Flying with kids – it’s the stuff nightmares are made of for most parents, amiright?
Well, it was for me anyway. The Twincesses were a mere 6 weeks old when we took an 11 hour flight from Paris, France to Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport.
We then had a 4 hour layover in Johannesburg before boarding a domestic flight to Durban. The weeks preceding the big trip literally gave me sleepless nights. Being a seasoned traveller, I was well aware of the exasperated “looks” and nasty comments parents sometimes deal with when flying with a fussy toddler.
I’ve collaborated with Travelstart to bring you some great tips for traveling with kids, so if you’re about to board a plane soon, little one in tow, read on for some helpful advice.
We followed Travelstart’s tips to the letter. We did our research and booked bulkhead seats in advance that came equipped with baby bassinets. We knew we could take our infant car seats on board, which alleviated the anxiety of them getting damaged in the hold.
Doing your research also helps to ensure you have all your travel documents ready as laws have changed dramatically in recent years regarding travelling with children. We had to apply for passports for the babies prior to travelling with them and the passport renewal process can sometimes be a bit confusing.
We packed clothes for all weathers in our carry-on luggage and a few extra sets for those inevitable ‘oopsies’. We were allowed to carry on board baby formula which the cabin crew were happy to heat up for us.
I ensured we had OTC pain medication in our carry on, as well as their favorite plush toys. We avoided toys that made any kind of noise (like rattles).
I was grateful to be able to book a flight that left Paris at 11:30pm, and to my amazement and utter joy, BOTH girls slept soundly throughout the flight, waking only to feed at intervals. I had been a nervous wreck for nothing!
Hearing the first-hand experiences of other parents also gave me some much-needed confidence prior to the trip.
Flying with kids can sometimes be stressful for the parent, but it is often a necessity and being prepared makes the trip enjoyable for everyone on board.
Our plan is to take the kids back to Paris this year to visit the family, and I will definitely be revisiting all Travelstart’s top tips prior to the journey!