This is a guest post written by my lovely friend Tracey from One Frazzled Mum called “Tips For Flying This Summer With A Big Group Or With Kids”. I’m sure most of you will find this post hilarious. If you would like to know more about Tracey, please scroll down to the bottom of this post where you can find her details, under “About the Author“.
I recently went on my first holiday abroad for 6 years. It was my mums 60th this year and she really wanted us all to go away before there were too many of us and it wasn’t practical. To be fair 17 of us went so I think the ship has sailed on that front. But anyway we went. 17 of us. 10 adults and 7 kids! Yes, I know exactly what you are all thinking…. I am so glad I wasn’t on that plane! Trust me I didn’t want to be on that plane either. Book me on the next I said. If it’s over occupied stick me on the next one out. There was a bar at the airport so I would have been more than happy!
So with this in mind, Franca asked me to give you some of my tips for flying this summer with kids and/or in a large group. Because we could all do with some advice to make sure our children or even other halves for that matter isn’t the one that the other passengers want to sit as far away from as possible!
Tips For Flying This Summer With A Big Group Or With Kids
Assign A Grown Up
Yes, you may be travelling with your offspring and have been navigating adulthood for quite a few years now but trust me, this is not the time to be a grown up. Pinpoint the oldest person in the group and tag them as official passport holder, headcount taker, and general head of the group and nominated person in charge of making sure you get on the right plane with the right amount of people. They don’t have to be your people you can swap them but if you’re travelling with 16 others, it makes sense to board the plane with 16 other people.
Check in online
Trust me, when you have a queue snaking along behind you with people impatient to get their holiday started, 17 of you rocking up to the check in desk makes you public enemy number 1! Do you know how long it takes to check in 17 people and weigh up 17 suitcases? A VERY LONG TIME! All you can do is try not to turn around and look suitably sheepish and apologetic when other passengers give you the death stare as they pass you to finally check in before they miss their flight!
Taking Prams, Take Note!
Do not be the kind soul that offers to wait and check in the prams to oversized baggage whilst everyone else goes through security. This will not end well when you finally reach the desk after waiting behind 10, yes 10 men all checking in bikes. Why do you ask? Because the prams, plural will always have someone else’s name on from the group. Always! Because the check in gods saw red that you hadn’t checked in online and held up the queue and decided to punish you by leaving on the wrong side of security with 2 prams you can’t bloody check in. So either hand them in as you board or double check before you usher the rest of the pack because a group this size can only be described as a pack, off and away.
You’re wearing what?
When you finally reach security be prepared. We all know you have to remove any items with metal on from your body. But do not and I repeat do not tell your child, or anyone else’s for that matter, that you have an underwired bra on. Unless you like public humiliation after they loudly ask you how on earth you are going to take your bra off in public to go through the scanners! What started off as a joke will quickly escalate into full on public embarrassment. So public that other members of your group who have waited for you start to walk away at a pace only matched by Usain Bolt.
Fancy A Drink?
You made it through security. No one had to pay for extra luggage. You’re home and dry. You decide you need a drink if only to cool your still red cheeks. Be warned. Children are sly little things. Why are you having a pint mum it’s not even dinner time……. Deep breaths, count to 10. I mean you are on holiday after all. Oh, look, slush machine, fancy one! AA meeting avoided….for now anyway.
Boarding the Plane
Now if you followed my earlier advice and checked in online you would have had more seating options. But check in gods have their own agenda by this point. I advise you to pay for extra leg room. On your own. Kids? What kids? Or swap with someone else at the other end of the plane. Trust me it’s the only way to save your sanity when travelling with a small community. Especially when 2 of the kids haven’t flown before. How they’re going to react is anyone’s guess. And I won’t even mention that one grown up who will refuse to speak to anyone and spend most of the flight eyes closed quietly hyperventilating whilst various kids clamber on and over them during the in-flight musical chairs episode.
Plan Ahead, Take anything with you!
You are a parent, you lost your right to travel light. Take books, DVD players, colouring books and crayons etc. That’s just for you. With 4 hours of fidgeting kids, hyperventilating sisters and snoring family members, you need something to distract you from the glares radiating from the other passengers whilst you secretly hope they aren’t strong enough to open the emergency exit and throw you all out. Because you know damn well that is exactly what they want to do. They too are fed up with your kids needing a wee every 5 minutes.
If all else fails, sit next to someone who appreciates alcohol just as much as you and ignores the fact you can get a full weekly shop for the price of 1 330ml can of Kopparberg!
I’m pretty sure if you can survive that flight you will have an amazing holiday! I know we did despite all the above dramas. I hope these ‘tips’ help you on your upcoming flight or at least gave you a chuckle and made you glad that you weren’t on that plane to Gran Canaria!
*Disclaimer: Truthfully despite the above-mentioned dramas, all our kids had a great flight and were really well behaved if not a little annoying at times but after 4 hours on a plane I think we all get a little annoying. We literally packed copious amounts of pencils, crayons, colouring books, activity packs and books for them to read. Toys like Shopkins came in handy as did our DVD players and strategically placing as many kids as possible by the windows to placate them all before takeoff. Also, you know alcohol, helps a lot! Happy Holidays!
Have you travelled abroad with kids or with a large group? What do you think of these tips? What else would you suggest? You can follow Tracey on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, & Pinterest.
Thanks for stopping by,
Love you all ❤️
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Tracey bowden says
Thank you so much for having me and I hope someone finds these ‘tips useful even if it’s jist to avoid being on the same plane as us on our next holiday xx
Next year we are doing the 8 hour plane ride to Florida with 2 kids and 5 adults, not quite yours 17, but the kids and the grandparents have never flown long haul and the grandparents get very stressed lol it will be fine…