of good things for the soul. However, the thought of travelling with a little one for some can seem more like a chore than an exciting idea.
Parents often have a lot of questions when it comes to travelling with their bubs such as where is best to sit on the plane, how can I stop their ears from hurting, should I visit the GP before a trip and how on earth do I bring their pram with me!? Because we know peak holiday season is coming up, we’ve come up with some of our top tips for travelling with little ones.
We’re not going to sugar-coat it, flying with children can be challenging. The most important thing you can do is ensure that your little one is comfortable and relaxed, especially on long-haul flights. So, here are some of our top flying tips:
Plan Your Seat Ahead of Time
If possible, book your seats near a bulkhead or towards the front of the plane, where there is less noise. Sitting at a bulkhead will also allow you to get up and move about the plane freely without disturbing other flyers. If you are travelling with an infant, check with the airline to ensure that they have appropriate safety restraints for take-off and landing. The airline may also provide you with a bassinet for the duration of the flight.
Organise Your Luggage
Every parent knows that a trip away with their little one practically involves moving their entire nursery out of the house and into accommodation. If possible, arrange to use prams, bassinets or cots at the airport and at your travel destination - this will limit your luggage and stop you having to pay hundreds in extra baggage.
In regards to your everyday baby bag, dedicate your hand luggage to this and bring extra supplies! Airlines can encounter unforeseen delays, and you may be required to spend hours at airports or do unplanned stop offs; and more often than not, you won't have access to your check-in luggage. We’re talking extra nappies, bottles, breast pumps, wipes, first aid items, food and snacks.
Protect their Ears
One of the worst things about flying can be ear pressure that our little one’s feeling during landing and take off. Try and have something on hand to keep your little one sucking during these periods such as a bottle or a dummy. The sucking will hopefully help to relieve any pain or pressure that they may be feeling or at least distract them.
If your child takes regular medications or uses medical equipment daily, take them with you on the flight and administer as required. If you are on a long-haul flight, touch base with your GP about potentially adjusting the times of these medications. Use a lockable medication bag to keep your little ones safe when travelling.
Entertain your Kids!
Try and keep your kids entertained on the flight as much as possible, here are some quick and easy options:
- Bring an iPad or tablet for them to watch a movie
- Pack their favourite toys and blankets
- Have snacks at the ready
- If they’re old enough, keep them occupied with books, pencils and puzzles
Touch Base With Your Doctor
If your little one suffers from any sort of medical condition, book an appointment with their doctor at least 8 weeks before jetting off. You should request a letter from the doctor that outlines you bub’s situation, any medication they take or any equipment they need. This letter should accompany you on the plane in case of any questions or emergencies.
If your child doesn’t have any medical conditions and you have concerns about travelling with your little one, it is best to book an appointment with your GP for advice and peace of mind. This is especially useful for parents who are travelling with their child for the first time.
What About Immunisations?
Your GP will be able to inform you if any immunisations are required before your trip (e.g. typhoid), however, these are generally only needed if you are travelling overseas into rural or tropical areas.
Okay, I’ve arrived. Is there anything else I need to know?
So, you’ve made it to your destination, left the airport and arrived at your accommodation after what seemed like a lifetime.
This is the fun part parents! It’s time to unwind and enjoy yourself!
If you’re in a sunny location, protect your little one’s skin by keeping them in the shade, use sunscreen and dress them in protective clothing (e.g. hats, light long pants and tops and rashies).
Before you leave the house, make sure you tick all of these off your list:
- Visit your child's doctor at least 8 eight weeks before your trip if your little one has a medical condition
- If your bub has medical conditions, get a letter from your doctor outlining any conditions or medications
- Get travel insurance (this a non-negotiable!)
- Bring a car seat or organise to have one at your destination
- Pack sunscreen, loose light clothing and hats (because we assume you’re jetting off somewhere where the sun shines all day!)
- Pack rehydration solutions (in case of traveller’s diarrhoea or gastro)
- Pack insect repellent (please consult your GP if you have any concerns about placing new products on your child's skin)
- Research local healthcare facilities near your accommodation for peace of mind in case of emergency
Travelling with little ones can most definitely be challenging but trust us when we say it gets easier. And hey, you may just be one of the lucky few who has their bub sleep throughout the entire flight!
Remember, be prepared for plane travel, organise prams and cots at airports and your accommodation, touch base with your doctor before travelling, ALWAYS have plenty of snacks and last but not least, enjoy yourself - it’s a holiday remember!?