We are off to Dubai in just over 2 weeks!! Eeek!
So it is the perfect time to share some travel tips with you. I have taken Bee on 2 plane journeys so far. The first time was when she was 18 months to Turkey. Even though it was just a 4 hour flight…I was ready to jump out of the plane half way through. We then went to Pakistan via Dubai. It total it was 10 hours in the air. She was 2 and a half and the flight wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. This time I didn’t have a major urge to try to escape the plane!
- When you book your flight, make sure you go online and reserve the seats you want. This way you can try to ensure you can get window seats if this is what you prefer, or seats in the middle aisle, seats close to the toilet etc. However, note that all seats aren’t always realeased online, especially the front aisle ones.
- If you can get a night flight then this may be ideal, as your pre-schooler will eventually fall asleep… after the initial excitement of being on the plane.
- Planes can get quite cool, so even if you are going to a warm country make sure you have some warm clothes incase your pre-schooler finds it cold on the plane.
- Use online check-in if the airline provides it. You may still need to queue to get your baggage checked in but in my experience these queues are usually shorter.
- Let your child have their own suitcase and let them help you pack with their toys and snacks. It will make the whole process more exciting for them. My pre-schooler had a ride-on suitcase which she loved and could sit on it when she got tired.
- Take some of their favourite toys and games with you. With older children, the in-flight entertainment can be sufficient, depending on the airline, but if your pre-schooler is anything like mine and gets bored pretty easily then you will need lots of items to distract them! You can make a goody bag for them with some small new items.
- If your child has a tablet (the tablets were my saviour on the plane) download some new apps the day before you travel so that your preschooler has something new to investigate.
- In my experience, you can never have too many snacks, especially if you have fussy children. Remember to check the restrictions on fluids but you can always purchase drinks once you have passed through security, although most airlines are pretty good at providing drinks if you are on a long flight.
- Some flights offer child meals. It is worth finding out about them and booking them for your children. In some flights it means the children get their meals before everyone else so they are not impatiently waiting for their food to arrive.
- If your toddler wants to walk up and down the aisle, let them, just make sure s/he doesn’t get in the way of the crew when they are serving food etc. My little one managed to charm a few people with her ‘angelic’ ways while wandering around when she got tired of sitting in one place.
The other worrying thing about taking a pre-schooler on holiday is what to pack for them. For myself, for the flight the essentials are basic:
- a number of spare changes of clothes especially if they are freshly potty trained. You may want to consider pull ups if the child is still prone to accidents.
- wipes. I carry wipes around wherever I go in case of sticky hands and faces and any spills.
- a lollipop or something to suck on which can help when the air pressure affects their ears
- of course, toys and snacks
For the holiday itself my essentials are:
- medicine. I prefer to take medicine from here as that is what they are used to, calpol, ibuprofen and dioralyte are my three main essential medicines.
- her toiletries; I don’t want to be trying new toiletries abroad which may not agree with her skin. In addition to this, if your child is used to a night light, it may be a good idea to take one with you.
- your child’s comfort toys that they cannot be without. For example a doll/teddy that they always sleep with.
Hope this helps and if you are travelling soon then enjoy!
This post was originally written for Talk Mum but have amended it to add new tips!