I remember calculating that Emmie had taken 10 flights in her first year of life. Joe in comparison, has been hugely hard done by only having taken 4 so far. The logistics of traveling solo (which is what I do most of the time) with two is slightly more challenging than with one so I do it as little as possible these days.
If you’re luxuriating in some airport travel this spring and summer maybe one or more of these tips might make the difference in maintaining your sanity and keeping your mental health in check? Good luck!
(Actually, I found the flights back to the UK alone with a toddler and newborn last year far less stressful than a month later when we went to Barcelona en famille. Another adult added to the confusion, rather than took away from it. Or shall I say my other adult, yours might be slightly more helpful!)
- Check out the airport plan online and identify if there’s a children’s play area. Head straight to it after security and stay there until the flight’s boarding
- Seek out the family check in desk and family security queues. They’re much more helpful, tolerant and forgiving
- Don’t check your pushchair into the hold, keep it with you and gate check it. Even if you just use it to push/carry everything and wear your baby
- Be as hands free as possible. Ruck sacks or cross body bags work best
- Don’t wear anything that you have to remove e.g. big jewellery, belts, winter boots or if they are necessary apparel, make them simple to take off as your lining up at security
- Practise, mentally or literally, folding up the pushchair, undoing the baby carrier, pulling out the iPad, sippy and liquids, and removing all necessary clothing items for security. Then put them all back together/on/in straight afterwards
- Pack snacks as if a national famine was about to occur. Buy some cheap toys from Poundland and wrap them, add favourite programs and films to your tablet/phone
- A spare set of clothes for everyone, is a good idea. And as many nappies, wipes and nappy bags as possible. Nappy bags act as rubbish bags, vomity clothes holders, table cloths, toy holders as well as their intentioned function
- Keep them comfy. An extra layer e.g. sweatshirt can make a perfect pillow
- Getting on the plane; when it was just Emmie, I ignored the child priority boarding and got on last. With the two of them I embrace it and make sure I’m settled and comfy (and have a spot in the overhead lockers right above me) before the unsuspecting, poor travel companion comes to sit next to us
- Don’t pack any magazines or books for you. It’s never going to happen
- Have super low expectations of the journey. Then it can only be better than anticipated!
Happy traveling and have a fantastic holiday!
And one last tip from my lovely friend Emily for whom this was originally written…….