We are home now, we made it! Sadly, our awesome trip away has come to an end. What an adventure it was. The weather wasn’t as tropical as we would of liked but we still managed to get out and about for a few strolls, down some beautiful scenic tracks and trails and we got to test out the pool. Most of our time was spent sampling lot’s of delicious food! (Calories don’t count when you’re on holiday!) I can safely say, I probably won’t be booking any more trips just yet, I will be happy with a cup of tea and a bit of a lie down while I recover… Just joking, it wasn’t that bad, but it was a HUGE learning experience. I thought I would share some of the insights I learnt while travelling and flying solo with a toddler!
1. Your toddler will cry…loudly and often. But that’s okay, it’s what toddlers and babies do. You will get through it!
2. They will suddenly have an innate desire to touch EVERYTHING
3. Anything that can be spilled, will be spilled…and usually all over you!
4. You will never have enough “hands”
5. Your only pen (needed to fill in essential forms and paperwork on international flights) will go missing…only to be found when you no longer need it.
6. Toddlers will kick the seat in front of them
7. They will also try to pull the hair of the passenger in front of you
8. The interactive screen that allows your child to watch their favourite shows, movies or play games will be of zero interest.
9. They will find the headphones annoying and will probably have more fun trying to break them!
10. The books, toys and snacks you packed will provide about 5 seconds of entertainment…pulling someones hair is much more amusing.
11. If you have a salad…it will be knocked over before you have time to eat it.
12. Chances are if your flight is delayed, your child will more than likely sleep through the delay and wake up full of beans just before boarding.
13. Oh yeah…be prepared for delays
14. Keep them as comfortable as possible, our flight was quite warm so bubs had to be stripped to his nappy and singlet so as not to get too hot and grumpy. Plus remember how I mentioned anything that can be spilled will be spilled? Yep, milk all over both of us, saturated. Nice. Spare clothes will come in handy.
15. Improvisation will be your best friend! Use what you have around you, we invented a game with an ice cream wrapper and popsicle sticks. He also liked unfastening the tray and pulling it down and up. The plastic drinking cups were a bit of a hit too, who knew?
16. Stay calm, I know this is easier said than done, but if you stress – they will stress.
17. Make friends with other parents with bubs on the plane. They will know exactly how you feel and what you are going through. It’s great to have someone to chat to, and even share resources. We traded toys and stories which helped settle our little ones down for a moment.
18. If you haven’t travelled with children before you will have a whole new respect for all the parents that have had to endure and travelled before you. On your next flight be understanding and courteous, or even just give a friendly smile – it can make a world of difference to that stressed out, near exhausted, struggling parent!
19. On getting to the airport, plan for your driver to sleep in – so that you will arrive to find a huge line at check in of which you will be at the very back. This will require you to rush and sprint through customs to board with only minutes to spare! Nothing like a bit of a mad dash to get the blood pumping and the nerves jumping. I’m kidding don’t do this…never do this!
20. Know that you will have to go through it all over again on your flight home. But at least you will know what to expect and be better prepared. Who knows the airline could be running on time and your toddler could surprise you and decide to snooze the whole journey home!
Share your family flight experiences, and any insights you’ve gained through travelling with toddlers! How do you adapt&survive?
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