Planning a flight with young kids in tow? Here’s some tips to help!

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I took an 8-hour flight. With just my 3 kids (aged 2, 4 and 7). Yes, just me. Two 8-hour flights, to be exact. And I’ve lived to tell the tale. It’s been a week since we’ve come back to Sydney (after a short visit back to Singapore), and I think I’ve *about* recovered enough to blog. Barely.

Are you insane planning for a plane journey with your young kids too? We’ve been pretty blessed and have been travelling to and fro Sydney and Singapore a couple of times over the last 2.5 years, and Zoie, especially, has been clocking her airmiles since she was just 5 weeks old (when we made the first move to Sydney).

Travelling with kids is one thing. But where the number of children outnumber the number of adults, it makes things a lot more challenging. Normally, we’d travel as a family, but for the last trip, knowing that I would be doing the trip solo, I had to make a couple of changes, as I could not count on a man-slave husband to bear the heavy load.

So here’s my 5 tips for surviving a plane journey with kids in tow.

#1: Pack light.

And I mean light. For our 2-week trip back to Singapore, I was fully intending to only bring 1 large suitcase, but in the end, I brought two (the second one being very much lighter) as I brought back a new pram for a good friend, and packed my normal Babyzen Yoyo into the luggage. But check-in luggage is one thing…

#2: Lean, mean, carry on luggage.

I am not a backpack person. Like, seriously. I stopped using one of those since I graduated from Secondary School. But for the trip, I decided to use my son’s school backpack (a trusty Ikea computer backpack), where I could stow my MacBook, the kids’ iPads, spare nappies and wet wipes. Fashion sense? Leave it till you go for a romantic getaway with the hubby.

#3: No Trunki. I repeat, no Trunki.

Now, I love my son’s Trunki. It’s so cute, it’s so adorable, it means I don’t have to pack any toys in the main luggage. But unless you have some kind of death-wish, LEAVE THE TRUNKI AT HOME. Jayvon whined and pouted, but I put my foot down. No cute riding-on-the-Trunki-up-and-down-the-airport. Nope. Jayvon got a backpack, which I made sure only had the bare essentials and light enough that he won’t be asking me to carry it. And nope, Xavier didn’t get one, because he WOULD bug me to carry it once he gets too tired.

#4: Wear comfy shoes, but NO BOOTS.

I had this vague recollection of having to remove my boots the last time. And I still wore mine this time. Getting my boots off while piling everything before boarding was one thing. Having to balance while putting them back on, while trying to put one kid back on the stroller, repacking the Macbook and iPads back into the backpack, while the 4 year old waves the bag and goes “Mummy! This is yours” and takes the bag belonging to the person BEHIND? Not. Fun. At. All.

#5: Get a GOOD airline.

I am not affiliated with Singapore Air. I wish they would see this and pay me (haha…), but this is not a sponsored post. I made the rash crazy decision to do the solo flight as I happened to see the lower airfare offered by SQ as part of the SG50 promotions (Singapore celebrates its 50th year of independence!).  So while not as cheap as budget fares, it was the best decision ever. The seats more comfortable, and the kids were happy with the attention by the stewardesses, and the constant flow of food and snacks and apple juice.

And this.

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This is how their new TV/Gaming console looks like (lousy phone, lousy pic, sorry!). Awesome to the max. And touch screen on BOTH the handheld AND the main screen. (Yes, I was catching up on the Insurgence movie). My 3 kids, all iPad-savvy (yes, even 2 year old Zoie. Judge me not) easily understood how to swipe to the program of their choice.

There you go! 5 tips on travelling with kids. Oh, and a #6 bonus tip: Make sure you clear your calendar for the 2 days AFTER your return trip. Cos you will need it. Oh, yes you will. You’re welcome.

7 Responses to “Planning a flight with young kids in tow? Here’s some tips to help!”

  1. Karen

    You did it all so well, Mummy! So amaze at how kids strengthen and stretch our abilities. And yes, I love in-flight entertainment. They enjoy, I enjoy! Hope you are recovering well from your 2 freed days.
    Karen recently posted…Raising an avid readerMy Profile

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  2. Justine

    yes, you are mad to travel with 3 kids all by yourself! But you are so awesome for surviving it!! You’re an inspiration. I did see a mom travelling with 4 kids in tow by herself, and she dressed them all in loud matchy outfits and made the older ones look after the younger ones. Not sure 2 days would be enough for me to recover from such insanity streak, but hey, you only live life once eh? =P

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  3. Claudia

    Respect for your courage and energy! I would never ever plan to fly alone with my 2 girls for as long as they are still on diaper and FM. Good tips you’ve got, useful for anyone traveling with little ones even with full support of parents and grandparents.
    Claudia recently posted…Zara The Terrific TwoMy Profile

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