1. Start a countdown to your holiday, by all means. But fully expect the holiday to be mentioned 63 times a day for the remainder of the countdown. And fully expect to regret starting the countdown by the middle of day one.
2. Spend some time creating a pack of activities to keep your little one entertained during the flight. But don’t be disappointed when they spend more time prodding the seat-back TV, pulling the arm-rest up and down, or removing the earphone plug of the unsuspecting passenger next to them on repeat.
3. Always pack a spare change of clothes. For both of you.
4. Feel free to pack a cute little backpack or roll-along for your little one. Just make sure that you have a spare hand to carry / drag it, as the novelty of having their own bag will wear off within five minutes of arriving at the airport.
5. Packing a healthy meal in your hand baggage is a lovely idea. It will ward off the hunger when your small person tucks into all the best bits of your meal and leaves you with a dry bread roll and wilted salad.
6. Pack books, snazzy earphones, and magazines in your bag. You will need them for approximately 32 minutes, before turbulence wakes your child up from their nap.
7. If your child is travelling on your lap for a long-haul flight and you currently enjoy feeling your arms, make the most of that sensation. You will soon be fantasising about it at 40,000 feet.
8. It is well worth heading to the gym before your flight to prepare yourself for carrying your own bags, your children’s bags, and your children of various sizes and weights. You will be expected to do all this down a narrow plane aisle, without hitting anyone on the head with a child’s trailing foot.
9. When you reach your destination, get ready for people to clock the amount of luggage you are travelling with and laugh. A lot.
10. If you are travelling to a different time zone and don’t like coffee, start practicing to like coffee now.