It feels mad to think it, but only two years ago we were in Australia getting ready to celebrate Christmas – H was fifteen months and we’d had quite the journey from our house to Gatwick, to Forest Row and eventually back to Gatwick three days later due to the snow.
I did a post a while back with hints and things we found worked for us, and things I wish we had done (in a nutshell, had it not snowed heavily causing gridlocked cars, we’d have made our flight with plenty of time to spare. As it was, Shaun had to drive H and I to the station where we then waited even longer as he was stuck getting the car back home – we eventually got a train to Victoria to attempt the Gatwick Express, but all trains were at a standstill, and we missed our flight).
So my biggest bit of advice, especially now the weather is getting colder is to look for a good deal for a day room prior to flying! Get there hours before you need to and if your flight is still on schedule you’ll be ready – and most importantly of all, make sure you have insurance which covers any problems if there’s snow and you end up staying in a hotel for a few extra days!
Of course, there’s also those of us who plan way ahead. If we were planning on going to Australia next year, then you can usually get good deals online around now – though even if you’re planning on going away at short notice then most places have last minute deals.
Next year I would love to head over to the Netherlands for a trip to Utrecht and a few other cities, taking in the Dick Bruna museum – and I’ll be looking for some good deals so we can have a fun few days away – I would really like to try the Eurostar with H, as she’s fine on trains and it could be much less stress than flying!
My top tips for flying with a 15 month old are :
Introduce them to the tv a bit before going. Long haul flights are tough, you can’t always sleep when your child does, and if you get a bit of time to all wind down then the in-flight entertainment is a good place to start. There was plenty of choice and she was a little more interested in looking at the pictures than listening anyway.
Take sticker books – especially if they’re new ones your child doesn’t know. You can pick up sticker books in bargain book stores really cheaply. Alternatively, there’s magazines like the Cbeebies or Friends ones which always have loads of stickers, though I was always worried the chair would end up covered!
Know what your food options are. At 15 months we were offered baby food, mush in a jar. H has never eaten mush as we did Baby Led Weaning, but we did keep everything else (wipes, spoons and so on). We ordered her a child meal which was packed full of sugar, so quickly swapped it with our things.
Buy some new books. We’ve followed quite a few books in series – so Topsy & Tim went down well, as did stories about airports (I can still recite ‘Busy Airport’ off the top of my head several years later).
Finally if all else fails, you can guarantee the remote control will be fun to press all the buttons on. Just make sure you watch what they press so they’re not summoning the stewardess every ten seconds!