On October 18th, the JA Douglas McCurdy Sydney Airport welcomed some of our tiniest travelers for a fun filled morning at the airport that included checking out the Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting trucks, a scavenger hunt through our terminal, a climb up to the top of our weather tower and a visit to Breton Air where we watched jets and helicopters take off right from the hangar.
As parents, we understand travelling with children is not always easy but well-travelled children become world travelling adults. The time we spend with Cape Breton Mommy Connections whether it be the Mom and Baby program or the Travelling Tots group, allows us to share some of our favorite tips but also hear some great tips from other parents.
Flying with your infant or toddler soon? Here are some of our favorite tips to help you out:
- Devote the Day- As exciting as it is, flying is an ordeal, especially with children. Devote the day to travel, arrive early with plenty of time for security, take advantage of boarding early with children (to ensure the overhead space we know you’ll need). Also, don’t plan anything with big expectations for your travel day (looking at your Disney go-ers), your babe is exhausted and chances are you will be too!
- Bring a Lollipop– I can already see the eye rolls from this tip because really, who wants to give their child a sugar high before takeoff BUT you know what is worse than a busy child on a plane? A child suffering from pressure pain. If your child cannot pop their own ears, bring a lollipop (I usually use a ring pop) for them to suck on. It will also keep them busy for a bit too!
- Downsize your Stroller – forget travelling with your huge stroller. It’s bulky and heavy and you’re going to need your arms for other things. Invest in a smaller umbrella stroller, they’re usually pretty inexpensive and perfect for travel and can be used as a spare stroller for other caregivers afterwards.
- Take your Car Seat – your car seat travels free. Save yourself the agony of having to weigh this one out and just take it. You know and love your own car seat and you won’t have to spend the money renting and installing an unfamiliar one.
- Plan as if There Will be No Snack – Chances are snacks will be available for purchase on your plane but flight attendants are busy and may not make it to you before a meltdown. Avoid all of this and pack your own. Make sure the snacks you take are safe for travelling.
- Plan as if There is No In-Flight Entertainment – not all flights and especially the smaller ones often aren’t equipped with inflight entertainment. Plan accordingly. One of the best tips I’ve ever received about this one is creating a busy bag – a small bag with about $10.00 worth of never before seen dollar store items guaranteed to at least bring a little entertainment to your flight.
- Plan as if There Will Be No Nap – travel days are often crazy, with lots going on your tot may not nap. I don’t know why but it always seems that children finally fall asleep right before landing, causing you to a) wake them up prior to deboarding the plane or b) make as little movements as possible while deboarding but inevitably leading back to a – waking up. Going in without an expectation of a nap allows you to plan activities accordingly and if they do nap, it becomes a happy coincidence.
- Make it an Adventure – As adults, sometimes we forget how exciting flying can be. You start in one place and go to an entirely different one in a matter of hours! We know that our children feed off our emotions so be excited and have tons of fun. After all, this is about spending time with your family.