During the first couple of years of Aara’s life we managed to go on a number of trips abroad, making use of the free travel for under 2’s. Although at this point we did not have the diagnosis that Aara had RTS, just like any parents you do worry that your child will be screaming the entire flight and disturbing everyone on it. However, we soon realized that everyone is entitled to be as comfortable as they can be on planes, even babies and children.
On our first journey as parents, the first thing that hit us was the amount of equipment we needed to take. I personally hate carrying a bag onto the plane but we had no choice. Taking Aara’s milk, nappies, toys and not forgetting the most important item for the 21st century parent, the Ipad, meant we had no choice but to have the biggest hand luggage bag we could find. I remember worrying on our first journey if we would have to check-in the buggy at the check in desk and have to carry Aara until we boarded the plane; however the airlines’ check in buggies at the gate, so that is a massive help.
Going through the boarding procedure with a little one and all this additional stuff is not a walk in the park either! However, every-time we have travelled with Aara, the staff at the airport have been great and try and make boarding as easy as possible. In our experience, the airlines also try and place parents in the front row of each section, to make use of the carry cot. This is great, especially if you are on a night flight, to give your arms a rest for some of the flight.
Aara was great on her first flight. We had booked a night flight in the hope she would sleep for most of it which she did. We also ensured we gave her milk during the take-off and landing to help with the popping ears. This can be even more painful if your child suffers from glue ear (fluid in the ear) which many children who have RTS do. It’s such a relief when you finally make it through a flight with the little one and that’s when you really feel like your holiday has begun.
The main question my wife and I are always asked is – “Did we to do anything differently travelling with Aara as she has RTS?”
Basically the answer for us is No – there was no difference when we took Aara (at 6 months) on a plane just like any other child. Please let us know in the comments if you have had a different experience or any tips for travelling with little ones…