Wednesday, 25 December 2013

LIFE CHANGING TRAVEL FACTS

TIP 1:
Did you know that the 100ml liquid rule doesn't apply to baby liquids? Im not kidding. With any luck the world's terrorists aren't reading my blog. And no, it doesn't mean you can now sneak through your extra bottles of perfume and Chandon in the name of "baby liquid". But it does seriously change a few things if your child is still on the bottle.

Put simply, it means that when you are passing through customs (anywhere in the world, including Los Angeles!) and the security check requires you to declare all liquids, you simply pull out the bottles of liquid that are required for your baby's journey and identify it as such. If it isn't in a sealed container i.e, a poured bottle of milk, then the interesting thing that they are usually required to do is to run the bottles through a particular scan to test if it contains an explosive substance of any form, and then (this was the part that really threw me the first time, I though they were taking the piss!) they ask you to sip a small amount of the liquid in front of them to prove it is edible. (once again, another good reason why you shouldn't attempt to hide your extra duty free perfume using this method).
Have your milk and drink it too!

In saying that, I want to also point out that almost every international and most domestic airline I have travelled with have happily and promptly provided any milk and bottle top ups I have requested during flights, at no charge. If you require your own special milk (or breast milk etc) and don't want to rely on the airlines for it, then the air staff are also more than capable of storing your milk in the galley fridges for you too, since a long haul flight requires your milk to remain chilled (along with your state of mind).

Airlines have been around for a while. Long enough to know that a dilemma such as a hungry baby or a child with an explosive nappy is a potential threat to inflight safety, and as such, MANY INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS STOCK EXTRA NAPPIES AND FORMULA IN CASE OF EMERGENCIES. Never a good idea to rely on this emergency stash, but good to know all the same. Think of it as your parachute.

TIP 2:
Next, the baby bjorn rule. It drives me nuts every time I have to pass through a customs security check point at an airport, and every airport has a different rule when it comes to the "baby bjorn" rule. This refers to whether or not they require you to remove your (often sleeping) angel from the baby
Bjorn again!
bjorn, put it through the security conveyor belt (the bjorn, not the baby) and then re-attach baby to your bjorn two metres and one X-ray machine later. I am the first to agree that safety comes first and I am more than willing to oblige by any rules that mean we are all less likely to be blown up mid air, but it would make my day a lot easier if the airports across the globe (or even just the ones in Australia) could agree on the same protocol. However, because there are some airports that don't require you to remove the bjorn and sleeping baby (because it has no metal in it at all) I always make the effort to ask at each airport before I automatically remove it. Those few times when they wave you through are so, so worth it.

TIP 3:
Flushable wipes. Oh yes my friends, they exist. They can be found in your average supermarket (Woollies, Coles in Aus) in the toilet paper section (strangely not in the baby products area) and they come in the exact same travel friendly packaging as your regular Johnson & Johnson baby wipes. Only, they can be flushed!!!!! Wooohoooooo!!!!! No more man-handling poopy nappies in your left hand, poop covered wipes in your right hand, whilst precariously balancing your wriggling super cute baby above a teeny tiny, ecoli strewn airplane toilet. Flush and walk away!!

INTERESTING FACT 4:
Being Australian, it is common practice to be handed an infant seatbelt as soon as you board a plane. (Domestic included). In fact, a plane is not permitted to take off if a child is not wearing a seatbelt, be it their own if they are older than two years of age, or the special separate one that attaches to yours so they are sitting on your lap for babies. So, you can imagine how odd it is when you board a flight, anywhere in America, for example, and the flight stewardesses say "a what sweetie?!" when you ask them for an infant seatbelt. I don't know the reasoning behind why they don't provide them (ahem, CHEAP airlines!!) but according to the safety regulations, you are also better off NOT STRAPPING YOUR
Issy strapped in, age three weeks
INFANT INTO YOUR OWN SEATBELT as a back up option. Apparently, if in the event of an incident, the force of your own body would potentially crush your infant strapped inside your belt - which would be more damaging than the impact they would receive by being simply let to fly around the cabin. As I said, either way, I simply cannot understand why ANY airline would allow any passengers, especially the infants to travel without a seatbelt, but that's the way it is. And that's the reason why you can't strap them inside yours.

TIP 5:
If your little one is of the age where he/she can sit patiently and engage in an iPad or portable DVD player etc of any form, then they must also (according to most airlines) have their own set of headphones. I learnt this the hard way on a flight from LA to CANCUN, Mexico. Two year old Isabella has recently discovered kids movies we downloaded to our iPad as a brilliant form of inflight entertainment. Much to our delight also!!! So you can imagine how frustrated we were when we were told she "had to have the device plugged into headphones or on silent" for the comfort of other passengers. Does anyone know a two year old who enjoys wearing small ear plugs?? And no, we didn't have a lovely set of children's head phones at hand. So, she simply had to watch Nemo on silent. Seriously.

So, they are some tips of the day. Again, they are things i've found out the hard way. If you've got any more to add, PLEASE email them through!! As the General in the kid's movie "Ants" would say, "It's for the good of the colony!"





 








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