Travelling with an infant on a flight ..

Travelling with an infant tips

Ten great tips for travelling with an infant on a flight. Must read for all moms ūüôā ..

If you are reading this article then I am¬†sure that you are planning to travel with your baby soon, so first of all “Happy and safe journey” and secondly “Don’t worry”.

My experience¬†is – “it is¬†not as difficult as it seems”.

Ten handy tips based on my experience below:

1. Arrange¬†your and¬†baby’s¬†documents

Apply for a passport and visa well in advance. Keep in mind that these activities take time and the time taken is out of your control.

If you are applying for Indian passport for your child then here is the link for starting the application process. Apart from going through the FAQs also please go through the annexure information on the site.  You would need annexure F if you are applying in Tatkaal even though this information is not mentioned in the list of documents in passport application form. So better to take all possible documents (along with their originals) in order to avoid scheduling another appointment.

2. Reserve a seat in advance for carrycot/child seat position on the aircraft

When booking your tickets, reserve a seat in advance for carrycot or child seat positions in the aircraft. You would be able to see these seats in the seat map. These seats are usually available on first come first serve basis and are free of cost.  Your baby can rest in the carry cot during the journey (except take off and landing of-course).

These seats are usually aisle seats and do not have any seats ahead of them (also called bulkhead seats). Thus you would have enough leg space which can also be used to keep the diaper bag. Note Рdiaper bags will need to be kept in overhead cabin during take off and landing but for most of the journey you would have things easily accessible to you.

If for some reason you are unable to book these seats then request for an aisle seat rather than a window seat as you might have to get up and around many times during the flight. Also during check-in,  request airline staff to place you next to an empty seat. Usually the staff is helpful and if there is an empty seat they are more than happy to help you.

3. Plan what will you need and when and then pack accordingly

Needless to say pack light. Even though you have an allowance to carry two bags (one for you and another for baby) on the flight, I would suggest take only one diaper bag (especially if you are travelling alone).

Notice what are the items that you need during the day with your baby and jot them down on paper. This will help you in creating a packing list unique to your baby.¬†Also place items based on when you would be needing them.¬†You don’t want to be fumbling around for items with the baby in one hand.

Do not forget to carry some toys and/or books for your baby. Carry few that are familiar and carry some that are new to keep him occupied. Also you can load his/her favorite music or nursery rhymes in your mobile.

4. Carry baby food

Baby food items can be taken in an aircraft but rules are different at different airports so do check before travelling. Usually you can carry baby formulae, sterilized bottles with boiled water at most of the airports. You may be asked to taste what you are carrying so pack a little extra. You may be asked to remove and place all food items in a tray during security check so pack them accordingly.

If you have started feeding semi-solids to your baby you can carry packaged curd/yoghurt. Some airlines also have packaged baby food available but do not rely on them and carry your own food.

Some airlines may be able to warm milk for you but most of them will not be able to. So it may be a good idea to get your baby used to milk at room temperature before you travel.

5. Plan what you and baby would be wearing

Wear something which is comfortable, which has pockets and in which you can nurse easily. Carry a scarf as feeding rooms might not be available everywhere. Also you may not have time to find a feeding room when your baby is hungry and shouting.

Also avoid wearing belts, shoes, watch or any such items that will need to be removed during security checks. Easy tasks like removing shoes seem tedious when travelling with a baby specially if you are travelling alone.

Dress yourself and your baby in layers as you can add or remove a layer easily. Temperatures in flight are usually colder so carry your own shawl or stole.   Baby would be more comfortable in your shawl rather than blankets provided by the airline.

Carry at least one pair of extra clothes for you and the baby. And don’t forget to wear your baby carrier.

6. Carry Baby carrier and/or Push chair 

Usually airlines allow you to carry a push chair or stroller till the aircraft door (where its folded and stowed away) and then you can collect them while de-boarding or along with your checked-in luggage (based on where you are flying to).

In case if you are travelling alone my suggestion is that you can avoid carrying a push chair. As that would mean more things to carry and take through security. If you decide to carry a push chair remember that you would have to remove all items from the push chair basket to take it through security and fold it when handing over to the airline staff when boarding.

My experience is that a baby carrier or a sling is a must when travelling with a baby. Baby is happy as he/she is close to you and you have your hands free.

7. During travel look for signs that can help you

At immigration and security there might be a special queue for you as you are travelling with an infant. So keep your eyes open to such signs and in case of doubt please do ask.

