by Fiona Luke May 08, 2016 6 min read
At Fly Babee we're passionate about allowing parents to get out and about (and more often!) with baby, whilst maintaining baby's all-important sleep routine. And since one of Fly Babee's purpose is as an airline bassinet cover, we're often asked for tips about travelling with children.
We decided to throw these questions out to an expert, and none other than Jade, an international flight attendant for over ten years, who also blogs over at Mum With Wings.
Part One contains every question you've ever wanted to ask a Flight Attendant, and everything you need to know about travelling with children.
We LOVE your blog Jade! It's full of travel tips, and useful information. What made you want to start blogging your work/travel journey?
Friends are always asking me for tips when travelling with babies and children and have mentioned that I always seem to be doing fun things with my children . So I decided to condense all my tips and ideas into one place. My main platform is instagram, I also have facebook page and a blog www.mumwithwings.com.au
Obviously a keen lover of travelling, what’s your favourite destination?
I lived in London for three years and that city has a lot of my heart. I hope to go back and live in Europe again after I have raised my children. I can't go past the Australian way of life to bring up children with our beaches and sunny backyards.
Why did you decide to become a flight attendant?
I wanted a job where I could help people, meet new people and not do the same thing every day.
What can we find in your carry-on bag?
When I travel with my children I always have lollies for them to suck on take-off and landing, tissues, baby wipes, snacks, and a pen is always useful as you need it to fill out travel documents.
I don’t know about you, but my skin hates airline travel… how do you keep your skin looking so fresh?
I use an Aesop Hydration spray its so refreshing, I also moisturise with Clinique moisture surge moisturiser every morning and evening.
What are your top three tips for travelling with kids?
It’s very hard to just choose three. Things that have helped me travel with my children include being calm, patient, organised and accepting help. Always carry water when you are travelling with children and something for them to suck on take-off and landing as the pressure when the aircraft ascends and descends can hurt little ears.
We’re travelling Sydney - Vancouver direct next January with a 2yo and a 3.5yo… other than an iPad, what are your entertainment tips to keep the kids entertained on the 15hr+ flight?
Little activity packs are a great idea. Stickers and even play dough can fill in the hours. I find my children like to make up their own games, with airline cups or other items. Flying on a premium airline with inclusive inflight entertainment really helps pass the hours away. Some airlines have fantastic kids programs. Do your research before you fly. Check what you get with your ticket.
And any tips to get the kids to sleep during the flight? Especially since they're far too big for a bassinet.
If I want my children to sleep I dress them in their pyjamas. If they are comfortable they will sleep better. Also bring along comfort toys like a blanket and any sleep cues.
For me, the worst part about travelling with kids is the jet lag - how do you beat it?
If only I had an answer to that jetlag question, I am asked this so often. I see passengers and crew doing all different things. I am generally pretty good with jet lag - I have to be with the kids. Although every now and then jetlag will sneak up and get me. I sleep a lot. I eat lots of small amounts throughout the entire day and I keep my fluids up.
How do you manage your job with kids?
I get a lot of time off, a lot more than a 9-5er I’m pretty much a stay at home mum who goes to work once or twice max in a month. My husband is a 9-5er and is home every morning and evening and my mother in law is an amazing help with crèche and school pick-ups.
And what do you love most about your job?
Ten years ago, I was so excited to travel, these days I’m so excited to get to a hotel and rest. I will still go out and have fun every few trips but my rest is heavenly now I’m a mum. Having a night in a hotel is so restorative. I get room service, go to the pool and relax. I can't hear any kids T.V, no dinner to cook or school run for that one or two days in a slip port. Saying that I’m grateful that I get lots of time off to do those things as my children will only be young once. Flying is a good balance. I’m grateful for that.
What do you love most about travel?
I love walking around a city or a place that is completely different to my own and just taking it all in, the food, the architecture, the landscape, the weather, the accents, the people.
I’ve always wondered what a ‘day in the life of a flight attendant’ is like?
On the day of a flight I always try to sleep a few hours, then I pack, get dressed, do my hair and makeup and have a light dinner (if it’s a night flight) Most flight attendants get taxis to and from work but I live outside the boundary for this and I drive. I park my car at a staff carpark and catch a shuttle bus to the terminal. Once I’m in the terminal I am usually stopped by people asking questions. Then I catch a lift up to the cabin crew office where I check a folder with the latest information before signing on at a computer. I always get to work early so I have time for a coffee and to meet the other crew. There is a crew briefing about the flight and passengers and I find out my work position. It changes every flight. I then proceed downs stairs through security and passport control. Through duty free until I arrive at the gate, and if the aircraft is there we get on and conduct emergency equipment and security checks of the cabin. Before doing a call back. We then check galleys or prepare the cabin. Heads sets and menus need to be distributed and champagne and juice needs to be poured, lipstick topped up, then passengers board and once everyone is on and we have the correct paper work to go we push back and that is the start of the flight. After the flight we catch a bus to a crew hotel and I always sleep for a few hours then wake up and hit the ground running. Especially when I'm in LA as that is where the best shopping is!
And the one question that we all want to know - do you have any tips for getting an upgrade? Ha!
I wish I had the golden answer for you! But unfortunately no…sorry! Each airline is different with their upgrade policy. All I can say is be nice, look the part and smile sweetly. It doesn't hurt to ask, but most airlines these days will upgrade their Frequent Flyers and those who have paid more for a ticket, so be prepared for that.
Have you seen Fly Babee in action on any of your flights?
I wish Fly Babee was around when my children were infants, It would have been so helpful to be able to block out cabin lighting and create a comfortable space for my baby. If babies are settled and comfortable, parents are, and let’s be honest... the entire cabin is! Fly Babee is going to change airline travel for everyone. I love the concept.
You can read more of Jade's insights and travel tips and advice at her blog at www.mumwithwings.com.au.
Have you added a Fly Babee to your tool kit of things that make travelling with a baby easier? If not, click here to purchase: