Monday, January 26, 2015

Travelling with Baby to Thailand

The countdown is on to my first family holiday in Thailand with my 10-month-old granddaughter! This will also be Ellie's first plane flight, baby daddy Nic's first overseas trip as an adult, and my daughter Jo's last week of freedom before returning to work after a year's maternity leave.

Can't wait to spend time in Thailand with this little poppet!

Needless to say, it's a big deal, requiring a lot more forethought and planning than a holiday travelling alone or as a couple.

We'll be spending a week at Sunwing Resort in Kamala Beach, Phuket - a dedicated family resort, which offers special baby packages for young families. I'll be reporting further on that in the coming weeks: but first, we need to get there!

The second I'd booked cheap flights on Jetstar I regretted it - by the time you add checked baggage fees, and any extras such as meals and entertainment for the flight, it doesn't turn out cheap at all!

We are of course not looking forward to a nine hour flight with a cheeky monkey, one that hates sitting still and is quite vocal when she's restrained! Beware, fellow passengers - we'll be THOSE people, the ones with the annoying baby! But trust me, we're hoping she'll be quiet and happy too for the entire flight too - we don't want to deal with a crying child any more than our fellow passengers.

Ellie practising to sit in a big plane seat!

For parents travelling with young babies, here are a few considerations and tips:

- Jetstar has changed its carry-on baggage limit to 7kg, as of 28 October 2104. Fortunately, we booked prior to that date so have 10kg each (everyone except the baby, of course, who has no luggage allowance at all!). Between the three adults, we'll need to carry all the essentials for nine hours with baby - disposable nappies, creams, formula, snacks and distractions. Plus our own toiletries, change of clothes and food!

- Passengers travelling with babies are exempt from the 100ml restriction for liquids. Here is what the Australian Government site states: "Passengers travelling with an infant or toddler are permitted to carry a reasonable quantity of liquid, aerosol or gel (LAGs) products for the infant or toddler onboard for the duration of the flight and any delays that might occur. The security screening officer has the final say about what a ‘reasonable quantity’ is.

Baby products may include, but are not limited to:

baby milk, including breast milk;
sterilised water;
baby food in liquid, gel or paste form; and
disposable wipes.
Products such as baby milk powder that are not liquids, aerosols or gels can be taken onboard."

- Since our resort provides a pram (as well as bedding items, high chair etc) for the baby, we will not be travelling with our own. Parents are permitted to take their prams as far as the plane, but then must pack it away in the hold. On Jetstar, baby items such as strollers, porta cots and bedding, infant car seats and portable high chairs can be checked in, free of excess baggage charges and regardless of fare.

- One of us will be wearing the Baby Bjorn carrier, this should be exempt from luggage as it's technically an item of clothing! However, this cannot be used during the flight, so will need to be placed in the overhead locker.

- The airline provides baby seat belts for children travelling on your lap, which connects to your seatbelt and must be used when the seatbelt sign is on.

- Tiny babies can be carried on-board in a car seat, but you must inform the airline prior to check-in if you are planning to travel with one.

- I've loaded up the laptop with 30 episodes of Peppa Pig, a last-resort distraction!

Wish us luck! I'll keep you posted...

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