I’ve just come back from a mammoth 7-week trip to Dubai and the UK with my wife and 9-month-old son, Zack. Quite a trip! I thought I’d offer some hints and tips for those of you expats making the trip over to the mother country to introduce your kid to their grandparents:
- Book your flights online. You can save a fortune compared with high street travel agents by booking directly with the airline on their website. We flew with Emirates and saved ourselves AUD $800 in total. Note that most airlines charge a 10% fare for under-twos.
- Book bulkhead seats. (Assuming you’re flying economy.) These are seats that sit directly behind the bulkheads (dividers) on the plane, usually just behind business class. They offer a lot more legroom, and you usually get the option of booking a bassinet (see below). Plus your little one can crawl around a bit on the floor in front of you.
- Book a bassinet. These attach to the bulkhead in front of the seat. They’re usually fairly small but your baby can lie with their legs over the end if necessary. Even if the baby doesn’t sleep in it, it provides a great place to stash the 3 tons of stuff you end up with (books, magazines, blankets, pillows, food trays, water, toys, …)
- Be aware of liquid restrictions for air travel. There are exceptions for baby food and so on, but you still need to stick within certain limits. Find out more information on this Australian site.
- Take your own baby food on the flight. Your baby will prefer familiar food. Although many airlines offer baby food in-flight, your baby may not like what’s available, and the food often has additives such as sugar and salt, too. Bananas are always a good standby when flying.
- Give your baby something to drink after take-off and before landing. This will help with their ear pain as the pressure changes. Breastfeeding is great and has the added benefit of comforting. Water does the job too. (more…)