Don’t let Your Clothes and What you Wear Turn Your Long Journey Into a Nightmare!
There are many components to surviving a long haul flight with your young children. What you and your family wear is a major contributing factor in the travel planning process. Here are some useful and practical tips on how to dress when embarking on that harrowing journey:
CLOTHING TIP #1
Temperature. The temperature of flights varies across all airlines so it’s imperative you are well prepared for both extremes. Our body temperatures also differ from person to person so to play it safe, the best way to get comfortable is to wear layers. Peel them off if you’re feeling warm and stack them on when it gets cold, especially overnight flights when there is less movement around the cabin.
CLOTHING TIP #2
Comfort Factor. It would seem like common sense to dress comfortably however sometimes we forget we’re in a still position for hours on end and whilst a pair of jeans may normally be the perfect choice when you’re out and about, it may not be the case on a long haul flight. Select soft, light weight fabrics that can provide comfort no matter the position your child is in, be it laying across the laps of both parents, hunched in a foetal position or just sitting in the same position for a long period of time.
CLOTHING TIP #3
Shoes. Long haul flights typically include transits of which some of them may be for hours. Ensure the kids have very comfortable shoes on that will both keep them warm on the flight as well as being able to run around in them. It helps if the shoes are also easy to remove so velcro runners for toddlers is a better option than having to worry about tying and untying their laces.
Sensible shoes also apply to parents in case you have to take them off at airport security. Juggling an active toddler, carryon luggage, separate container with your laptop and loose items whilst trying to get your boots back on in a hurry is just way too cumbersome!
CLOTHING TIP #4
Socks. If you’re going to remove your shoes on the flight, it is imperative you have on a very good pair of socks for comfort, warmth and pure hygiene. The floors of the plane are hardly the cleanest place on earth! We suggest replacing those socks upon on arrival in exchange for something that you can easily walk in and that way you can keep the dirty pair aside. Should you believe compression socks will help reduce leg swelling and DVT, remember to bring them along too!
CLOTHING TIP #5
Makeshift Blanket. Carry an additional adult’s cardigan or oversized scarf/pashmina so that it can act as a little blanket for the kids. Airline blankets are usually an additional cost and it’s exactly these flights where they crank up the air-conditioning! We have found that they are also a great form of comfort for the kids when they’re starting to get cranky.
CLOTHING TIP #6
Spare Clothes. Always pack spare clothes in the carry on. Accidents happen or they may get sick on the flight. There is nothing worse than having to deal with soiled garments for the entire duration of the flight! This rule applies to all members of the family. Rarely do parents come away unscathed if a child has been vomiting!
CLOTHING TIP #7
Pyjamas. If you know you’re going to have trouble getting your toddler to go to sleep, especially when it’s broad daylight and the cabin is brightly lit, change them into their pyjamas. Toddlers also don’t understand the sense of time and if you’re trying to get them to sleep to minimise jetlag, pyjamas may help them to understand its bedtime. Coupled with your normal bedtime routine triggers such as milk time, a story or the emergence of that special toy, it could save you a couple of sleepless nights when you arrive at your destination!
CLOTHING TIP #8
Colour Matters. Wearing light coloured clothing accentuates potential dirt and mess. Coming off a 24 hour long journey with remnants of food (carrots are the worse!) or patches of just ordinary toddler mess makes for an unforgiving feeling of discomfort. Try wearing darker colours so it doesn’t show like you have been through WWW III!
CLOTHING TIP #9
Metal Mania. Avoid clothing with any metal such as big zippers or buckles on belts and shoes. This just prolongs the security process and having to strip off whilst juggling everything else is just an unnecessary stress provoker.
CLOTHING TIP #10
Dress for the Destination. Make sure you have packed appropriate clothing to combat the weather in your destination. Exiting Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok is like walking into an oven so it would be best to have alternate clothing to wear to prepare for the heat and humidity. Likewise if you’re walking into a New York winter, be organised with all the essential outer wear to avoid chills. Sick family members on a trip of a lifetime would just make for miserable holiday.
As adults, a 24 hour trip is considered to be a long journey. Imagine what that must feel like for a little toddler, especially if it’s their first time and have absolutely no concept of what to expect. If something as simple as dressing smartly and appropriately can reduce some stress, it makes sense to put a bit of time aside to properly access your travel clothing.
Do you have any other tips about how to dress your toddler to add to the list? Tell us in the comments below!
We hope you found this family travel tip useful. Please share!