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Friday, 22 July 2011

Her Bag of Tricks

I’ve just returned from a long awaited and much anticipated family vacation that included flying with my little girl for the first time.  As I do with most things, I asked friends and checked online for tips and advice.  Some of that came from comments on Ghostwriter Mummy’s post about essential travel items.  I also kept my eye out for play areas in the airports which I never would have known about if it hadn’t been for Travels with Baby.

Here’s what worked for us, just in case they come in handy for you:

1)      Put additional outfits and nappy in individual ziplock bags: This was brilliant for changing on the plane.  All I needed was my handy ziplock, changing pad, and wipes making moving around and changing her in the small space completely manageable.

2)      Packed a carry-on just for her: As I expected, it made it easy to access on the plane.  However, a pleasant surprise was the sense of ownership she got from having her own bag.  Enough so she actually enjoyed carrying it.

3)      Brought my carrier: I use one regularly so I knew it would come on the trip with me but I was glad to have it for walking through the airport, collecting bags, and convincing her to nap.

4)      In her Carry-on: “new to her toys” – My husband and I had a lot of fun in the weeks running up to the trip coming up with ideas of things to put in there.  We had a various assortment of colouring, reading, playing activities and pulled a new thing out every hour or so.  An eight hour flight and no boredom = Amazing!
Biggest hits: reusable stickers, cars, miniature bead maze
One we never used but is excellent enough to mention: make a puppet out of the sick bag

5)      Kept some things back for the return home: I had also re-packed some of the favourites from the outgoing flight.  Sure enough, they were not nearly as interesting as the new things in the bag.

6)      Also in her carry-on: a familiar blanket - I had doubts about this since she has no ‘special blanket’ and they provide ones on the plane.  However, when she was dead tired but was too wired to sleep, putting her blanket on settled her almost instantly.

7)      Sat in the bulkhead row: It had enough extra leg room so she could play on the floor and, to switch things up, I sat on the floor while she played in the seat.

8)      Took this amazing piece of advice from a friend: "Remember that the flight is just part of the journey so it’s likely to be hard work. You wouldn’t expect a car journey with kids to be relaxing. Expect the worst and you’ll be pleasantly surprised."

We're now home after a wonerful trip and adjusting back to reality.

How about you?  What’s the best piece of advice you received for travelling with toddlers?

ShowOff Showcase


NewMumOnline said...

You could add this post to Show Off Showcase xx

Sandra Sutherland said...

Good idea, think I'll do just that. ;-)

The Boy and Me said...

Excellent advice, I never ever intend to fly, ever. However, if I do, I shall be using your advice quite fully!

Thanks for linking up to ShowOff ShowCase.

The Boy and Me said...

Thanks Liska!

The Boy and Me said...

And for a car journey? Portable DVD player.

Sandra Sutherland said...

Thanks, I'm guessing the DVD player will certainly come in handy on the plane too when she gets a bit older ;-)