A baby on a plane

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In July we travelled to Ireland to visit family. It is Cora’s first holiday abroad and we chose to fly Ryan Air with only hand luggage because we’re frugal AF. What could go wrong?

Well actually it all went quite smoothly and here’s why:

Choosing the hand luggage option

Backpacks are your best friend, pack light, pop it on and hey you have two free arms to carry the baby or a much needed coffee and cake!

Ryan Air let you fly with two bags so i could have my backpack and a handbag (a crossover body one obviously). Babies are allowed 2 large items and a bag so we chose to bring a pram and a car seat. Travel cots can be requested in most hotel rooms and on this occasion we were staying with my parents so they had a spare. We packed a few changing essentials, quickly went through the security checks and then hit Boots for the food which you can take on the plane with you.

Flying with Ryan Air

I’m sure back in the day Ryan Air was one of the worst airlines, constantly popping up on my news feed with horror stories like charging overweight people for two seats and all that. Am i right? So yes this made us sceptical about flying with them and especially with a baby. But again to our surprise they were actually amazing! Every staff member made an effort to help us with Cora, i think they could tell by our expressions we were out of our comfort zone and they helped by just being nice to us. I did pay to have our seats together and after seeing a segment on Watchdog the night before i’m glad we did. They purposely sit people separate so you’re more inclined to pay the extra couple of quid. But hey, they aren’t as bad as they used to be!

Car rental

Now, because we did get super cheap flights we were able to add on Manchester airport parking and car rental services. The whole price was cheaper than if we were to travel by ferry. The ferry was our first choice so we could bring our own car and all the baby stuff but looking back flying meant we travelled lighter and only packed necessities and we also cut the total travel time by half! We left our house at 5am and got to my parents place at 10am, pretty good going that is!

The car we received by Hertz was better than our own car so that was a bonus, the only scary part is they take a hefty deposit from your credit card in case of any damages, but the team there were so lovely and as long as you’re careful and have insurance you have nothing to worry about. They even brought the car to the airport so we didn’t have to take the shuttle bus with Cora. These extras made our experience so much better.

The time of our flights

Both of our flight times took place at times when we knew Cora should be asleep. The outward journey was at 8am so we got her out of bed at 5am, quickly drove and parked at the airport and fed her in Costa, then by the time she got on the plane she fell asleep as it started to move. Honestly i don’t think she even knew she was on a plane! The return journey was at night so again she slept all the way home.

Bring a dummy

We heard lots of horror stories about poor babies ears on planes so we made sure to take the dummy, the sucking mechanism really helped her… look at me sounding like i know what i’m talking about. I don’t know the science behind it but i do know we didn’t have a problem, so i’m passing on the tip!

Choosing the right toy

Cora was seven months old so right in the midst of her teething stage. We brought two toys, a little soft plush one that fit in her changing bag and a teddy that has lots of different attachments to it, it has teething rings and texture pads and it kept her entertained the entire week. I really recommend the Eric Carle elephant.

A blanket

We didn’t expect Cora to become so attached to the blanket we picked (it’s one a friend knitted for us), it’s one she never shined to before and we took it for extra warmth when needed, it became almost a security blanket for her over the week. It was so cute to watch her squish her face into it when she was falling to sleep. Maybe it smelt like home? We’re not sure but it’s one that will stay with her for years to come.

So there you have it our tips on travelling with a baby. If there are any tips you’d like to share, leave them in the comments 🙂