Recently Myself and Paul (hubby) flew with the 5 boys to U.K from Gibraltar which is a 2 hour 50 minute flight, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity whilst it’s all fresh in my mind to give my top 7 tips from picking seats on the plane, departure lounge, on flight and passport control. So grab yourself a cuppa or glass of wine and hopefully some of these tips can make you journey a little less stressful.
Choosing seats I have found that the best seats for traveling with children are those towards the rear of the plane mainly for two reasons these being the engine noise seems to be a magic white noise for younger children and seems to lull them to sleep and the second is you are closer to the toilets for those mad dashes, in my case my eldest is 11 so he is able to take his younger siblings to the toilet with me still being able to see them.
Bring your own lunch and snacks Lunch and snacks from the menu on board a flight can soon amount up to a small fortune. Doing a quick shop before flying for lunch and snacks in my experience is always the best idea, my boys are always hungry and seem to want to be eating constantly. You are allowed to bring food through airport security but I would double-check yogurts as this could possibly be classed as a liquid.
Sippy and juice cups It’s always a good idea to keep well hydrated whilst flying, even though you aren’t able to take water through security you are allowed to take empty water bottles. On the way to the airport I encourage the boys to drink plenty from their juice cups, and after we have put our cases through we do a toilet run and that’s when I empty them. Gatwick and Heathrow airport have water fountains which you can use to refill water bottles but most restaurants will refill with tap water and some even have jugs of water on the side so you can help yourself. Children under the age of 2 can take sippy cups full through airport security.
Pack light Most hotels have self-service washing machines or if staying with family you’ll have access to washing facilities.I have a general rule 1 on, 1 off, 1 in the wash, 1 spare and then the clothes they are travelling in, personally I have found this is the perfect amount to pack and gives me chance to get things washed (bold 2in1 peals are perfect for this). When packing I always lie the clothes out on the floor and pair tops/trousers/jumpers together so I know that the clothes I have packed for the boys match, plus it makes it easier for my husband to dress them in the mornings as he knows what outfits go together.
Mini first aid kit I bought a see-thru small pencil-case which I put a few plasters, calpol sachet and paracetamol. I have never needed it in the airport or on the plane but it’s one of those things that I fear if I don’t take it I’ll need it, it has come in handy though when we’ve been on holiday.
Things for on the flight This is something that needs a lot of thought as even a 2 hour 50 minute flight for a child can seem like hours and hours as my children describe it and an eternity for us parents. The general items I take to keep the boys entertained are colouring books with colouring pencils, a small book and an iPad loaded with age appropriate games and a movie.
Passport control So you have got through the flight and now is the dreaded long walk to passport control, with over energised children who have just sat for an entire flight. I find a sling is a must with smaller babies however you can purchase toddler slings for an older child, I have an Ergo 360 which has been amazing in many airports. Another thing to consider is doing a toilet stop as the queues can be quite lengthy and the last thing you need is the stress of having to come out of the queue to take your little one to the toilet.
When you begin the trip it can all seem a little stressful, overwhelming and daunting but you have to keep on reminding yourself that the end is in sight. I hope some of my tips can make your journey somewhat stress free. The most important thing to remember is….you’ve got this
Thanks for reading x