So our first long-haul flight with baby has come and gone, and we’re still alive to tell the tale. Barely.
For 2 people who traveled around the world for a year, with basically what amounted to carry-on sized backpacks, traveling with a baby was certainly a big change. Boy, oh boy is there a lot of gear and luggage involved. And that was after we pared it down to the absolute bare minimum.
We weren’t staying in one country, and various modes of transport, including cars, trains, buses and planes had to be considered, as well as the fact that we were packing for 3 months in Europe. June in the Mediterranean can be windy, cool and rainy, and of course, summer is hot and humid, so we had to prepare for multiple seasons and climates. Talk about a headache!
When all was said and done, we ended up with 1 large suitcase, 2 backpacks (1 carry-on size), a day pack, a travel stroller, car seat and ErgoBaby carrier. Intense, but manageable. There was the “worrying-mom” side of me that wanted to pack HER diapers, and HER creams and HER everything, but sanity and lack of space won in the end. After all, we were headed to Europe, not the jungle or remote Arctic. And I was almost certain babies wore diapers and had baths in Europe too. 😉
We would pick up what we needed there.
OUR CHECK-IN PROCESS
We minimized the amount of time we would have to deal with our luggage, by checking in at Seoul’s City Air Terminal, which is fortunately just a 15 minute taxi ride away from our house. There, we were able to check-in for our flight, clear immigration and catch a direct limousine bus to Incheon airport, 70 minutes away.
We were able to check our luggage and carseat there, but had to take our stroller along with us to Incheon Terminal to check in at the Departure Gate. Still, it was a huge relief to be divested of most of our load so early in the process.
Once we arrived at Incheon, all we had to do was join the special “fast-track” security and immigration lines provided for families with children, and our check-in process was complete.
OUR EXPERIENCE IN THE AIR
Simply put, our experience on Korean Air was nothing less than amazing. Not just because our little traveler handled the whole thing like it was a walk in the park (not even crying on take-off or landing), but because the service on the flight was wonderful.
We’d reserved a bassinet when we booked our tickets, and were happy to discover that not only was the bassinet provided without any problems, Korean Air had also reserved the entire middle row for us, even though we hadn’t booked a seat for our little one. Having that bit of extra room to spread out, and walk around with Naia when we were putting her to sleep was definitely appreciated.
Within minutes of boarding the plane, a flight attendant stopped by to offer us a bag of “goodies,” which included a box of kleenex, extra wet wipes and a Pororo activity book. She also let us know that we could call on her whenever we needed anything, and that they could serve us baby food whenever we needed it. We were provided meals twice on the flight, which included special Jeju water for babies, organic apple juice and 2 jars of Heinz baby food each time.
At the time of the flight, I was still a little bit shy about breastfeeding in public (totally over THAT phobia after a month in Europe haha), so the flight attendants cleared out the galley and guarded it so that we could feed her in private, away from prying eyes.
I’m not saying the flight wasn’t exhausting for us. It was. But overall, it was not remotely as difficult as I imagined it was going to be. We’re not even dreading the long flight back to Seoul at the end of summer.
Well, maybe just the tiniest little bit. 🙂
What’s the longest plane journey you’ve ever taken? What do you do to entertain yourself on long-haul flights?
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