Even during boarding you will have an option to board first. My personal opinion is that you should not board too soon. Usually babies get cranky in closed spaces and as it is he/she has to be in the plane for few hours so let the baby enjoy at the airport. The airports with its lights and colors are more appealing and interesting.

Also at airport you would find baby changing rooms and in some cases baby feeding rooms. Change diapers at the airport before you board rather than relying on changing tables in the aircraft. You can use changing tables in the aircraft in case of emergency but remember they would be really small and you will have very little space.

At some airports you can also request for a cart if you are unable to walk around with the baby. So if required please do ask. In worst case your request may be declined and you will have to walk.

8. Have extra time in hand

When travelling with a baby always plan  to have extra time. Reach airport earlier, reach departure gate earlier as you may not be able to run with the baby in case if you are delayed. Also with babies anything unexpected can happen to delay you. So plan to have extra time in hand.

9.  Ask for help

If you need help then ask for it, please¬†do not hesitate. It is ok and most of the people would be willing to help you. You can request people to hold your baby for a while or you can request the flight attendants to serve you food out of order so that you can eat while your baby is sleeping. Most of the people love babies so don’t hesitate. Again in worst case scenario somebody can refuse to help you and your situation may remain the same.

10. Relax

Most important of all Relax. If you are in a good mood then your baby would reflect that. Consider the trip an adventure and give it your best shot.

If your baby is cranky then try your best to soothe him without getting anxious due to the stares you may be getting from people around you. Remember you will not be seeing these people again so do not take tension and try your best to distract your baby.

If nothing else works then remember “It is a day and this too shall pass”.

Happy travelling ūüôā ..

Spectacular Scotland – Millport Isle of Cumbrae trip in pictures

View of Ocean from Isle of Cumbrae Millport in scotland

Millport is a small and only town on the isle of Cumbrae just off the west coast of Scotland. This island offers amazing views of Arran mountains, ocean and near by islands. This island is so near and yet so far from Glasgow and Edinburgh .. Check out the pictures they speak for themselves ..

Where is Millport – Isle of Cumbrae ?

Millport is a small and only town on the Isle of Cumbrae. This island (only 10.5 miles around) is just off the west coast of  Scotland.

This¬†island offers¬†great view of the ocean, near by islands (Bute) and mountains (Arran). When you drive around the island apart from spectacular views, you will also see rabbits on the roads and beautiful birds by the sea side. ūüôā .. Interesting isn’t it ?

How to reach there ?

From Glasgow, you can drive down to the town of Largs and then can take a ferry to the isle (ferry will take only 8 min). For more details click here.

Things to do

Rent a bicycle and take a tour of the island, drive around the island and enjoy the view, experience peace at the war memorial, enjoy diving or other water sports, collect sea shells, play golf, see cathedral of the isles, spot birds and so on. Millport has something to offer to everybody.

My inputs

Well..  this place is one of the most beautiful places I have visited. If you do not believe me check out some of the pictures below.  And the fact that it can be covered within a day if you are visiting from Glasgow or Edinburgh makes it my favorite.

So the next time you are in Glasgow or Edinburgh, plan a day trip to Millport ūüôā ..

View of Ocean from Isle of Cumbrae Millport in scotland

On the ferry from Largs to the island

View of Ocean from Isle of Cumbrae Millport in scotland

Tour around the isle – Rocks and ocean

View of Ocean from Isle of Cumbrae Millport in scotland

Tour around the isle – Oh What a view !

Isle of Cumbrae Millport in scotland

View from main marketplace

View from Isle of Cumbrae Millport in scotland

House with narrowest front in the world

View of Ocean from Isle of Cumbrae Millport in scotland

Tour around the isle – War memorial “For your tomorrow we gave our today”

View of Ocean from Isle of Cumbrae Millport in scotland

View from the top of the Isle

View of Ocean from Isle of Cumbrae Millport in scotland

View from the top of the Isle

View from Isle of Cumbrae Millport in scotland

View from top of the Isle

View of Ocean from Isle of Cumbrae Millport in scotland

View from top of the Isle

View of Ocean from Isle of Cumbrae Millport in scotland

View from top of the Isle

View from Isle of Cumbrae Millport in scotland

View from top of the Isle

View from Isle of Cumbrae Millport in scotland

Spotting Birds on the Isle

View from Isle of Cumbrae Millport in scotland

Spotting Birds on the Isle

View from Isle of Cumbrae Millport in scotland

View of Ocean from Isle of Cumbrae Millport in scotland

Grasslands and animals..

