As we are about to embark on our bi-annual pilgrimage to the homeland, I think back on all the long trips we’ve made with children and how interesting they have been. They’ve been travelling since they were tiny. Miss Gremlin’s first plane ride was at 5 weeks. Grand Master D sat in a car seat for 18 hours at 3 months. But they’ve never stopped us travelling anywhere.
As the kids get older the trips seem to get easier, they are seasoned travellers now and love it. Grand Master D had his first unaccompanied flight last month. They sleep on airport gate lounge floors without a fuss, eat what they’re given and just know it’ll be over soon enough………
1. Travelling on planes with newborns, toddlers and children under 4.
We took a trip to Italy when Miss Gremlin was 5mths old. Grand Master D was 3.5.
30 hrs travel time is no damn joke. Brisbane+Sydney+Kuala Lumpur+Vienna,+Rome= 30hrs. It was really hard and unfortunately the onboard staff were not pleasant. Let’s just say we won’t fly Lufthansa again. Who won’t heat a babies food up? What’s that all about? And I stole their blanket 🙂
Newborns aren’t so bad to travel with, besides the extra crap you carry, they don’t do much and as long as you book a bassinet for them you should travel ok.
Having kids confined in planes, cars, trains or whatever mode of transport you’re travelling in is tough. Little people don’t want to be in one place for many,many hours. They get bored and hungry and tired and they whinge. Toddlers are the hardest and until they finally fall asleep you’re gonna be in travel hell. Don’t be scared to drug them 🙂 It helped us immensely over the years.
2. Eating Decent Food
It’s difficult to fine good airport food at anytime but try finding suitable baby food for a 5 month old. We all know when you travel you have to put up with crap ‘on the road’ food. The kids snack on whatever you can find them, survive on nuggets and pizza as staple meals and juice or soda. Meal times are inconsistent. Of course you try to give them healthy when you can find it but even the airlines serve less healthy alternatives for children. Basically you give them what you can find in between flights and whatever you’ve managed to take on board.
3. Keeping Them Entertained
When the kids reach an age where they’ll sit still for tv, then you’re golden. With so many movies, shows and interactive entertainment for kids on flights it’s easy. However before they can keep headphones on or sit still you have a task to keep them still, quiet and from annoying others around you. I never feel annoyed by kids on flights because I’ve been there at all stages. The parents are having a hard enough time, they don’t need the added pressure of disgruntled passengers nearby. Do you think the mum wants her toddler to scream because his ears hurt during take off and landing? They don’t do it to piss you off… trust me they’re stressing more than you!
4. Extra Crap to Carry
When you travel with little kids you gotta carry so much extra crap, pack’n plays, car seats, strollers etc.Enough food and diapers (nappies) to care for a whole daycare (just in case) This is harder to check in with, especially now with all the extra baggage fees. It takes longer and I always felt the uncomfortable pressure of the passengers behind.
5. Other People’s Attitudes ( This is the worse one)
The more I travel the more people suck. People are rude and inconsiderate and treat travelling parents with absolute disdain. Travelling is hard anytime you do it but when little kids have to sit around and wait for hours on end and they’re tired or hungry they have a hard time behaving. Give a thought to those parents. They’re frazzed. Offer assistance instead of a look of disgust or a frustrated huff. Play with their kid….it might help lighten the mood.
Extra Grace required. Help make a travelling parents’ day by being nice…. offer to help them. It’s always good to be nice.