Travelling at the best of times can be stressful, let alone with a new baby. Here are a few of my travel tips when planning a trip…
On Air NZ, children under the age of 2 years old travel for free within NZ or at 10% of the adult fare when travelling internationally. You do however need a ticket for the infant when travelling domestically. This can be booked online when you book your ticker, or you can call the contact centre (0800 737 000) and they can add your child to your ticket.
I am in no position to give packing advice as I tend to overpack and take 3 pairs of shoes, 3 trousers, 5 shirts and two jackets for a 2 day weekend get away. However, there are some essentials:
- Formula: If you bottle feed, don’t guarantee that the City you are going to will have your formula. We learnt the hard way. A2 milk only have 3 stockists in all of the South Island!!! So bring enough formula with you, especially if it is special.
- Nappies are important (obvs), but you can buy these anywhere so don’t overpack these. Make sure you take a few extras on the plane just incase…
- Warm clothes: Merino is always light weight and is ideal for the plane trip, as your little ones will stay warm and not sweaty.
- We travel with our Edwards & Co carry cot which Frankie sleeps in and we can take him out during the day while he is sleeping. This fits into our travel bag with our stroller, and means we can also carry the capsule (you get two bags free when travelling with an infant).
Before You Fly
Leave early! I normally leave everything to the last minute, but when travelling with a child, everything, I mean EVERYTHING takes longer.
We park at Air NZ Koru which means you park outside the airport and they take your car for you. With the valet parking, you check in at the parking area and you head on into the airport or lounge if you have access (highly recommend it). The cost of parking is $49 per 24 hours and they do offer a weekend rate of $59 for two days. Hot tip – public holidays are included in the weekend rate so you can get 3 days for $59.
Flights to main cities mean you have to go through security. So again, ensure you arrive early with extra time to get through security. There is nothing worse than being stressed at the airport as you baby will feel that stress and likely get upset.
If you are carrying your baby through security in a carrier, you do need to take off your baby carrier so security can see between you and your baby. If you have a stroller, you will need to take your baby out and in some cases, the security team will wand it down or some will fold it and put in through the xray.
In NZ, this is generally quite relaxed. However overseas, you have to remove everything including your shoes!
I try and get onboard early so I can settle in. This includes:
- Getting the front pack off / stroller into overhead locker and settling in
- Getting the bottle out for feeding on take off and landing
- Wrapping Frankie up in a swaddle/blanket
- Sorting out the infant seatbelt
- Getting friendly with the staff (who will hopefully help)
Take Off & Landing
- Make sure you feed your baby on take off and landing to ensure their ears ‘pop’ as you change air pressure. This will be one of the main reasons for an upset baby.
- Face your baby forward with their back against your stomach. This is the safest way to hold them due to the forces on both landing and take off. It also allows you to put them into a safe brace position in case of emergency.