We have been flying both internationally and domestic with our kids over the last ten years. We have travelled with just one child then with two and now with three. We have travelled with them as babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and tweens. Our three kids are currently 10,7,4. We are based in Melbourne, Australia. We also travel with a manual wheelchair for our eldest son who has Dystonic Quadriplegia Cerebral Palsy.
This year we have travelled to Laos and Penang and head to Bali next month. That will be a total of ten flights.
Here are our experiences so far:
At the Airport: Before the flight let the kids use up some energy. Most airports have a kids play area or zone. The play area is always a big treat for good behaviour after we have been through security and immigration when its really important that kids are still and listen.
Boarding: most airlines will organise people using mobility devices and families with young kids to board first. It allows you some extra time to fold up the wheelchair, make your way to your seat and get comfortable. I leave Coopers chair at the door and we help him walk on.
On board: It depends on what age your child is and you know your kids best. When my kids were babies we would book the bassinette seat which allowed us a bit more space and somewhere we could lie bubs while we ate a meal. My kids always slept better in my arms.
We pack lots of new activities for the kids. My kids love drawing and word searches and a scrap book to just journal what they are doing. They also have an iPad to play games and watch movies. Before the flight I usually load a movie each or some tv shows new to them.
Take off and landing: my kids often get sore ears so they have a lolly pop as the plane is getting ready to take off or land.
We also make sure we have a few vomit bags extra as our youngest gets travel sickness. They do have a few in the pocket of your seat but we like ones with a bit more capacity!
We also order the younger kids, kids meals which get served first so by the time they have finished and we have helped them the adult meals are coming around. On budget airlines where you pay for your meal either online in advance or on the spot if available we order 3 adult meals and then just buy a cup of noodles for the younger kids.
Carry On: we loved trying Carry On only on our trip to Penang and will do it again to Bali.
We look three bags weighing 7kgs each. We did have to limit our liquids to 100ml but our kids medicines were exempt.
Most of our luggage seems taken up by medicines and toiletries! It really depends on where we are going to how much we take.
When we went to Laos it was remote so we took a special dose of medicine for Cooper incase he had a seizure and in case he didn’t come out of it himself. We carried a letter from his Paediatrician.
I pack un-mixed broad spectrum antibiotics for the kids. It comes as a powder then you add water if you need to start the course. We get the script from the doctors before we travel. I pack Kids paracetamol and ibuprofen and an antihistamine.Then just the usual suspects of bandaids, electrolyte sachets, sunscreen.
We hope these tips help and get you inspired and excited to book that flight and have an adventure soon!
Please share your top flying tips and what has worked for you as I feel we can all learn from this amazing travel community.