Last week we took Jenson on his first ever flight and even though we flew with Jasper when he was only 3 months old, and we’ve flown with both Jasper and Rhys together before, I was slightly apprehensive about a flight with a 7 month old and an almost 3 year old.
The flight was to Aberdeen so only 1.5 hours and Jenson is a super chilled out baby but with an ongoing ear infection I really worried that we’d be in for 1.5 hours of screaming and tears. Jasper loves flying and is pretty easy to entertain but recently he’s been verging on threenager territory and I was a bit apprehensive about whether or not we’d have meltdowns mid-air!
Let me tell you though both boys were absolute angels, the flights couldn’t have been more relaxing and I was so proud of them, especially when we were left with comments like ‘Oh I didn’t even realise there was a baby on the plane’ and ‘ what well behaved boys you have’. So I thought I’d share some tips on flying with kids, even though you may see that I was probably more unprepared than prepared!
- Flight times – I know this isn’t always possible if you’re going with a package deal or need to find the cheapest flight but I compromised price slightly for the sake of good flight times. I definitely didn’t want to fly late at night or too early in the morning so I paid a little extra for nice day time hours. I took into account travel time to the airport, Jenson’s nap times and also his feeding times and it worked perfectly as he had his morning bottle on the way to the airport, breakfast at the airport, he napped on the flight and then was ready for his lunch time bottle when we arrived. Coming home we had dinner at the airport, and landed at bedtime so the boys could sleep in the car and be transferred into their beds at home. This didn’t go quite to plan with Jasper who stayed awake but the iPad kept him busy!
- Prepare – If you have a morning flight then get everything laid out the night before; that means coats and shoes by the front door, suitcases and hand luggage packed and ready to go and outfits laid out. Fill your car up with fuel ready to drive to the airport, check in online or print out your boarding passes and charge up your phones, cameras and other electronic devices so that you have less to do just before you fly.
- Snacks, snacks, snacks – Airport and aeroplane food is notoriously pricey so try to pack things to keep the kids going. We always fall into the trap of stopping at a service station on the way and buying juice and sandwiches and it just adds to what could already be an expensive holiday. Pack some snacks and hold them back to use as bribery when the little ones start to get a bit antsy, even let your little ones choose their own snacks to pack from home.
- Entertainment – Now of course the main question when it comes to flights with kids is how to entertain them. You don’t want to pack too much so try to pick a small variety (depending on the flight duration) and think of how long each ting will likely entertain them for. For Jasper we of course brought the iPad and made sure that it had sufficient charge and enough Paw Patrol to keep him happy. It’s a good idea to bring a variety incase your plan A doesn’t work so I also made sure to have a pen and paper, some stickers and toy cars in case he felt like getting crafty or dong some role play. For Jenson I brought a rattle and a material book to keep him busy but he didn’t actually end up wanting either.
- Comfort – I can’t stand being uncomfortable when I fly; I’m always in leggings, trainers and wear minimal make up so I would never want my little ones to be uncomfy either. Pop your little ones in babygrows, or comfy joggers rather than jeans so they can put their feet up and wriggle around freely. Also make sure to bring their home comforts to make them feel at ease especially if you’re worried about them being scared or their ears popping. I made sure to have a couple of dummies for Jenson as well as his soft comforter and I popped Jasper’s comforter in the bag too.
- Mini bag – This one is for toddlers and older. One way to not only let your little one feel grown up but to also save your bag from being too heavy is to let them pack their very own super grown up flight bag. Jasper has a tiger back pack that he is currently obsessed with so I let him choose his toys and snacks to go in there. It was a really important job for him to pack it the night before and remember it in the morning and he made a point of taking it off to sit down and putting it back on once we’d landed.
- Finally, don’t stress – As prepared as I may have sounded I really didn’t put that much effort into it. Rather than worrying about having enough toys and items of clothing the minimalist in me kicked in and I actually went with the bare minimum. The flight wasn’t that long and I knew we’d be able to get whatever we needed at either airport or once we were in Aberdeen. If Jenson had that many poo explosions that we ran out of clothes then we’d have bought a new outfit; if he screamed the whole flight then I’d have comforted him and remembered that it wasn’t a long one and there was nothing I could do.
What are your tips for a stress-free flight with kids? Are you flying soon and worried about how it will go? Leave a comment below and let me know!
Thanks for reading,