Our friends Emma and Zed Khan recently took
their two children on holiday to Cape Verde.
This was the first time that they were going to be on a plane with them, so I reached out to them and asked if they would like to write a short blog about their experience and if they could pass on any advice for you.
I will pass you over to Emma…
OK, so although we were desperate for a sunshine holiday, Zed & I had put off going abroad with our four-year-old (Zak) and our 1-year-old (Aniya). We thought we would rather be covered with honey and hung beneath a beehive before enduring being in a 5ft x 2ft enclosure for hours upon end with our little ‘angels’.
A couple of months ago, we decided to throw caution to the wind and booked to go to the Cape Verde Islands (a 6-hour flight), which we returned from last week.
We were sat waiting to board…in fact who am I kidding; we weren’t sat at all! Zed was occupying Zak by plane spotting, and I was following Aniya who was crawling under the chairs and high fiving strangers.
I could sense our fellow passengers nudging their loved ones muttering, ‘god I hope we don’t get sat in front of them!’ I felt their pain! I would have been saying the same thing had they not been my children and therefore I must sit with them!
Zak was amazing; we knew he would be. He just watched a film, built lego, did his activity books and played cards, but it was Aniya that we knew we’d have more difficulties with, especially since she was kicking off before the plane had even left the runway.
The journey over to Boa Vista was a huge success…partly due to the fact Aniya slept. The moment she fell asleep felt similar to a spa experience. When BOTH children fell asleep (albeit 20 minutes before landing), we were on a level higher than a spa experience…maybe a spa experience with champagne and a free foot rub!!
The journey back wasn’t so much fun. Aniya just wouldn’t sleep. You know that stage where they are knackered…You know it…They know it…BUT THEY STILL REFUSE TO SLEEP! At what point in your life does this change? If someone were rocking me with the whirring of the plane, they wouldn’t have to wait long before I was in the land of Nod
We quickly decided to buy the row in front of us a drink (we needed to apologise somehow as ‘sorry’ just didn’t seem to cut it!). They were fab; they explained they had grandkids and not to worry about the fact they were at risk of whiplash every 10 minutes from a kick to the back of their seats.
There was such a mix of people, some great but some not so fab. The couple opposite us had a spare seat at the end of the row that would have been perfect for Zed since we were squishing four humans into three seats. Instead, they sat apart and used the seat in the middle for their collection of snacks and onboard entertainment. Not only that, they sat and watched Zed, and I was kneeling and standing in the aisle throughout the flight!! One’s cheddar biscuits and Kindle Fire evidently is more entitled to the £250 seat.
However, the lady behind us was a godsend; someone was looking down on us putting her behind us. She was like an onboard nanny. When she took on entertaining Zak, I could have kissed her. She entertained him for a good 15 minutes. It might not seem long but every minute counted when we were dealing with a crazily tired one-year-old.
She got treated to a couple of onboard scratch cards.
There seems to be a running theme here…we realised we might just be buying our way through this journey!
However, on the whole, the kids were great. The long and short of it is…I am SO pleased we decided to just ‘go for it’ because the flight wasn’t nearly as bad as we had overthought it would be. What’s more, over the ten days we were in Cape Verde; we made memories that will last a lifetime.
Don’t put on flying with little ones…the quality family time will be worth whatever exciting dramas the flight has for you.
P.S. Take snacks…lots and lots of snacks! Breadsticks and Quavers are your best friend. 😋