During our Escapes month on AT:The Nursery, we are posting great photos and tips for traveling with children from our readers. Please check here for all the details. The first twenty submissions posted will receive the official AT bib. Hope to hear from you soon!
Twins Jack and Sophie enjoy ice cream for the first time in West Wittering Beach, West Sussex, England. Mom Debra shares some practical tips for travel when the trip includes an overseas plane ride.
Favorite child-friendly activity in West Sussex?
Our children really enjoyed the beach from playing (and eating sand in addition to ice cream!) to watching seabirds and other families on the beach (lots and lots of babies and young children).
This was our first overseas trip with the children to visit their relatives, and although the flights were long, we all made it without too many tears or tales of horror. Here's a few of our top travel tips –
If at all possible book the bulkhead seat. We bought 3 seats for the 4 of us (the babies are under two years) so we had a row to ourselves. We also reserved a bassinet only to find out the bassinet wouldn't work on our bulkhead (between coach and business class) but only the bulkhead dividing the coach section. (From what I understand, every airline is different on their configuration.) This was disappointing, but we made do with creating a "bed" on the floor with lots of blankets and a pad I brought from home. I used the floor for diaper changes, naps, playing, etc, and we didn't bother anyone else (and were left alone by the flight crew).
Once you are through security (put your hand sanitizer, diaper cream, medicines in a quart size ziplock bag in your diaper bag so this isn't an issue), buy water, juice, and milk. It's much easier to make your own bottles when you want and need them and not think the flight crew will be readily available during the flight. They will help you when they come around to serve meals/beverages but their timing won't likely coincide with yours. We bring our own snacks/food from home that doesn't need refrigeration in an insulated bag (cheerios, bananas, cooked pasta, muffin).
I use overnight diapers on all flights and haven't had any blow outs yet. I change them into these right before we get on the plane and for all changes thereafter (take more than you think in case of any flight delays). You need to keep your babies well hydrated during the flight and try to give things to drink during take off/ landings (or pacifier, etc).
Make sure you have travel and medical insurance for all of you if you're leaving the US. Your domestic policy means nothing overseas, so buy something that covers medivac, repatriation, etc. It's not very expensive and could prove to be worth its weight in gold if you have a problem.
Take their lovey, blanket and or anything else that is familiar and provides comfort. I bought extras of each of these and have one in the checked baggage and one with us on the plane (better safe than sorry)
To make the rental place feel like home we take some of their musical CDs from home that we use in the rental car and a small portable player. We also take books, a few toys, and a small flashlight for finding things in the night. Also, from above, we have their loveys and blanket for the crib at night and for naps. We keep their bedtime ritual the same no matter where we are in the world, and I think that helps all of us adjust to a new spot.
Don't forget to send us your favorite family escape!