We finally made it to Thailand and packing has never needed to be planned so far in advance before. When we travelled with just Ella, I felt like I was packing the whole house to make sure she had everything she needed so we didn’t need to spend more money buying things that we already had. Now that there’s two of them we have double to pack!! It’s helpful that Ella has the same baggage allowance as us now that her ticket is a child fare. Myles gets half the allowance as an infant fare.
Ella is now a toddler who needs loads of activities and attention to stay still/entertained. Myles is teething and started solids so I’m having to think about his food situation while we’re away too.
To overcome Ella’s entertainment situation, I made her a travel activity folder. I bought inexpensive items to put in there so she has plenty to do on the plane. The flight had me a little nervous as the journey to the airport and hanging around in the airport wasn’t that concerning. She’s not old enough to sit and watch a movie on the flight, so I had to be prepared with plenty for her to do. I made sure that she didn’t see any of the items I put together so it was new and exciting for her when I gave her the folder. I was hoping it wasn’t necessary to give to her until we were on the plane. So I the folder in my hand luggage.
Here’s what I packed for her travel activity folder:
- Plastic folder with handle – £1 from Poundland
- FREE colouring pages I printed off the internet of Peppa Pig, Hello Kitty, princesses, castles, fairies, cartoon characters etc
- Colouring pencils set with a sharpener – £1 from Tiger Tiger
- Set of 3 learning books (colours, numbers, animals) – £3.99 from TK Maxx
- A balloon and ribbon, just had it around the house
- Peppa Pig pencil case tin set – £3.99 from TK Maxx
- Drawing paper (I just stapled together some scrap paper as a small pad)
- Small unicorn beanie toy – £1 from Poundland
- Popcorn snack bag (all other healthy snacks/food was with her food bag)
These are the items I prepared on the side as an extra to her activity folder if/when she got board of it. I can also give it to her throughout our holiday.
- Squishy toy – £2.50 from Sainsbury’s
- I’ve subscribed to YouTube premium for the first FREE month and downloaded some videos for her that can be watched offline. This is a last resort entertainment option for her for the plane journey as we had a 12 hour flight to get through and a domestic flight.
- Children’s headband character headphones – £8.99 from Amazon
- Peppa Pig magnetic book – £4.99 from Amazon
- 1 pot of slime – £1 from Poundland
For Myles I prepared a few new teething ring toys and loads of self feeding snacks. I hope he won’t be as much trouble to keep entertained. I made sure to pack a cloth sling in my hand luggage to keep my hands free and him safe from falling off my lap. It also helps if he doesn’t want to sleep in the bassinet, I can pop him in the sling and know he won’t roll off me if I fall asleep holding him.
A few other bits I find useful when travelling with children are;
- Fairy liquid in a small 100ml travel sized pump bottle with a cleaning sponge. You never know when you need to wash something and using a 100ml bottle means you can take it through security and keep it in your hang luggage.
- Freezer bag for food/snacks that need to stay cool during the journey. – Packit (Check out TK Maxx too as sometimes they have this brand there too at a discounted price.)
- Flask with hot water. This can be cooled down when needed in a cup/sippy cup for Myles on the plane. He’s soon to turn 7 months old, so breast milk is still sufficient as a drink for him, but water is also allowed as he’s older than 6 months now. You are allowed to take this through security if you have a baby. (And… I totally forgot to grab this from our kitchen counter when we left!!)
- Store bought food jars for Myles as I won’t have access to a kitchen most days we’re out there.
- A handheld food blender for the days I do have access to a kitchen.
- A fleece onesie for Myles’s plane journey as he likes to keep warm. (Although the airline provide blankets, I like to pack a blanket for each child as well as it’s a little more comforting for them when it’s their own.)
- A children’s travel pillow for Ella so she doesn’t steal mine or daddy’s. 😂
- Enough nappies for the trip to avoid buying nappies out there with brands we’ve never tried on the children’s skin. (All of the space/weight it takes up on the way there becomes free space for gifts/shopping on the way back!!!)
- Laundry powder/liquid and a peg hanger. With a teething infant, he goes through so many bibs in a day that I’m going to need somewhere to hang the hand washed bibs. Some hotels don’t provide any hanging rails and no one wants to sit in a laundrette waiting for laundry when you’re on holiday. (You can buy these for £1 from Poundland. Need it delivered? Try Amazon.)
Specifically for this trip we purchased a double stroller. Although Ella can walk, when we need to get from A-B in a hurry, it will be a lot easier for us to have her in the stroller. It’s also helpful when either of them need a nap and we’re out and about. We’ve tested the stroller out with them both in there and they love sitting next to each other. It has also made our lives so much easier when it comes to moving around with them both, especially when I’m out on my own. (Full stroller review coming soon).
Myles has a “1x collapsible stroller” free allowance whereas Ella doesn’t have a free stroller allowance anymore. The stroller we’ve purchased, collapse’s down into one, is lightweight and not overly big in size, it fits through single door ways. We hoped the airline would allow it as it is a double stroller. They didn’t specify a size, just that Myles’s allowance was 1 stroller. 😬 We flew with Qatar airlines and we were allowed to take the double stroller!!! #win
I also purchased a wrist strap for Ella to wear whenever she does feel like walking. This gives me peace of mind that she can’t just run off, especially in a busy airport. It also frees up daddy’s hands from having to carry her.
- Booking flight times that coincide with their nap/sleep routine will help loads on the flight.
- Always check your baggage allowances. Children and infant fares may have different allowances to adults. If you have any domestic flights, check those allowances too as they might be less than your international flight allowance.
- When travelling with an infant, call the airline as early as possible from when you’ve purchased your tickets to arrange a bassinet. It should be fairly obvious from the tickets you’ve purchased, but it never hurts to be certain.
- When travelling with an infant/child, you can generally prebook your seats in advance. Call the airline as early as possible from when you’ve purchased your tickets to arrange this.
- During take off/landing breastfeed/bottle feed your infant to help ease their ears from popping. Have a snack prepared for your older child. Ella likes fruit so she had an orange for take off and an apple for landing. Landing usually takes roughly 20mins from when they start descending and that’s how long it can take Ella to eat a whole apple (not apple slices).
- Keep them hydrated. It may not be the best idea if you haven’t introduced it, but packing a small 100ml travel bottle of fruit dilute to your hand luggage can help encourage your older children to drink more liquids when travelling. Carton fruit juices that they serve on the plane contain more sugars and salts than a few drops of dilute added to water, you’re in control of how much they have. If they are good water drinkers then this won’t be a problem. Packing their favourite cup or bottle to use on the plane will help them be more comfortable with staying hydrated. Ella really enjoys drinking from the small tubs of water they give out with the meals.
- Pack plenty of spare clothes for your children and at least 1 set for yourself in your hand luggage. (I have once had a plane journey where I had baby poo on my WHITE T-SHIRT! Don’t even know how it got there. Thankfully I had a spare top packed, otherwise that would not have been very pleasant for anyone for the rest of the journey LOL.)
- When folding the clothes into the suitcases, I use the KonMari method and let me tell you, it saves so much space! My suitcase was able to have two layers! (More on my tidying adventures coming soon.)