Thursday, 19 December 2013


In recent discussions with my friends, family and colleagues (and total strangers) I have become increasingly aware of just how many personal tips Mums and Dads have for travelling with kids but have never thought to share them!

Let's change that! Because quite seriously, some of these tips are fantastic!

Can you hold my child please?
Like, for example, my friend Caroline who has a darling little 20month old boy called Edward and is six months pregnant with her second. She is English but lives here in Australia. Hence, she has some experience when it comes to travelling with little ones on long haul flights.

Rather sit next to this one?
Caroline mentioned yesterday that she has found a very distinct difference between the treatment she is given from airline staff if she makes an effort to "spruce up" her little one prior to boarding the plane! In other words, if she boards that flight with darling little Edward covered in snot, breakfast and half a container of play dough, whilst still wearing his half disintegrated favourite spaceship pyjamas, then she is in for a rough flight. On the other hand, if she boards with Edward, hair neatly combed, shoes on the right feet, clean t-shirt, nose freshly wiped, and perhaps a cute teddy bear tucked under one arm, the response is instantly a positive one... from airline staff and from fellow passengers.

Ok, this is taking it one step too far!
Perhaps that one should be an obvious one. But, I have to say, in my experience of sitting next to fellow travelling parents with their kids, nine out of ten of them think it is acceptable to let their little ones resemble homeless monsters just because they are on a plane. It doesn't do them any favours. And understandably, there's no way in hell you're going to have them looking immaculate when you're disembarking (or even half way through that flight) but its the first impression that makes the difference.

Try the Trunki for a cool travel case
Another great tip from a dear friend Jo. She recently bought her little boy Ollie a "Trunki" suitcase for the long haul flights she does with him from Australia to the UK. A Trunki is essentially a kid's travel case on wheels, with a lead you pull along like a horse and the kids can either pull it themselves (hello novelty!) or sit on it and be pulled along by Mum or Dad through the airport. They are usually groovy colours and i'm yet to see a kid with one who isn't grinning like a cheshire cat. They easily fit in the overhead lockers on flights and are a great way of keeping their gear separate from your own. Also, a brilliant alternative for toddlers, if you're now travelling without the pram or have checked it in with your luggage and want to zoom around the airport without using the grotty kindly supplied airport prams. Kind of like a pram and a travel case in one... kills two birds with one stone. They're not out of control expensive either - around $60 AU. A good investment if you do a fair amount of travel - or even as little overnighters for visiting friends.

Another tip is all about child psychology in the lead up to the trip. Our kids may be young, but they ain't stupid and you would be amazed how far a little bribery can go. Even if it is on your terms either way! Reason with them. Practice your Balinese bartering on them. Describe to them what is on offer, in their favour on board that plane, if they behave their very best. There is inflight entertainment (movies, games, tv series). There are desserts with the meals. There's a bag of toys they've never seen before that you cleverly bought at the Hot Dollar shop the week before. Seriously, word them up. And then they are essentially working for the reward system by getting these things as incentives for being a little angel instead of jumping on board, behaving like ratbags and then being given a stack of entertainment to get them to pull their heads in (negative reinforcement).

So, these are just a few tips i've gained from amazing, brave, well travelled women I know. I'd also like to hear your tips, if you're reading this and you've got one to add. Email me.
I bet you've got one...

No comments:

Post a Comment