In November of this year Luna and I set off on a big adventure back to Kenya where I spent a lot of my childhood. At 14 months she had travelled to Dubai and Ibiza, but nothing as daunting as a big long haul flight out to Africa. My husband couldn’t make it so I called up a good friend of mine SJ and roped her in to coming too. It’s a 9 hour flight to Nairobi and then a hopper down to the coast…in between all of that we had to re check our bags and go through endless scanning machines, all at 10 o’clock at night and after a full days travel. Needless to say, it was quite challenging!
To make your life a little bit easier, here are my top tips on how to keep your little ones entertained throughout the flight and all of your travel essentials once you’re on holiday.
THE IPAD – Don’t get me wrong, playing outside, reading books and mental stimulation is much more my parenting style but on a long haul flight, you need to fill up your ipad with all of little ones favourite TV programmes and not feel guilty about it. Luna loves Peppa and it kept her entertained on the plane for hours.
HEALTHY SNACKS – I’m so grateful that I loaded up my change bag with lots of her favourite snacks. I chopped up apple and banana, took carrot sticks, made sure I had endless packs of cheese straws…so every time she got slightly upset I just gave her some food…it worked!
PRE ORDER YOUR KIDS MEAL – I couldn’t believe that this was actually a thing but apparently on most airlines you need to let them know that your baby will be eating…I didn’t do this but thankfully they had pesto pasta which she loves. Make sure you explore this before taking a long haul flight.
TRAVEL PILLOW – I never used to bother with these things before but having Luna sit on my lap for such a long time I was super grateful I’d packed one. She snoozed happily on me with the help of one comfy travel pillow under her head.
CHANGE BAG – Make sure your change bag is FULLY LOADED. Nappies, saline spray, calpol, sudacream, milk, bottles…once you’re up there, there’s no coming down! Be prepared for delays, it’s never as easy as you think it’ll be. On the plus, I found the airport to be super helpful and didn’t have any issues going through security with liquids specifically required for Luna.
TRAVEL BUGGY- I left my pram at home and took a lightweight travel buggy instead. The great thing about this one though was that it reclines totally flat, meaning they can get some proper sleep whilst you’re in transit. I was SO thankful I had this bit of kit with me. (I wish I’d got a pic of how flat it goes!!)
FIGHT THE MOSQUITOS – Kenya does have Malaria but I was confident that I could protect Luna buy ordering a great repellent and making sure she was covered in it at ALL times. This was most people’s concerns when I told them I was off to Africa. I spoke to my herbalist Paul Hambley, who sent two lots of creams and sprays and thankfully she didn’t get bitten once. (www.hamblys.net). She also slept under this beautiful net which went over her cot…she loved waking up in there.