To buy these photograph as print or greeting cards click here

Langkawi Day 1 – Arrival at Taj Vivanta Rebak island resort

Langkawi – the word itself brings a smile to my face as it reminds me of clear skies, stunning beaches, azure blue sea, nature walks, friendly people and a pleasant climate.

Langkawi - Eagle Square near Kuah Jetty

Langkawi – Eagle Square

My husband and I had visited Malaysia in January 2013. We started our trip with Cameron highlands, went onto Genting, then relaxed in Langkawi for 3 days and then after visiting Kuala Lumpur came back to Gurgaon. In this blog, I would be sharing our experience of Langkawi which was mainly influenced by our stay at Taj Vivanta Rebak Island resort.

For those who have not heard of Langkawi yet, here are some basic facts –

– Langkawi officially known as the Jewel of Kedah (Kedah is the name of a state) is an archipelago of 104 islands in the Andaman Sea.

– It is located some 30 km off the mainland coast of North-western Malaysia.

– In Langkawi you would frequently hear the word ‘Pulau’ which means an island.

РLangkawi in colloquial Malay means island of the reddish-brown eagle. Visitors arriving via Kuah Jetty will notice the iconic Eagle square  Рa giant red eagle status permanently suspended in mid flight.

How to reach Langkawi ?
You can reach Langkawi via ferry or by air.
We had taken an Air Asia flight from Kuala Lumpur to Langkawi. Tip РIf you are booking an Air Asia flight please remember to declare and pay for check in baggage. It is not included automatically in the flight charges.

After doing extensive research on trip advisor we had decided to stay at Taj Vivanta Rebak island resort. The idea of staying on a private island (measuring approx 390 acres with secluded beaches and vibrant jungles) and that too a Taj property was very attractive. And to be true we did not regret our decision even for a moment.

Day 1 – Arrival in Langkawi at Taj Vivanta Rebak island resort

Jetty Point at Langkawi Port Langkasuka to reach Taj Vivanta Rebak island resort

Jetty Point – Port Langkasuka

We were received by the hotel staff at the airport and after a short 10 minutes drive reached Port Langkasuka. Don’t worry I could not remember this name and had to google it when writing this blog . We used to call it jetty point. Anyways,¬† from jetty point we were to be taken to the hotel via a speed boat. The speedboat runs every hour so we had to wait for around 15 minutes at a nice comfortable terminal with sofas, TV and bougainvilleas. I have a soft spot for flowers so whenever I see them I do not mind waiting that much. Also there was a shack near by where we had the most amazing watermelon juice of our whole trip.

Soon the speedboat arrived and we got onboard along with the rest of the hotel guests. The experience of travelling in a speedboat was an added benefit. Somehow I find it exciting to see the waves being created by a speedboat. In 15 minutes we reached a gorgeous marina with many yachts and boats from around the world. Later we came to know that Taj is the only resort to offer this service.

The main reception area is not far from the marina so you can either walk or take a buggy. Since we had luggage and were tired we decided to take a buggy.

Marina at Langkawi Taj Vivanta Rebak island resort

Marina at Langkawi Taj Vivanta Rebak island resort

At the reception area we were received by the hotel staff who welcomed us with a genuine and warm smile along with lemon zest infused wet towel and a refreshing drink. The check-in process was very smooth and then we were taken to our room. We had booked a partial Sea view Room.

By the time we reached our room we were exhausted but one look at the room and we were re-energised. We loved the room Рit was large, spacious, well maintained, had a nice balcony overlooking the garden and the best part were the bathrooms. The bathrooms were large and offered separate areas for bathtubs and showers. Somehow I have this fetish for large bathrooms. I do not like hotels that offer great rooms but the bathrooms resemble a closet. Tip РDo not keep the balcony door open for long in evening, due to lush greenery outside you may see some mosquitoes and insects.  

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After settling down, refreshing ourselves and taking some rest, we came out only in the evening to explore the resort and the island. The view of serene beach, turquoise blue water and vibrant trees along with the  the sound of waves and birds made us forget everything else. We sat down on a deck chair and enjoyed the moment.

Soon it was dinner time so we went to the restaurant to eat something. The ambience of the ‘Senari’ restaurant as well as food was good though a little bit on the costlier side. Soon after there was live music which we did not understand much but thoroughly enjoyed.¬† After dinner, we went for a walk along the beach with the sound of music in the background. The experience was unforgettable.

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I would be covering what we did on Day 2 and Day 3 in Langkawi in a separate blog.

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