Let’s start with the plane. In next posts from series „trip-with-kid“ will be about travelling by train, by car, on foot. But plane usually scares parent’s the most. So many hours, so many people. So what?
First of all – we were flying with our girls, since they finished 3 months. We took flights which were 1-hour-long and also those, which are 12-hours-long. And there was one (one!) situation, when we had a little problem. And the problem was not our fault: I asked a stewardess for warm water (to warm up a bottle for Hanna) and she took the bottle from my hands, put it into microwave and brought boiling hot. And then the passengers around had to stand few loud minutes of cooling down the milk of hungry Hanna. But except this one – if you plan and predict a bit your flying time – it really can be totally all right.
In most airlines the infants/toddlers (up to 2 years old) are flying for free or almost for free. On the legs of parents. But it doesn’t mean that they can always have the same amount of luggage that the adult. It’s worth to check, because there are different rules for different airlines in different countries. Some allow only hand luggage, some up to 10 kilos, some allow the car-seat for free (if it has a special size, in this case contact the airline in advance!), some allow a stroller for free (can be useful, if you have to change the flights a lot and spend a lot of the time at the airports, running from one side to another). Also depends on the airlines – the company usually offers a little bed in the airplane for the babies until 10 kilos. It’s on the front of the plane and it’s really really really useful.
Of course the easiest children are a sleeping children. So from our experience we can say that it really makes sense to take the night flights. At the beginning I was afraid and had doubts: what if all the people want to sleep and my kids are having a party? But no, no, a tired kid will sleep faster at night.
We have never had problems with the girls: that they were loud or naughty and other passengers were looking angry at us. Sometimes the girls were asking others some questions, more often sharing some cookies with people around us.
I think it’s really important to prepare the kid for a flight: explain what will happen where, talk a lot about it (not very creative: just like with everything in life!;). Before the long flight to Mexico we were watching planes with Hanna and she simply couldn’t wait for the flight. She knew it will be loud, she knew it will be long, she knew she should be a good girl, because there is a lot of people around us.
For small children the surprising thing can be the starting and landing and this strange feeling in ears. Solution? For babies: drinking. For bigger kids: a favourite chewing gum or drink.
What you also never should forget is wet wipes (ALWAYS useful), more than needed diapers (sometimes the flight is much longer, the airplane has to wait etc…) and clothes for change.
We also always had with us a favourite teddy bear, a little pillow, a blanket (to make it all homey and cosy), some new little toys, few books, paper, pencils and some little bullshit (balloons or little ropes). It’s worth to remember that everything can be a toy, from a cup for coffee to ropes of papas pullover.
I know that some parents have problems with their kids, because their kid like to eat only things they know. In such a case it make sense to take to the plane some food, because especially in some exotic airlines – the meal can be also exotic. My girls eat everything :)
Ok, and what about some longer flight, with many hours at the airport in between? On some airports there are very cool places just for killing the time with kids: playing grounds or even swimming pools. But I do believe that intelligent people are never bored, and intelligent parents always find things to do for their kids. You can build a house from hand luggage, chairs and blankets, you can play thousands games, you can count people with red backpacks, you can sing, you can hug and talk, you can drive this super cool trolley through the looooong corridors.
Some time ago there were many online discussions about the idea practised by some airlines about opening special zones in the plane just for families with kids. The passengers could pay more for a guarantee of not sitting next to family with kid. It made me soooo angry! Of course I also wouldn’t like to spend 12 hours next to some spoiled awful crying kid but hey, this is the job of a good parent. And really not every kid is like this. There were people telling us thank you after flying next to us and having a chance to interact a bit with Hanna. I really wouldn’t like to be put to some mamas+papas ghetto at the end of the plane. And Im wondering what will be next? Paying more for not sitting next to somebody who snore, next to somebody disable, next to somebody, who is ugly? Wrrrr.
This post is the beginning of a new series on the blog: “Trip tips: Trip-with-kid”. We start we a plane, then there will be plane, car, feet etc etc. We hope you like it! We hope it will be usefull!
Our first book is out!
We have published our first book (for now just in Polish:) about our Central America Trip.
See, read and order here »