Travel Travel Stories Traveling with a Baby

What I learned from 70 hours of flying with my two-year-old

Yep, 70 hours of flying with a two-year-old over three weeks, and yep, I’m crazy. It also was not my worst flying experience (no flight seems that hard after getting a stomach bug mid-flight on an international flight with an 8 month old strapped to you). From these experiences, I’ve learned a few things.

  • No amount of preparation will make the flight enjoyable. Preparation will only make it slightly easier.
  • Paw-patrol is not a magic solution like I thought it would be.
  • If you can fly with someone else, do it. (Other parent, grandparents, etc). This will make going the bathroom SO much easier.
  • No amount of antibacterial wipes will prevent you from getting sick.
  • When your kid sleeps, you’ll be awake. When your kid is full of energy, you’ll barely have your eyes open. This is the absolute hardest part when flying. Be prepared for no sleep even though your travel time might be longer then 24 hours.
  • Your kid might normally be a good eater, but they might not be on the flight. Bribing your kids with candy will backfire when that’s all they eat.
  • In America when you fly as a family, everyone tries to avoid you, and you are either a nobody or just like everyone else. In Asia when you fly as a family, you’re treated with a first class experience. I want to move back.
  • Bringing a car seat on-board Japan Airlines will result in no less than 6 flight attendants carefully watching you install the seat.
  • Did you know you can order a kid-friendly meal (on international flights)? We did not, and our son refused to eat the airplane food.
  • Your toddler might insist on using your Bose headphones rather than his cheap kid ones. Let him, until he starts to chew on it.
  • If you want to watch a movie, turn on subtitles.
  • If there’s one leg of your trip where your kid is a perfect traveler and sleeps the whole time, you’ll be sitting in front of a toddler just like yours but awake, whiny, and kicking the back of your seat. It’s your payback.

And you know what? It’s all completely worth it.

Flying with a toddler

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