Planning for your flight with kids
Hopefully you read my Travel Sanely with kids post about my recent trip to Botswana with my two.
Honestly, I wish the first thing I could tell you when travelling with kids would be ‘Travel lightly’. I am yet to meet any parent with a kid or two under 5 who can travel lightly. Like I said, I get off on planning so I can never do spontaneous planning. As a result, I had done my research and as I believe in sharing, my tips to help your travel with small kids better will be shared in this post.
- Documents for the kids. This is super important, especially if one parent is travelling with the kids. Check out the Information leaflet from Department of Home Affairs here. If anything is not clear, call the department of Home Affairs for clarity.
- Entertainment for the kids… This is the most important. Get packs, writing, colouring, songs, movies. And hour plus sitting for small kids is a non starter. My two love seeing who has the loudest and shrillest scream and I couldn’t have ascreaming contest on the plane so I had to make a plan. We downloaded videos and songs on spare phones and got each child a head set. I also had activity books, colouring pencils, crayons in case we ran out of battery. Anything to keep them preoccupied.
- Airplane food is not the best, even for adults it is not ideal. Make sure you pack some food for the kids. I had gotten a variety of baby food pouches for them and they carried it in their ‘airplane survival bag’. It was a life saver.
- You hand luggage should be as light as possible but with everything you need.
- Check your handbag for any dangerous items and chuck them out, especially if you are flying. I forgot to remove a pair of scissors…
- Get to the airport early and make sure you have enough time in between flights if you are connecting anywhere in your journey.
- Make sure you carry luggage that you can carry around or push without straining yourself or losing the kids.
- You cannot travel light, just make sure you pack neatly and orderly and that you know where everything is.
- Get a porter. These guys are there to help you… at a small fee of course. My trust issues prevented me from getting a porter at OR Tambo, but everywhere else there was always someone to help.
- A stroller/Pram…. I debated this one with myself for quite a while. It seemed like extra luggage as I was only going to be using it at the airports. I took it with, and boy was it a life saver. If you have a beginner walker, get a stroller.
- Do not try to ‘sush‘ them on the plane if they are laughing and playing. Unfortunately some people will frown down on you, but they are kids. They cannot be expected to behave like kids on the ground and adult travellers in the air.
- Lastly….RELAX. It is an experience for you and the kids. They will get their que from you. If you are edgy and anxious, that’s exactly what they will be. Relax and they will be relaxed and easy.