Well, it feels like a long time ago since the 'hips' and I were on that crazy flight, and as we are about to embark on another one (very little in comparison thankfully), I better get some more tips and tricks up. So once again, off we go:
Make sure you get on the plane when they invite you too. Often families are allowed on first. You leave your pram / stroller with the staff, and then they unload it for you again when you reach transit or your destination. Because they are just loaded where the wheelchairs are kept (somewhere up high), you do not have to deflate the wheels...or anything crazy like that.
Get the 'hips' on the plane, comfortable, and grab as many pillows and blankets as possible. Apologise in advance to all those around you.
We packed a couple of bags full of the following items:
Fave toys (just a couple of familiar items)
Sticker books, drawing books, little paperback books, puzzle books etc.
We had a fab Usbourne book about planes - much to Hip 1's delight.
A couple of little cars, dinosaurs, just cheap bits that Hip 1 had never seen before. We brought them out at various stages throughout the flight to try to prevent boredom.
Biggest godsend - portable DVD player. Hip 1 insisted on not liking the earphones provided on the plane, so thankfully we had the DVD player which he could play quietly and it kept him happy. The A380 aircraft even have a plug socket under each seat so you don't have to worry about batteries dying etc.
Spare clothes, PJ's (so to try to get some sleep happening...sleeping bag for little hip), toothbrush etc.
All kept in a fabulous miniture wheelie bag (Hip 1's had pictures of planes on the front...big smiles all round). Not that he wheeled his wheelie bag. That ended up being hubby's job (and I won't say I told you so....)
My bag (well, my bag taken up with kids stuff..I think I had a book and that was it, not that I've read a page yet):
Snacks and spare baby food
Water and milk (customs are fairly lenient on liquids with baby bags..but I have heard of some people having to taste liquids infront of staff). I believe you are allowed as much liquid as you believe necessary for a baby / child on the flight. You may have to get rid of water though before you board. Airlines will prepare milk for you, but beware, if you need it warmed (and its v cold), you may have to wait a while. I even got Hip 2 to convert to real milk at 11 months so I wouldn't have to take formula with me. Saying that, I did take a couple of those ready made ones in cartons so I could just use in emergencies.
Wipes, nappy bags, wipes, wipes, wipes....
A travel blanket (thin but warm)
Panadol and other other drugs you might deem necessary
Ummm, prob about it but felt like a lot more.
As plane takes off its really important that the kids drink something to get their ears adjusted. Having said that 'Hip 2' sucked away on her dummy, and later on was asleep during take off, and she didn't have any issues. Again though, the A380 aircraft is so large, you hardly feel the take off or landing anyway.
Then after the bassinet has been installed, and Hip 2 tries to climb / fall out several times, and then you have to continually take her out whenever there is turbulance so then you start to hate blasted bassinet (but are totally greatful for extra leg room in bulkhead seats), sit back and try and survive the next 24 hours (G&T and several good books and a film anyone??? Yeah right!) Mmmm, how about walk up and down the plane a million times after crawling Hip 2 and running tantrum Hip 1.
More survival tips, and transits tricks later x