Welcome to another travel tips blog for parents with kids. Are you travelling with baby? a toddler too did you say? woah!
So your going on holiday. Ah! what a lovely time ahead. Kids did you say? You know what that means… Extra essentials, Extra supplies, Extra time and everything else Extra!!
Let’s get straight into the nitty gritty of travelling with a baby and toddler on a plane.
If your infant is under 2 years of age, most likely you will be flying with an infant on your lap. Under 2 years of age is not required to purchase a flight ticket. So if flying with a new born baby, it’s free!
The best thing to do when travelling with a baby or toddler is pre-plan your journey, allow extra time and sometimes even pack extra items, snacks especially.
A few months ago I travelled to Saudi Arabia with my husband, toddler and infant. It was our first time travelling as a family and the first time on a plane for both my toddler and infant. THEY LOVED IT! I was prepared and I had packed everything in this world for the plane journey! (well not literally everything in the world ha!)
Usually when travelling first time on a plane, little ones are usually most what, EXCITED! They see it on the television, a plane in the sky and for them its literally a WOW moment. I know for my toddler it definetly was. Excitement calms down the nervous emotions, so they don’t feel scared or nervous when boarding. YES! It’s better to be excited.
Tell you child about your holiday
So first things first. Let your child know when they will be travelling and where to. I embedded this thought in my toddlers head who was 2 1/2 years at that time, that we will be going on a plane. Also told him the end destination, which was Al haram mosque (You can read my Umrah blog here . I started telling him 1 week before the journey. Now although he is only 2.5 years, trust me, they understand! Show them pictures of a plane especially if it’s their first time, get them all excited like WOW how big it looks and how big it is. I showed my toddler YouTube videos of planes flying, OHMY! He was obsessed!
Now, you don’t have to do all this, but if your planning your family vacation and it’s the first time round, then you rather be prepared and not have your child refuse to board that large thing because of fear. My toddler is also a Type 1 diabetic, So to make him feel as easy as possible was my mission. Even if he wasn’t diabetic (oh how I wish he wasn’t) then I’d still do all these steps to make sure he was comfortable in knowing where he was going. Plane journeys can be scary for kids too. Congestion, lots of people, the noise, the high pitch uneasy earaches, the upset tummy’s. YES all these things happen! So best to keep them distracted.
Moving onto my infant. She was 8 months at the time. I couldn’t do these steps with her, ofcourse she doesn’t understand a word I say ha!. So you can skip this step if you have any children under the age of 1.
List of big items you need
Travelling with toddlers or infants can be hard. They can’t walk much or if they can, they get tired very quickly. Those small little legs use up a lot of energy. I ensured I purchased any big items I needed first.
The first item required is a pushchair. Airplanes allow pushchairs and buggies to board up till the plane. Sometimes there not even counted in the luggage or hand luggage. It’s usually classed as a requirement that the child can carry for free. Any items the toddler or infant have on them such as small backpacks are usually not counted in the luggage weight.
My toddlers backpack and pushchair was disregarded. It travelled for free! Everything else like my handbag was ofcourse weighed to ensure it met the weight requirements. 7kg hand luggage is allowed if travelling from the UK and 10kg hand luggage is allowed for an infant.
- Pushchair – I purchased the Gb pockit stroller – the smallest lightweight stroller ever to be invented. It was so light and easily foldable into the top compartment of the plane.
- Baby carrier – if you get tired holding your infant with one arm and struggle to do other things also, invest in a good baby carrier and take it along also. That way you will be handsfree!
Essentials to pack in hand luggage
Il show you a list of what I packed for my toddler and infant. Use this list if your travelling and need a guide.
My infant was 8 months at that time. She’s formula fed via a bottle and wears lots of nappies. So first things first, I arranged her milk and nappies first. Depending on the duration of your travel you can pack the amount of powdered milk and nappies required in your main luggage. I use Aptamil for my baby so as we travelled for 2 weeks I packed 3 boxes of milk (she usually goes through 1 a week) and 2 big packs of nappies in the main luggage too.
For the hand luggage we only needed enough to get her from the UK to Saudi Arabia hotel until we could open the main luggage for some more. I ordered a small milk container from Ebay and stored milk in there, this was enough feed for a few days infact (pack extra incase). Along with the milk I packed around 6-7 nappies and a pack of wipes for her changes. The goal is to pack light… so here goes:
- Water – Take a thermos in your hand luggage EMPTY. Once you’ve checked in via security, get the thermos filled from a cafe with boiling water, also buy a bottle of water to use for the baby’s formula feeds.
- Extra pair of clothing (incase a nappy leak)
- Cardigan (plane journey’s can get chilly, however we noticed her cardigan wasn’t required as the airline gave blankets. – double check with your airline what services they provide.
- A feeding bottle (1 in hand luggage and 1 in main luggage).
- Baby biscuits, tangerine or banana (easy for infants to snack on) – ideally solids as airports don’t allow liquids through the check-ins (unless its medicen)
- Baby ear muffs (these are the ones I purchased – Alpine.) These are great for takeoff as the baby’s ears are protected.
- Baby toys (ideally there favourite hand ones – remember pack light, so a small toy is best. Something like a hand rattle or favourite teddy.
- You are allowed to travel with baby food on a plane also.
- Snacks (crisps, biscuits, fruit and water)
- Extra pair of clothing
- Ear muffs
- Nappies if your toddlers isn’t toilet trained yet. (ideally upto 4 as toddlers are less frequent than infants).
- A toy to keep your toddler occupied during the journey. A colouring book, or a small gamepad is ideal.
As my toddler is a Type 1 diabetic, I had to pack extra supplies for him which was mostly his medicen. Insulin CANNOT travel in main luggage due to the temperature at the back of the plane which can damage and freeze the insulin making it of no use.
Essentials I packed for his Type 1 diabetes:
- Insulin – vials and injections
- Cannula and Reservoir
- Finger pricker
- Finger pricking needles
- Blood sugar monitor
- Glucose Ketone monitor
- Pump belt
- Testing strips
- Glucoject – hypo treatment
Any medications, apart from condition related should be packed in the main luggage.
Ensure to pack some definetly, regarding of the holiday destination your travelling too. Last thing we want as parents is our children getting ill on vacation. However the worst is not being able to find a pharmacy there or having to try new medications you or your child is not familiar with. Like i said pre-plan and prepare.
Medications I packed in the main luggage (just in case)
- Children’s paracetamol
- Mosquito stickers or spray
- Cough medicen
- Nasal drops
- Rash cream
- Allergy medicen
Everything else can be packed in your main luggage such as all your family’s clothes and accessories.
Most importantly it’s good to keep a positive mindset throughout. Ups and downs do and will happen. Check-ins may take forever, your baby may miss a feed, your toddler may throw a tantrum, You may miss your flight call (hopefully not). What I mean to say is, keep calm and make the most beautiful memories.
I remember reaching Saudi Arabia only to find out my toddler wasn’t even on their computer system as a traveller! Our luggage arrived 2 hours late…. But regardless of all the drama, I was with my little family. We had biscuits on hand to keep them occupied whilst daddy and me sorted the arrangements. So YES its do-able!
Wishing you and your loved ones happy travels. Xxx
Leave me a comment if you have any tips I’ve missed, id love to use them and add them to my list for our next holiday .
Are you travelling whilst pregnant? Then check out my previous blog for some major essentials you need to pack.