In November, we are travelling to Melbourne for a big family wedding and I can’t wait. My Dad’s side of the family live there, as well as my amazing Nanny and needless to say, we don’t get to see them as often as I’d like. Although I feel strongly that it has made our immediate family close knit (something I love), I also feel slightly envious of friends who have aunties, uncles and cousins in their life on their doorstep.
So in the past few months, as we gear up to our big trip and the flights get booked, I am suddenly staring face to face with the reality of the situation. 22 hours on a plane with an 18 month old toddler. Yikes. All that excitement gets momentarily drained and I feel completely daunted. I mean, I can hardly stand half an hour of Emma wriggling in a cafe as I finish my latte with dogged determination. What is 22 hours going to look like? Putting my practical hat on, I tell myself this is happening, we are going and all we need is a little bit of practice.
In 2 days, we are jetting off Ireland. Perfect, we thought, a nice 1 hour flight to ease us in and get Emma a little more used to air travel. Now, at first I was feeling easy, breezy about a little short haul flight…surely an hour will fly by? But as the holiday creeps closer and closer, I’m getting that same daunted feeling. When I mentioned this to my parents who flew over to the UK from Hong Kong in 1986 with 4 kids aged between 3 months and 8 years old, my Dad told me that no-one really cares if your baby cries on a flight. See, I know deep down that he’s right – but I know that in the past I always rolled my eyes at children screaming on flights and I suppose I just don’t want to us to be that family, with the toddler you can’t control.
So to put a positive spin on my nervousness, I’ve been doing a little preparation for the flight….
-The first step of the plan is obviously to load the iPad with Bing and Teletubbies, Emma’s favourite shows. I reckon this could buy us up to 15 minutes and both these shows have a bit of a calming effect on her and make her giggle so definitely one to take along.
-Then I’ll bring her favourite soft toys and figurines. Emma is getting really into cuddly toys and I find it so sweet to see a really nurturing side to her come out. So I’ll think we’ll take a few of her favourites along so she can play with them in the seat. I actually tested this out when we travelled to London by train and it worked really well.
-A bit of an odd one, but a friend of mine mentioned that if you get a handful of little things from Poundland and wrap them up in tissue paper, this will keep little hands occupied for a while too. I’ve never tried this but I thought it would be worth a shot. Tissue paper is always a winner with Emma and keeps her entertained and happy!
-Without a doubt, we mustn’t forget the faithful Organix snacks and Ella’s Kitchen Mango Baby Brekkie. These are day-to-day lifesavers and will hopefully keep her hunger at bay until we reach the other side. Thankfully we’re travelling in the morning so fingers crossed the old hunger won’t come knocking…
-Accept that it may not go according to plan and try not to beat myself up about it. I’m really going to try hard to stick to that one. Because chances are Emma won’t have had her nap, so she’ll be over-tired and things may not go the way we hoped. But we’ll still get to Ireland and it’ll be the start of a lovely family holiday.
Do you have any tips for flying with toddlers? Let me know in the comments below 🙂