We’re taking our big annual holiday next week and Miss 3 is about to experience her first long haul flight.
I am very, very worried. She’s the kind of kid other mums say things about like, “She’s very active isn’t she?” and “Usually you only see boys who won’t sit still”.
Mostly her curiosity, energy and social nature makes me love her all the more. In terms of how we spend 24 hours on a plane together, it’s a little less so.
Some people have good tips for travelling with toddlers. The most useful thing I’ve heard is to talk lots about the trip in advance and break it up into different sessions, so we’re talking about how we’ll have our lunch and then watch some TV and then it will be time for a sleep. And so on.
But I am still worried. The only other long flight we’ve taken was to Fiji just after she started walking, and then we were *that* family, on a plane full of families with small children returning from holiday, that others looked on with pity, a little too smugly for my comfort level.
So we’re researching travel regulations for kids car seats and sleeping arrangements at each destination. We will be staying with friends a bit, and hoping they remain friends. We’re also having lots of chats over our dinner table about the rules at other people’s houses, and how they might differ from ours, but we’ll abide by them anyway. I’m not sure how much a three year old can take in about potential rules made by people she hasn’t met yet, but I’m hopeful some of it is sinking in!
As always, I’ve turned to Google to help me through any problem nagging at me. The site Flying with Kids is, perhaps not surprisingly, pretty helpful. Among a range of other tips I intend to take up, I found this one;
As soon as you board, put your pack of wet wipes into the seat pocket in front of you to keep stickiness at bay.
I will definitely be doing this.
As I see it, there are four key elements involved in making the trip a success. I’m calling them my ‘Holiday KPIs’.
1. Surviving the plane flights without plane-wide shame or divorce.
2. Maintaining the friendships of those dear people who’ve generously agreed to host us in their homes at various locations. The friendships have in many cases lasted many years and considerable distance, so I’m hoping they can also survive a three year old.
3. Miss 3 sleeping when we are all sharing a hotel room. She’s a light sleeper but a fairly well behaved one, but this is a new experience for us.
4. Some time to read my novel, buy some new clothes and maybe get a massage, at some stage.
What else have I missed? Any suggestions?
- The Survival Guide to Holiday Travel (redenvelope.com)