Our little person LOVES to travel. She is just as passionate about it as Shawn and I are! Something else she’s crazy about? Flying! Flights can be a little nerve racking for adults. There’s so much to think about. Will we wake up on time for our flight? What if there’s heavy traffic on the way to the airport? I hope it’s a smooth flight. And Zee? The only thing on her mind is how cool it’s going to be sitting in the window seat; how awesome it is to be up in the fluffy clouds; how exciting it is to be going somewhere on holiday! I think she’s loved it since our trip to Cape Town way back in 2011.
Our first time flying with children … well, one child
The first time we flew somewhere with Zee, she was 18 months old. We were excited about going to Cape Town again, but we were also a little nervous about flying with a baby for the first time. Turns out though, we had nothing to worry about. Our little person looked around curiously at the strange, giant vehicle we were boarding; she was all smiles; she was pretty pleased that we gave her a jelly sweet to munch on when the plane took off; she slept a bit; by the time we landed she was up and ready to explore this place she’d not seen before. 🙂
That same year, there were two more return flights with Zee, both to Durban and back. The first of those flights, it was just her and I. Shawn had to drive (work reasons) and would meet us there that evening. Zee was a year and 8 months at the time. Fortunately for this very paranoid mommy, everything went well. Shawn had taken our luggage, which meant a quick, smooth check in at OR Thambo International, and zero stress on the other side as well. The following flights to and from Durban were (thankfully) equally uneventful. See, it’s really not as daunting as you may think.
Okay, but what about longer flights?
It was December 2012, and we could barely contain our excitement! We were also quietly nervous… You see, we were about to leave on our first international family holiday, and we had no idea how the 11 hour flight to Paris would go down with our 3 year old! We soon discovered that the night time flight was an excellent idea, as she fell asleep less than an hour after takeoff, and slept blissfully for 8 hours! She woke up happy, recharged, and ready for this exciting new adventure.
It went so well in fact, that we decided to do it again the following December. I’m happy to report that we had the same excellent result on that 11 hour flight to Amsterdam (yay!). The only slightly uncomfortable thing about those flights was me squishing myself into the corner in order for Zee to sleep across her seat and mine. I’d do it every time, if it meant a happy, well rested kiddo on a long flight.
View this post on Instagram
"That's not the Amsterdam dance, that's the cute dance. This is the Amsterdam dance." 💖😄 Because people who are born to travel, have a special dance to celebrate their arrival at holiday destinations. 😊😁💃🌍✈ . . . . . #zee #mommysbaby #funnylittlebunny #throwback #amsterdam #familyholiday #samomblogger
A few of my tips for flying with children
- When booking long/international flights, try to book flights that leave at night. This is bedtime, which means you‘ll most likely have a well rested, bright eyed and bushy tailed little person when you arrive at your destination, instead of a restless, cranky one.
- If you’re flying with a baby/babies, do a final nappy change right before you have to board the plane. A clean and comfortable baby = a happy baby = no tears (from baby or mommy 😂).
- When it’s time for the plane to take off, as well as when it’s going to land, have your baby on the boob, bottle, or pacifier to help prevent pain or discomfort. For babies who are a little older/toddlers, chewy snacks will work.
- Don’t forget to take one of their favourite plushies for them to cuddle while they sleep on the plane, or while sitting in their stroller and taking in the sights.
- A fully charged tablet comes in handy especially during daytime flights, and when there aren’t any movies showing that they’re particularly interested in watching.
- When flying to Europe for example, departing from South Africa in Summer, pack a set of warm clothes in your hand luggage. Once the plane has landed, you can quickly get your little one warm, snuggly, and ready for Winter, before you even set foot inside the airport.
Travelstart’s Top Tips
It’s always nice to hear what those in the actual business of flights and travel have to say on the subject. So I think it’s great that Travelstart has put together a handy list of their top tips on flying with children.
They also spoke to parents who’ve flown with kids about their experiences, and the tips they’ve picked up along the way.
Travelstart has been our go to site whenever we’ve planned a trip. Just last year we found ourselves needing last minute tickets to Cape Town, so of course I was back on on the website looking for the best deals. We really like the convenience of being able to compare flights from different airlines all on one page. Give them a try when you’re planning to go on an adventure to a new place with your little ones. Where would you go next?
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.