An unexpected turn of events saw me in Adelaide this week, sans children, liberated but bereft. With time to look around, what I did observe was that 'RADelaide' is quite possibly the best airport in Australia when it comes to catering for parents and their young families.
- Quiet, private and clean facilities for breast-feeding NOT located in the bathroom.
- An awesome kids jungle gym for burning off energy/killing time before a flight (and gaining sleep credits!).
- Several clean and convenient baby change tables.
- Microwave facilities for heating milk, food and/or sterilising.
Having been to most Australian Airports including Sydney and Melbourne, I can attest to their facilities being significantly less accommodating. I had one, less than impressive experience in the Qantas Lounge... when I asked staff where their feeding room was, I was instructed to use the ladies' toilets in which they had kindly placed a chair for this purpose. How kind, not to mention totally unhygienic...!
Holidays are filled with the promise of great times and the creation of beautiful memories. Surviving the transit to and from your chosen destination can be made easier with some simple preparations – remember less is always best when travelling with babies and children. The more you take, the more you have to carry, manage and account for.
Here's a few things that will make life easier
1. Take Less
- On the plane or in the car take things which can easily be replaced.
- Paper cups, paddle pop sticks and napkins make for great games and will keep kids occupied for hours
2. Dummies and pacifiers
- Use a dummy, bottle, breast or natural lolly pop on take-off and landing. The sucking motion can help relieve pressure on little ears. When using a dummy always use a dummy holder/chain. This makes it easier to find & replace, than searching around to find it on the floor when it falls out.
- Pack a dummy sanitzer, you'll need it along the way.
- Use plastic loops for toys and comforters to make them easier to retrieve too.
- Take dark colour light-weight fabric clothing. If you hand wash as you go along, things will simply show less marks and dry quicker for you
- Pack some of your preferred washing detergent and a nail brush to wash as you go along, and a water proof bag for wet things
- Take some older/worn things that, in the case of a big mess, can be thrown out along the way
- Travel with kids is about survival, not setting up life long habits
- If taking a tablet or iPad, pre-load some videos your child likes. You may not always have internet coverage and airlines/overseas locations may not always have content which your child enjoys.
- Take a USB charger and child size ear phones – both with save your sanity
5. Carrying, Prams and Car seats
- Take your own pram or stroller – even if your child does not prefer it, it offers a great back up for carrying luggage or shopping. Neither count towards your luggage allowance on most airlines.
- A baby wearing pouch is also the easiest way to free up your hands.
- Muslin cloths wrapped over a pram can cause your child to heat up very quickly. Take a light reducing cover with ventilation.
- Also take your car seat or booster for the plane, for extra comfort and support (and one less thing to find at oversize baggage).
6. Ask for Help
- Kids and those requiring special assistance always get to board first!!! Ask staff for extra assistance, especially when there are long queues.
- Request giveaways for children, which most hotels and airlines will happily provide.
To help make life easier, we've bundled our best of 'Holiday Hacks' into two easy Survival Kits - for 0-2 and 2+. You'll find exactly what you need without all the running around!
P.S. DO NOT risk taking a dodgy water bottle! For more information see my earlier blog on the Water Bottle incident.....