Travelling with Babies/Toddlers from an ex flight attendant/travel agent mum.
I worked as an airline stewardess for 7 years before becoming a luxury travel specialist and cruise consultant. When we fell pregnant with Grace we could not wait to take her on all the holidays and city breaks we had on our bucket list, she was always going to be a well travelled child with a mum in the travel industry and a dad who loves the sunshine. When she was 4 months old we went to Edinburgh for a city break and decided to fly so that she could start getting used to the airport environment and flying, and also because I love flying - I miss being a flight attendant and waltzing through the airport in my dress & heels pulling my little case behind me.
So top tips for flying with a baby/toddler and what to pack!
You can pre order all the formula you need from airside boots so dont worry about filling your case with tons of little bottles or boxes of powder. Breast feeding mamas you can take as much breast milk as you need through security. Now for UK airlines ( im not 100% on other airlines policies but I do know easyjet, Norwegian and Jet2 off by heart so just ask if you need advice) you can take 2 items for baby in the hold of the aircraft for free - so a pram & carseat , Pram & travelcot etc. We took our big mamas and papas Occaro to Edinburgh but when we went to Ibiza we took the bugaboo bee which folded so small and light it was fab but still big enough for comfortable naps in the afternoon and evenings, although strollers are fab for holidays & those ultra compact strollers like the Yoyo or Joie can even go in the plane overhead lockers - just keep it in the carry bag & dont tell the airport staff as they tend to get cranky although they are made for the plane. You can also bring on-board approved car seats to sit on a paid seat if you have 2 under 2 for example or just want a little extra space - Britax have one so do check it out. You can also use a cares harness and similar approved seat harness's, do check out your airlines t&Cs first before purchasing or taking with you.
So you have made it through the airport & onto the plane - Dont panic, feed baby as and when you need and do not be ashamed to breast feed - You cabin crew will likely recommend you feed baby on take off & landing to help with their ears and babies usually sleep throughout flights, If your baby cries or toddler plays up dont worry, its normal and no-one will judge you. top tips for a toddler? pack a new toy they have never seen before they will love it and be occupied for ages! also pack crayons, paper, snacks & preload films onto a phone or tablet for longer flights.
You can take your stroller or pram to the gate before it goes into the hold however be prepared that on the other end you will not receive your pram until baggage reclaim.
When booking a holiday with little ones always look at the transfer times, We loved a hotel in Majorca but an hour transfer time was not going to be viable for us with an 18 month old so we chose Ibiza and a lovely family resort called ALUA MIAMI in ES CANAR which was a 30 minute transfer and Towards the end Grace did become irritable and I was so glad we went for the smaller transfer time and smaller island. I always look for resorts with small children's pools & water slides or parks because you know there will be fellow like minded parents with babies and toddlers of similar ages to meet and play with. A good tip is to find a resort with indoor activities too - believe it or not it does rain in Spain,Greece, Turkey etc so an indoor soft play or playroom will be a life saver for that rare occasion.
I do believe and I see it often working as a travel agent you get what you pay for, I always filter our holidays by 4*, Family friendly, Beach, Pool & transfer time. The sea in the Mediterranean is often warmer than the hotel pools so bare that in mind too, we spent more time at the beach than the pool because Grace could play in the sand and paddle in the sea or go in her inflatable boat to see the fishy's and I didn't have to keep worrying about her slipping in the pool or around the pool or the her getting bored because she had her bucket & spade and just loved to dig. All Inclusive can be very repetitive and not the best even in the 4/5* resorts but with children its winner and worth every extra penny, They can get drinks & ice-cream as much as they like, they can eat when they like and you dont need to worry about packing a case full of snacks.
With younger babies I would recommend looking at apartments rater than hotel rooms or at least hotel rooms with kitchenettes so you have the kettle & hob for warming milk, sterilising and baby food. When we went to Edinburgh we took milton cold water sterilising tablets and a travel steriliser that fit nicely in the suitcase as our hotel room didn't have a kitchen but It did have a kettle for making bottles although we only went for 4 days so we packed Aptamil pre made bottles from the airport boots.
So if your looking to travel on holiday with your little one/ones for the first time do not be put off, It can be a really enjoyable experience, Look for resorts within a 2 hour flight, Good quality hotels & resorts, Short transfers and have the best time! any questions do message me im more than happy to help.
P.S - Favourite holiday company at the moment has to be JET2 Holidays! check them out! great prices, nice planes & fantastic customer service from start to finish I cannot fault them and will continue to use them for my personal holidays & my clients.
Best holidays buys:
Trunkies! amazing Grace loved being pulled along the airport on it & it fit under the seat in front on the plane.
Asda swimming nappies £2 a pack! bargain we took 2 packs for a week.
Aldi Baby sunscreen its got a 5* UVA rating & half the price of branded creams.
Next swimwear & Jelly Shoes