Yesterday I was watching the episode of Up All Night where the Reagan and Chris take their baby on an airplane for the first time. They are all stressed and panicked, but of course in the end all is good, and they learn that their lives don’t have to change after having a baby.
A very good lesson.
As an Expat, travel with children, especially air travel, is a fact of life. Something that you can’t avoid, or put off.
Last night we travelled from Belgium to Turkey. And I have to say, it went really well.
When we left our house, it was already dark. We drove to Germany, which is where we were flying out of. The girls slept the whole way, three hours.
Then, we got the the airport, and other than the people on our flight, the entire place was empty and closed. We checked our bags, went through security, passport control and sat at our gate for, just over and hour.
Ela, whose almost three months, slept the whole time. Alara, whose almost four, sat with us, looked at the airplanes, and talked to the older couple beside us. Very cute.
On the plane, we were told there was a free snack, Alara wanted to wait up for this, she ate it, and then laid down, and went to sleep.
We woke up as the plane was descending, got off, did passport control again, got our bags and hopped in a taxi.
I honestly don’t know how we did it. This was not ‘s first flight, she loves to be on a plane, I think the excitement of seeing her grandparents made her a better traveler. Ela, was also very good, perhaps she realized that this was something she’d be doing for the rest of her life.
Here are some tips that I find make things easier:
*Keep your child talking. Talk about what you see, what’s happening, where your going. I think this attention helps them stay calm.
*Play a man on man defense, each parent takes a kid, and switch it up. That way each child gets what they need.
*Forget about watching your own movie, listening to your own music or reading a book.
*If you see a bathroom, use it.
*Give yourself plenty of time to get everywhere. You don’t want to be running through an airport dragging your kid and their things behind you!
*Show no fear! Kids can smell when you feel out of your element.
All this being said, I hope I haven’t jinxed air travel for us!