Archive for June, 2012

June 13, 2012

Travel to Thailand, tot in tow (part 1) – an ode to the travelmate

We’ve just returned from a trip to Thailand with our toddler (she isn’t really toddling yet, but I couldn’t resist the alliteration), and I can’t let this experience slide without adding another notch to my blog posts.

It was generally pretty awesome, and I hope this post makes any parent sitting on the fence about whether to take their child overseas hop off the picket and get on board that jumbo jet.

Sure, the flights would have been better if it was just mom’n’pop, watching movies and catching up on gossip mags over a bevvy or five, but they weren’t nearly as bad as they could’ve been.

(please ignore my panda eyes, and the unusual spelling of Charlotte by the lovely Emirates crew member)

In fact, the worst part of the flights were the other babies whose cries woke up my little munchkin as she tried to sleep (not blaming the other parents or babies.  Not at all….really).

One thing that helped in a major way was purchasing a seat for little Lottie, who isn’t so little anymore.

Technically she could’ve sat on our laps the whole way but at 11kg and a whole lotta squirm, it would have been very uncomfortable for everyone concerned.

How parents manage to keep their (bigger) babies on their laps for a long haul flight I don’t know, and I give them a standing ovation.

How do they eat? Nap? Read or watch anything?  I guess they don’t, and just sit there muttering the mummy mantra ‘this too shall pass’ under their breath the whole way.

Anyway, we were lucky enough to score seats on sale cheap enough to make it financially viable to purchase three seats AND were wise enough to purchase a gogobabyz travelmate.

When I initially told hubby that our options were to carry Lottie in our laps during takeoff, landing, and anytime the seatbelt sign was turned on (which could mean waking her up, a lot, if the flight was turbulent) OR carrying her car seat on board – which also meant lugging it through the airport – he said no way jose to the carseat option.

Of course I wasn’t keen on the lap-holding option because I was pretty certain whose lap Lottie would be getting in and out of if so required.

Then my reliance on the internet for all things knowsy turned out to be fruitful when I unearthed the travelmate.

Basically it is a contraption a bit like a dolly that straps on to your carseat to convert it into a pram while in the airport (and running to your gate), then easily comes off when you need to use the carseat on board the plane (or at your destination, if it isn’t somewhere like Thailand i.e. somewhere that has child/vehicle safety laws).

This thing saved our life, or at least our sanity for around 12 hours each way.

Awesome to use as a pram in the airport, great on the plane (once it’s strapped in you can leave the baby in the seat for take off, landing etc) and because the little one is used to sleeping in her carseat anyway it made it easier for her to doze off AND leave me in peace enough to watch the whole first season of Downton Abbey over a couple of sauv blancs.

At the risk of this post sounding like one long infomercial, I also need to give a shout out to the staff on board Emirates.

We were looked after really well with a little baby travel kit (wipes, baby food, toys etc), and they took polaroids of all the babies/kids on board which I thought was a nice souvenir for bubby’s first o/s trip.

They were also super friendly and didn’t act like we were a hassle, although I’m sure we were.

Don’t get me wrong, there were certainly a few moments where I wanted to disappear into thin air (or at least into business class, on my own) but it wasn’t a total horror story, more a three star drama/comedy.

But as everyone knows, it’s not the journey that counts, it’s the destination.  That’s how the saying goes, right?

It should be.  Once we arrived in Thailand everything was E.A.S.Y.

I’ll let you know how well it went in Part 2…