Next week is half term, and the kids and I are going to Germany for the week to see my parents and catch up with friends. I’m a seasoned traveller on my own with two kids by now, doing this every few months or so (John only comes with me now and again for special occasions like Christmas or family dos or weddings – a mutual agreement, it’s just easier that way).
This journey will be slightly different though. For the first time Alex will have his own seat, as he is two years old now and no longer has to sit on my lap, which is a definite plus. The slight disadvantage, if that’s the word, is, however, that he is now also a bona fide, energetic toddler, and for the next year or so, it will probably be quite tricky keeping him entertained (and contained) on a flight (until he’s older and happy to sit still).
Luckily the flight to Germany is only just under 90 minutes long, so this is manageable – even if the worst case scenario happens and he screams and shouts the whole way through, I just have to put up with it for an hour and a bit (sorry in advance, fellow travellers!).
But hopefully it will fine, judging by previous experiences and the fact that he loves aeroplanes and gets very excited to be on one. I’ve also packed plenty of things to occupy and sweeten the journey with (literally!), so I thought I’d share all the things I’m taking with me to keep a 2-year-old entertained on a flight:
1. Firstly, I always pack our Little Tikes backpack with reigns. It’s so handy for the airport to make sure he can run around, but not off. It’s quite hard looking after two little children in a busy place on your own, but this makes it a little bit easier.
2. I picked up these two activity and sticker books from the Poundshop, one is a Paw Patrol one and the other is a Teletubbies one. They both contain stickers, activities and some pages for doodling, so hopefully these will help occupy Alex for a while.
3. A pack of pencils so he can doodle and scribble in the activity books.
4. Mini lollies. They are really handy for take-off and landing, when the air-pressure makes your ears pop. Sucking on a lolly really helps with that, so I always keep plenty to hand.
5. A variety of children’s crisps.
6. Raisins. Because he likes them and you need at least one token healthy snack, ha!
7. I always make sure I get a couple of new books that he hasn’t seen before. Hopefully the novelty factor will keep him focused for a bit and make the time “fly” by quicker.
8. Mini wine gum sweets, because he loves them, and they are an easy and mess-free pacifier if he gets cranky.
9. The ultimate entertainer – the iPad. I always download loads of his favourite programmes from Cbeebies, and we have plenty of toddler games on there, too, so if all else fails, the iPad should do the trick once we’re up high in the sky.
I have learned from past experience that healthy eating rules don’t apply when you’re up in the air. Just pack loads of everything, because when it comes to the crunch and your little one kicks off, you’ll be glad to have some options and plenty of “sweeteners”.
One thing that I wouldn’t pack – and trust me, I learned this the hard way – is chocolate in any shape or form, be that chocolate fingers, chocolate buttons or just simply chocolate bars. They will almost instantly melt, your toddler will be covered in chocolate stains all over and will subsequently cover every inch of your seat aisle in chocolate fingerprints. Très embarrassant when the air hostess walks past and guaranteed gives you a stinking look!
With regards to Becky, she is really no issue any more at all. She loves flying, and usually she is also on the iPad for as long as we are allowed to have it on. And for the remainder, we also take lots of books, colouring & drawing pads and activity books for her to get on with, and that always works a treat.
Safe – and relaxed! - travels, y’all!
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* Linking up with #TheList