Travelling is stressful. Travelling with kids under 5 is even more stressful. I should know I’ve got twin boys and I’ve taken countless flights with them and several solo flights.
Along the way, I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t.
Before Your Trip
Preparation is key. Gone are the days when you could shove some clothes in a bag the night before. Now, you need at least a few days to be organised.
Booking – Book flights for nap time or in the morning. Little kids are always much happier after a big night’s sleep. If you book for nap time the take-off will help them to fall asleep. All that lovely motion and rumbling noise is a winner.
Seats – Pick seats at the back of the plane near the toilets. Easy for kids potty training or quick nappy changes. Or, Pick seats at the front with more legroom. They cost a bit more, but give lots of space for your kids to sprawl out and play a bit.
Avoid – Night flights and late afternoon flights. Evening flights and night flights always seem to end up with babies who haven’t slept well and cry through most of the flight. Stressful for you and everyone else on the plane.
Clothes – Pack two changes of clothes in your carry-on luggage. Accidents of all nature are bound to happen.
Snacks – Hungry kids are cranky kids. Always have plenty of healthy snacks packed (snacks help to fill up tummies and ease boredom). Pack as many snacks as you can fit. Too many is better than not enough.
Pack some treats – Bring some little chocolates or lollies that your kids don’t normally have – it might just stop a potential tantrum in its tracks!
Laptop/Tablet/Phone – Download your kids favourite shows from YouTube – this way you still have some entertainment on hand even if you have no wifi. If you have more than one kid, buy a headphone splitter. This way both kids can watch the same show with headphones.
Toys and Fun – Don’t take too many toys, just one or two is enough. I have found it is best to avoid drawing as well. In a split second your child goes from drawing on the paper to drawing on the plane.
Passports/Money/Itinerary – Goes without saying.
I have found that it great to invest in a small carry on luggage for your child. My boys love to pull their Spiderman bags and it stops them running off. This way they can carry their snacks and toys too.
Timing – Allow for way too much time. It always takes so much longer to get through all the lines with your kids.
Queues – Look for priority and family lines. Queuing up with kids is horrendous.
The Pram – Ask for a gate ticket for your pram. This way you can keep your pram right up to the gate. You can also ask for your pram to be delivered to the gate on the other end. This way you can use your pram as soon as you get off the plane.
Rest Day – On the first day, RELAX. Everyone will be a bit grump and tried. You may not have slept well with time differences. Aim for a day by the pool, or enjoying your hotel facilities. Just take it easy.
Activities – Little kids get tired quickly. Plan for one activity a day. This can help avoid potential overtired tantrums. Plan activities around naps as much as possible.
Go with the Flow – Be prepared to leave your routine at home. Keep to a good bedtime as much as possible but relax the routine for a holiday. There might be naps on the go and a few lates nights.
Most of all…have a great time, but, be as prepared as possible.
– Faith Thoms
Many thanks to our guest blogger
Brisbane Holiday Village would like to thank the amazing Faith Thoms for her guest blog on Travelling with Kids under 5!
Scooter riding, Bali living mum of twin boys who loves sleep, but enjoys early morning, can’t live without coffee, reading, and endless cuddles from her two little boys and husband. Faith spends her days working with lovely parents, wiping noses and bottoms, and always looking to organise her family’s next travel adventure!
Faith owns a website called The Parenting Co.