Saturday, 13 August 2011

Guest post: flying with the family...

We've just returned from our holiday - a two-thousand mile road trip across Europe. We could have flown, but the thought of doing that with children was too much. We chose the gentler, stop when you need to, make-the-journey-part-of-the-holiday option. Unlike Sarah James from the 'Team James' blog, who not only flew but did so with all five - yes, five - of her kids. Here are her survival tips...

"We recently took our children to France on a plane. It wasn’t the first time but it was the first with just two adults (we’d had grandparents with us previously). It was also the first time that we had all five of our kids (number 5 had been an in utero passenger before!) so the grand total was two adults and 5 kids who ranged from 8 years to 5 months old. You may be thinking what sensible person travels on a plane with 5 young children….yeah we did too.

"When we returned I noted down some of things that we had observed on our trip…

  1. You are always going to need fewer clothes than you think for the journey. Even if its -10 outside, the terminal will be a balmy 20+ degrees. The kids are going to shed those layers and guess who is going to be schlepping around the terminal with them hanging over their arm.
  2. It’s quite something when you qualify for the 'groups' check in when it’s just you and your kids you are checking in.
  3. You need to watch what you say to your 8 year old about the whole process of security at airports because they are going to repeat it out loud and proud when you reach security. 
  4. Resist, resist, resist the urge to scream 'lady, do I look like I have time to be a terrorist?!!" at the bored security officer asking you a long list of questions while your two year old swings off your arm and has a melt down about their special toy having to go through the scanners.
  5. The departure gate is a-l-w-a-y-s miles away.
  6. Your kids are going to behave like chimps on a jungle gym when they get to the moving walkways. Every. Single. Time.
  7. Always order the in flight meals. If they are rubbish it gives the kids something to do for a bit. 
  8. Prepare yourself to look longingly and wistfully at your neighbour passenger who has kicked their shoes off and is reading their novel...
  9. Also prepare yourself for the looks of horror on the faces of said passengers when they realize they are sitting near to what...1,2,3, many children!!!
  10. Remember how cool it was to sit next to the window? Yep? Good, because you won't experience that again till you fly without your kids. You’re riding in the aisle pal."

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