Those were the Days
My earliest memories of traveling with my three children were when we traveled from Holyhead to Dublin on the Dun Laoghaire – Holyhead service during the eighties. My kids were one, three and five years old what a nightmare.
One large case the size of a shipping container packed with pampers and kids clothing. It was a nine hour crossing on the ferry but my kids had the freedom to roam around the boat. The holidays got easier as they got older
Two years later I scrimped and saved for our flights to Cape town for all of us. My children were so excited when I told them we were flying to Cape Town for a six week holiday to Cape Town. It was their first flight ever. The packing was easier and we carefully packed for summer.
We literally lived in T-shirts and shorts for the hot weather. Most of the time we were at the beach having barbecues with family and friends. What a great holiday and one of many holidays to come.
My adult children still remember the car we drove whilst on holiday. A friend kindly gave us his old banger but it the doors would not open. We all had to squeeze through the door windows. Can you picture that?
The icing on the cake was we were upgraded to first class. Since then my adult kids have been regular travelers.
My eldest son flew to China last year with his family with no hassle but he learnt like I did that you have to be organised. My dream holiday is to take all my grandchildren to Disney World in the not too distant future.
How to travel with Children on Long Haul Flights
Traveling with children is no joke it requires nerves of steel and a prayer. With proper planning, your holiday will be as easy as a nappy change.
Mind you that took an awful lot of patience and practice. If you traveling abroad children by law need to travel on their own passports.
There was a time when infants could travel on the parent’s passport. The law now requires UK citizens including infants to be in possession of their own passport.
It is against the law to represent other members of the family on your passport. For your child to be eligible for a Child Passport they have to be a UK citizen and must be 15 years old or younger. It’s advisable to ensure that your passports are up to date for your upcoming holiday flight.
Give your self plenty of time if you are renewing your passports or applying for your children. Processing time normally takes about 4-6 weeks. The holiday season could take longer.
Make sure that your passport application form has been properly completed. It’s a headache if your passport application is refused because you did not furnish proper information or lack of it.
I always took copies of all my kids birth certificates besides their passports when we did long haul flights as a precautionary measure.
Arm Yourself with Books and Toys
Children love to be in charge. Each of my kids had their own backpack stuffed with toys and lego and books. It took the load off my shoulders.
Once on board and they were comfortable in their own seats they were pretty much settled and we were less stressed.
If they got tired with their toys or puzzles they would watch the in flight entertainment which made their day, as they had total control of the choice of children’s movies.
Children love books I suggested they take their favourite books with them and as a treat would buy their favorite magazine or a book of their choice.
Coloring Books can be a marvelous distraction and release that bundle of energy all children are blessed with. I wished I had a little bit of that boundless energy to see me through the holiday.
Dont forget the crayons and paper otherwise you will be fined by the airlines for graffiti on the windows. Get cheap colouring books you can always throw away.
Small Children love their Favourite Toy
My daughter had a favourite toy which never left her side. It helped her settle for the night and she would go absolutely mental if she could not find it anywhere.
She loved the smell of that blanket and no matter how ragged it looked it was her private property. Ironically enough my granddaughter takes her comfort blanket wherever she goes. She refused to hand over her blanket when it started looking grubby.
Bring the baby seat with you babies feel more comfortable in a familiar seat. They unwind pretty quickly and fall asleep once they are fed and changed. Check with the airlines first if this is permissible.
Name Tag your Kids if they wander off
It’s your responsibility to keep a close eye on all your kids at all times. I could never properly relax at an airport with my brood. One was always straying to the duty-free section, your worst nightmare can come true if you lose your kids at a busy airport.
Baby Products to take with You on Holiday
Before going on holiday find out what baby equipment the travel company you booked your holiday with can offer baby cots, feeding chairs etc. Check if the tour operator is child friendly.
Child car seat
It may be worth taking your child car seat if you driving abroad. Check if car hire companies supply child car seats.
Lightweight buggy or stroller
If you don’t own a lightweight stroller buggy get one. Its light compact and easy to fold up. It saved my back when I pushed my daughter in the stroller. Check out the popular lightweight strollers on Amazon. Alternatively, take a baby sling if you don’t want to take the stroller.
Discuss this with your partner if you really need a travel cot, check with your accommodation or hotel if they provide a cot. If you have an infant borrow or buy a Moses basket.
Don’t forget the Formula milk, bottles, sterilizer and the nappies. I traveled with a caseload of pampers, baby wipes, sudocream as it worked out cheaper to pack than to buy abroad.
First Aid Check List
No holiday is complete without children medicine, band aid and sun protection. Ensure you have the following in your first aid bag
- Baby thermometer preferable digital not one filled with mercury
- Infant liquid pain reliever
- Cup or spoon that has measurements for proper dosage for infants and children
- Bandage and tape
- Waterproof Plasters
- Sting spray reliever
- Eyewash solution
I hope I have included everything for an enjoyable holiday – have a great one