as we approach our next flight from portugal to turks and caicos, i’ve been thinking on what can make our “experience” smoother…anything to help me ease the pain! 1 or 2 hour flights don’t worry me too much, but flying alone with julia to miami and catching another flight to providenciales… is not something i look forward to!
julia’s first flight was at 6 weeks old, from lisbon to miami, i was tense the whole flight, but compared to nowadays, it was easy peasy. she’s been on 18 flights and these are the things i’ve learned along the way –
- when packing for our flight, i keep a couple of lists with things i need to bring for julia – 1) items i need to bring with me on the flight, and 2) items i need to check in. it changes every time, but it’s a great reminder and helps me not forget stuff (once i forgot the formula’s measuring spoon! and last time i wanted to cry when i realized i had forgotten the knit lamb she sleeps with!!)
- i ship diapers and wipes to our destination, it’s less weight we have to carry in our luggage and avoid having to go to the grocery store on arrival.
- right after booking our tickets i call the airline company to ensure we get a bassinet seat, usually only available for longer flights. she doesn’t really stay in the bassinet, but these seats are more spacious.
- we always make sure we have a aisle seat, so i can get up without having to disturb the passenger next to me. julia loves watching people and her surroundings, so i spend a lot of time walking up and down the aisle to entertain her. if both james and i are traveling we will book the corridor and window seat and hope that the middle one will be free for julia to move around.
- i always check in the stroller, this one is personal, but julia loves being carried on the baby bjorn, i feel better traveling lighter and find it easier not having to fold the stroller at the gate.
- if you do bring the stroller with you, make sure you place it in a bag to protect it, before checking it in or dropping it off at the gate, they can get damaged very easily.
- i carry julia in the baby bjorn, a diapers or large bag with all her stuff and a small cross body bag with documents and a phone for easy reach – this seems to work for me – i have given up on having any hand luggage. also, it’s nice to have a free hand in case i need a quick caffeine fix!
- change her diaper right before boarding, i always prefer to use airport bathrooms than airplane ones…
- most airlines give priority boarding, but we actually don’t like being the first ones on the plane and having to wait until everyone boards, so we usually board when we see half the passengers have boarded, just to make sure we will still have overhead space available close to our seat.
- feed her during take off and landing, to help ease the ear pressure, or give her the pacifier to suck on. and bring a couple of familiar toys and snacks.
i try to apologize to our fellow passengers, if julia is being too fussy, but from my experience so far, people have been very understanding – as long as they see i’m making the effort to entertain her and calm her down.
julia is almost 11 months old and is still not walking by herself, also note that some tips work great for some and not for others. do you have any other tips that you swear by? please share, would love to hear!
ps – julia was 11 months in this picture, flying from provo to miami (an easy one :)