Former flight attendant and new mum Alice Cranfield offers 13 tips for travelling long-haul with baby.
Before becoming a mother, I had worked as a flight attendant and over the years I helped hundreds of parents who braved long-haul flying with their baby. I left the industry a few years ago but found myself harking back to some of that old wisdom when my husband and I recently boarded a flight with our then 10-month-old daughter. Despite my previous professional experience I boarded the plane anxiously, wondering if we were going to be “those people” with a bawling baby.
Flying from Auckland to Sicily, the three of us set out on our first overseas family adventure. Our destination was a mere 25-hour flight away. I’m not going to beat around the bush here – flying with a baby is hard work. Forget selecting movies you’d like to watch or sipping on a glass of wine while reading a trashy magazine, this is not flying as you’ve come to know it. Don’t despair though. With a bit of preparation, you’ll make it to the arrivals lounge in one piece. Here are 13 of my top tips (some learnt through bitter experience) for travelling with the youngest international jet-setters:
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Whenever you can, book flights with an evening departure time so the bulk of flying happens through the night. A day flight means passengers and your child will be awake for much longer periods of time. We ran into trouble when we booked a 14-hour day flight home from Dubai. This meant our baby demanded entertainment for much of the flight, and resulted in two very exhausted parents by touch down.