I originally wrote this blog post when I was literally in the thick of it. Travelling with a 3 month old and twin 26 month olds wasn’t exactly the smoothest flight. We survived…just barely. Fast forward to present day and we are in the midst of booking our next vacay. It might be a quick flight but I am confident we will get there with minimal tears. Here’s a few tips and tricks I have learned along the way…
Choose a flight that works with your kiddos sleep schedule. I always found DAY flights work better for us because if baby/toddler skips a nap it’s not the end of the world. Better to get to your destination before bedtime. We took a 9pm flight once and the twins criend the entire flight. Never. Again.
Get your hands on lounge passes! Ask your relatives, your retired parents. The lounge is a great place to stop before your flight to do a quick diaper change, feed, stock up on free snacks, take a minute to use the restroom, pump or grab a quick drink! They have a special (contained) space for the kids with a TV that makes it easy to trade off with your partner.
Feeds: Offer baby a snack before boarding. There really isn’t any need to feed during take off to help baby’s ears. A helpful flight attendent told me that kids usually feel the pressure in the ears when descending. In that case, have a bottle (Tommee Tippee bottle warmer for the WIN), soother or boob ready to go when the plane is beginning to descend. You can even ask your flight attendent to give you a heads up so that you are ahead of the game. All 3 of my kids had no issues with their ears… you might be pleasantly surprised.
Screen time: Put all of your dreams of zero screen time aside. Kid friendly headsets help control the volume for your littles ears. I didn’t bother with sound for my littlest and she was happy to watch regardless.
Goodie bags: Prep big zip-lock bags with lots and lots of treasures for your toddlers. A new one every 15 minutes to be exact.
Snacks: lots of them. Teddy grams and little cereal boxes were a great distraction.
Ditch the diaper bag: Pack a big zip-lock bag (I recently discovered IKEA 5 + 6 QT bags=MOM HACK), with wipes, poop bags, diapers and a change of clothes (this might include an extra t-shirt for Mama). Airplane bathrooms are so tiny. No space to put your ginormous diaper bag or backpack.
Sleep environment: The most important part. Pack your baby’s noise machine, crib sheets from home + lovey. Make the room dark. Black out dark. Industrial garbage bags + painters tape do the trick. Baby won’t even realize he’s away from home.
Do your research. Check out what other Mama’s (and Papa’s) have to say about family friendly destinations. Practical advice is the best advice.
Travelling = a change in scenery. You will have the same (kid) responsibilities but in a different setting. Lower your expectations and try to take it all in. I have always been strict with my kids naps purely out of survival mode (aka twins + 1). Just remember to kiss your partner and your babies at the end of it all.