So your flights are booked, your passport is in it's cute but utterly useless holder (because the agents ask you to take it out anyway) and you've planned your "airport outfit"... then your toddler yells "PAW PATROL" at the top of their lungs and you remember your days of being a chic air passenger aren’t necessarily over, but definitely a hell of a lot harder. This alone, is my intro to Flying Alone...with a 2 year old.
After booking Sevy and I's flights to New Orleans, I felt a sense of relief to be going home, but almost immediately the anxiety set in. I was flying with a toddler, for 10 hours, alone. I started writing lists of everything I needed - what’s going in the carry on, what’s being checked, etc. Flying with kids is never a walk in the park. No matter how old they are, they all need at least 2 pieces of luggage and their own carry on filled with full on entertainment. There is no right or wrong way, each parent has their own method - here is mine.
1. Checked Bag: I like to bring nappies and wipes for at least half the trip. I know some of you like to buy those things once you get to your destination. I always find it easier for me to be able to settle in for a little while before having to worry about those little things. Also, I brought her scooter for entertainment, as the handle bar comes apart from the base.
2. Carry On: An assortment of healthy snacks and cheeky snacks to change it up a bit, I always bring a surprise chocolate (this time we didn't even use it so I'll bring it on the flight back!) and Calpol because there's no way I'm getting caught on a plane with a kid who has a headache! Change of pyjamas and socks, a few nappies and pack of wipes, toothbrush/paste. Ipad/Iphone/Tablet - geared up and jam-packed with all her favourite movies/shows/games and her Peppa Pig headphones, her pillow and blanket from home!
3. SURPRISES: These go a long way! I bought two books that she hasn’t read yet, two toys that she hasn't played with yet, and the surprise chocolate as mentioned above. I staged how I gave these to her by giving her a new little surprise every two hours until she had them all and was basically ready for a sleep.
We flew British Airways, as they have direct flights from London Heathrow to New Orleans - this just made my single-handed journey a tad bit easier. The attendants on the flight were BRILLIANT! Honestly, I couldn't have asked for a more supportive, attentive and caring crew. I've never flown and had an outstanding experience that shaped the entire flight, until now. Maybe I should tweet them? Anyway, moral of the blog post is: Sevy and I flew 10 hours together, had one tiny meltdown and made it in one piece to New Orleans. Would I do it again? Well, I have to get home somehow.
How do YOU fly with kids?