This blog is a follow up to Flying with a Toddler. Hopefully there will be a few tips in here that you’ll find useful…
1. Car seat. You can check the car seat in (usually for free, check with the airline) so you don’t have to rent one the other end. I’ve rented before and I found the car seat to be quite unsafe and so I’m much happier lugging mine around.
2. I pack my car seat in a couple of large bin bags and duct tape them secure because I don’t have a fancy travel seat bag, it does the job. It also allows you to pack a few things in the seat – like a couple of sleeves of nappies! Sneaky Sneaky.
3. Car. If you’re a fan of having your own wheels while abroad then make sure you book a 4-door. I’ve been caught with a 2-door before and was luckily upgraded at no extra cost, but I don’t want to be in that situ again. So check your booking.
4. When you’re booking your flights, pay the extra for pre booked seats (if the airline requires you pay, like easy jet). Its worth it. You don’t want to be rushing to sit on the plane for any longer than you need to with a toddler jumping up and down on your lap.
5. You get priority boarding anyway which I turn down, again, I don’t want to sit on the plane any longer than absolutely necessary.
6. Pre-game. Let your toddler run around before you get on the flight and change their nappy just before you board. Save any food / milk / water for the flight, anything to shut them up.
7. The child gets a carry on. Whether this is a baby bag or a Thomas the Tank Engine rucksack filled with toys.. make sure you load up on activities. And you can still carry on your handbag / travel bag, all for free.
8. Suitcase. The last few trips I’ve done, I’ve taken a suitcase with me, whether its free or not, its so much easier checking all your stuff in rather than dealing with it on the plane as well as all the inflight entertainment for the child.
9. Buggy. I usually take the buggy to the gate because its easier to negotiate the airport quickly, however I learnt from my friends who I travelled to Portugal with that you can let them run around to knacker them out, and just pop them on Dads shoulders when they get tired. So I checked in the buggy at the gate and let Ethan run riot – needless to say he was much better behaved on the plane.
10. New toys. Buy them a new toy and bust it out on the plane, but don’t reveal your hand to early, keep it for when you’re about to reach for the vino, (which is impossible to drink with an active toddler on your lap).
I hope some of the parents out there find this useful! Feel free to comment your helpful tips, the more the merrier!