Mid Haul with a Toddler
LONDON GATWICK -> FUERTEVENTURA
4.5 HOURS IN THE AIR
One of my first posts for the blog was ‘Long haul with a 1 year old’ which to date is still my most read post. It was part of the reason I wanted to start a blog. I found reading other peoples on similar scenarios set us up well for our Trip to Mexico.
I decided to re create the advice. With the changes iv made to traveling mid haul with a 19 month old. We found a year to be a tricky age to travel as Ottilie was into her walking practice and moving around. Although Ottilie was perfect on our long haul flight I hoped that 19 months would be a ‘easier’ age to travel as she understands what I am saying and is into more games and toys.
We decided to do the Valet Parking at the Airport which was well worth the extra money! Being able to drop off your car and have it parked so close to the terminal was a godsend especially as we had a super early start and flight (see photo of very tired babe above As I am a natural panicker when it comes to time I made sure we were there nice and early to eat and get some plane snacks.
We had a Wagamama breakfast (if you haven’t had one, DO, best breakfast) of pancakes and avocado toast prior to our flight which she ate a lot of. We then did the traditional buy half of WHSmith magazine and snack section. Somehow I became relaxed on time and we ended up being called to our flight as we were THAT late. Yup we were that annoying flustered family running on to the plane, much to my OCD horror!
Gatwick airport gets a big thumbs up from me in terms of their ‘family security’. Being able to queue and sort our bags out in a relaxed environment was amazing, I may be a over protective parent but I often find it to be quite an overwhelming place for little ones. So having a special less manic security is a big plus. The main point is that they are tolerant on milks and foods over 100ml for the babies and tots. This was our first flight without milk but we did have pouches which they were able to authorise.
I previously did a post on our Keep Em Quiet bag which I ordered in time for the journey. I decided to take the whole bag on the flight. In hind sight I could have just picked a few toys/activities/snacks from it and packed the rest for the holiday and return journey.
On the flight to Fuerteventura Ottilie wasn’t interested in many toys. She just wanted to eat as much as she could. She managed to eat her way through the majority of our snack bag. I am usually quite conscious of what she eats and her sugar and salt intake in a day. However I put my hands up and say all of that went out the window on this flight! I am pretty sure she ate 3 bags of crips… #mumguilt
We had a window seat and a middle seat. I felt slightly guilty for the lady sharing our row as she had to turn her music up nice and loud to drown out Ottilies demands and loud chewing. The best bit of flying with under 2s is the fact they are FREE. The worst bit about flying with under 2s is the fact they don’t get their own seat…
Ottilie naturally wanted to move around tons for the majority of the flight and we managed to keep her entertained for around 2 hours using food, looking out the window and her book from the bag among other bribes. She did have a bit of a wobble half way in as I think our early morning was catching up with her. Luckily it was a short (but loud) fight and she went to sleep on our laps!
Keep on travelling
This was a short and reasonably easy flight to take her on. I love how much more people seem to be traveling with their little ones and going abroad. I do get a few people ask questions about how difficult it really is. A lot of parents I speak to are still a bit anxious to lock themselves on a plane with a baby or toddler (naturally). Like with most things the more relaxed you are the easier it will be. I do look at families of 2 and more kids with a whole lot of admiration though. One hurdle at a time!
Top 5 necessities to pack for the tot
- A pillow and blanket. We do not travel without Ottilies small “cushy” AKA pillow and her blanket. Planes can get really cold and the pillows are great for making an uncomfortable space comfortable. I also find she enjoys having some home comforts with her.
- Snacks, snacks, snacks. I wrote this on our long haul post and it is still as important. Snacking is a great way to keep them entertained and satisfied. Ottilie takes quite a long time to eat a pack of puffs or raisins so both are good for biding some time.
- Nappies, wipes, change of clothes. Ottilie is very good with her clothes these days and the silly part of me almost didn’t pack a full change of clothes. Luckily I did as she managed to leak out her nappy within about an hour on the flight. Something she hasn’t managed to do for months but chose her moment on a packed plane. Thank goodness for the change of clothes! I also find a change of clothes can be good to go from 1 climate to the next. She wore leggings and a jumper for England and the flight but changed into a light jumpsuit for Fuerteventura so she was nice and comfy on arrival.
- Toys,Books,Games. Any distractions are handy on a flight. Before we left I let Ottilie choose 5 smalls toys to put in a little bag. She chose mostly cars and a tractor which kept her happy and faffing putting things in and out of the bag.
- Emergency Pack. I usually have Calpol and teething granuals in mine. Plus some painkillers for the adults of course and some chew sweets for take off and landing to prevent ear popping.