Tips by Travel with Tots
We’ve put together the following tips to ensure a safe and happy holiday
Long Car Trips
- Pack food for yourself so that if the kids are happily sleeping at meal times you can keep driving until babies or kids are awake and sick of the car.
- If your baby doesn’t like to be in the car in the dark try switching on the overhead reading light or if tha oft is too distracting for the driver bring a battery operated night light and put it in the back seat with bub.
- Bring your little ones favourite cd’s and have a sing-along to Playschool or the Wiggles, also bring some nice relaxing sleepy time music.
- The national public toilet map http://www.toiletmap.gov.au/can help you plan your journey with stops based around where there are loos. If you have a recently toilet trained toddler; consider using pull up nappies for the journey just in case or pack a travel potty
- Bring along a selection of toys and perhaps purchase a couple of small ones specifically for the car trip, keep them hidden until boredom really kicks in and then bring them out for a nice surprise.
- Tips from our community on long car trips with toddlers
At the airport
- Get to the airport early, that way you can check on seat requests (i.e. bassinet or bulk head requests) you can feed baby/ tot and feed mum and dad.
- It also give you a chance to have a walk around, and find an empty departure gate to run (or crawl) around to burn off some energy.
- Remember you will have to take your baby out of their stroller or carrier etc. for security so if a carrier is very complicated to put on perhaps wait until you have cleared security
- Pack babies foods, formula and drinks etc. in a separate resealable plastic bag and present it to security Change your baby right before boarding. It is much easier to change a nappy at the airport than it is in the plane toilets so give yourself the maximum amount of time between plane toilet changes.
- Get to your gate early, generally parents travelling with kids are allowed to board first to give you time to get organised in your seats.
- Community tips on best strollers for airports
On Board The Flight
- Take plenty of snacks, kids appetites may vary to the timing of the travel cart plus snacking fills in some time.
- If your child has only recently been potty trained, you may want to consider putting them in pull ups or a nappy for the flight just in case
- Stay calm even if your child cries, don’t worry about what other passengers think, you are doing your best!!
- Make sure you take Paracetamol with you on-board in case of ear aches or other pain.
- Put some breathable fabric over the top of the bassinet to shield baby from lights in the cabin.
- Try to keep your kids hydrated by frequently offering water and perhaps occasionally juice.
- Ask the hostesses for help if you need it, most of them will be really willing to help.
- If you need hostesses to heat bottles for you, ask them in advance of when you need it, they are often busy with catering duties etc. so may
- If your baby takes a dummy, let them have it on take-off and landing to ease pressure on their ears, feeding babies on take-off and
- You can ask cabin crew to keep your meal warm while you feed your kids and they can bring it to you when you are ready (within reason.)
- Dress your kids in layers, planes can be very cold or very hot, and layers mean you can adjust their clothing to suit without having to
- Let the kids have a wander and stretch out by strolling up and down the cabin every now and again.
- As much as possible stick to your child’s bed time routine for evening or night flights, change them into their pyjamas, read a story and have a bottle etc. before having a sleep.
Flying with babies and young children
- You need to order a baby/children’s meal with the airline at least 24 hours before departure. Many people assume the airline will automatically provide a baby or child meal because you have booked for a baby or child, this is not the case, it must be ordered either through your travel agent or directly with the airline.
- If your child has only recently been potty trained, you may want to consider putting them in pull ups or a nappy for the flight just in case turbulence stops them from being able to leave their seat.
- If your baby takes a dummy, let them have it on take-off and landing to ease pressure on their ears, feeding babies on take-off and landing also works, chewing gum or a chewy sweet will help to clear older kid’s ears.
- Ask the hostesses for help if you need it, most of them will be really willing to help. If you need hostesses to heat bottles for you, ask them in advance of when you need it, they are often busy with catering duties etc. so may take a while to get the bottle ready so don’t wait until you have a screaming hungry baby to ask. You can ask cabin crew to keep your meal warm while you feed your kids and they can bring it to you when you are ready (within reason.)
- A lot of parents are concerned as to whether they can take their babies formula/milk on board, we recommend checking the government’s Travel Secure website for the latest information on liquid restrictions and exemptions for baby travel to make sure the contents of your bag will be allowed onto the aircraft with you.
- 18 tips from a mum/flight attendant on flying with kids
Flying during pregnancy
- Firstly please visit your doctor to get the all clear for travel and arrange to contact your doctor by phone or email for advice if needed or get a referral for one at your destination. Also check that your travel insurance covers pregnancy related issues.
- Pack snacks for the flight so you can eat regularly & drink plenty of water when flying.
- When flying wear flight socks / stockings and comfy loose fitting clothes on the plane, don’t forget to wear loose fitting shoes on the flight or you may not be able to get them back on again!
- Ask for an aisle seat for flights so you can get up and down regularly to stretch your legs and let’s face it, pee.
- Bring antacid tablets with you, especially if you are travelling to a destination with different cuisines; no one wants a holiday full of heartburn!
- Community tips on international flights while pregnant
At your destination:
- Getting out into the afternoon sunshine can help your kids adjust to time differences quicker.
- Bananas are great baby food for travelling; you can get them just about anywhere in the world, you know they are ‘safe’ and you don’t have to worry about the water they have been washed in.
- If you need help finding baby products your hotel concierge should be able to point you in the right direction.
- Get your kids involved in your holiday, pick up brochures of attractions and let them chose something they would like to see. Let them help with map reading and planning the day to day activities.
- Be careful with water at your destination; if the local water is not safe for drinking be careful with teeth brushing; use bottled water for rinsing. Stopping little ones from drinking bath water can also be hard.
- Don’t assume pools are fenced off, many countries have more relaxed rules on pool fencing than Australia so check it out yourself before you let your kids explore the surrounds.
- Baby or child proof your hotel room as much as possible as soon as you arrive; check TV stands are secure, make sure doors to balconies are locked or cannot be opened by kids, for crawling babies think about placing bins with plastic bag liners out of reach. Have a good look around to see what hazards there may be for a child.
- Teach older children the name of the hotel you are staying in and/ or give them a business card of the hotel in case of separation.
- If you are breastfeeding make sure you stay well hydrated in warm climates, for more tips on breastfeeding and travel see our article here
- Have an amazing time and take lots of photos!!
Travel with Tots
Travel with Tots is your online guide to all you need to know for travelling with your little ones in tow.