Summer vacation is getting closer and it is about time you start planning your next family travel. To get to your destination you might drive your car or soar on an airplane. Flying with your children might be the most adventurous thing you attempt to do as a parent. You may have to protect your child from the passengers or the other way round – it doesn’t matter because both are stressful. These tips for flying with children are easy to follow and will surely contribute to a stress-free flight with your kids.
Here are some tips on how to tame the beast inside your child (and maybe yourself) so that everyone can sail smoothly through the sky to the next airport.
Plan the flight
It’s a hard task to travel with your children, considering how much can happen if you are traveling alone, for example, your flight may be delayed or even canceled, ID’s can be forgotten and your luggage can be lost, or God forbid – stolen. So can it get any worse? Of course, add an energetic and fidgety child to this and it’ll surely become a hellish trip.
Your children have the right to fly with you and to have that unforgettable first-time flying experience. These tips would definitely contribute to your calmer experience while onboard.
The key to a successful travel with kids is to start planning ahead.
Keep in mind the age of your child
If you are traveling with a baby, the best age to travel by plane is 3 months and above. Generally, airlines allow at least 2 weeks old babies to fly, but there are no standard regulations and it is better to check with the airline before you book. Furthermore, you might also need proof for your newborn’s age or you may need a fit-to-fly letter from your doctor if the baby is less than 2 weeks old. Other documents you may need for your baby are visa, passport, and vaccines considering your destination. Keep in mind that such a fragile organism shouldn’t be exposed to the many germs and discomforts a plane can offer and if it’s just a leisure trip it would be better to put it on hold.
Choose your booking wisely
Most parents look for flights that are suitable for their child’s routine. No matter if it’s a long haul or a short flight try choosing to fly at a time when your kids are used to wind down. It is a good idea to have a bit longer breaks between flights. That way you’ll have plenty of time for eating, having the child run around and catch the next flight on time. Of course, you know your child better than anyone else, so keep in mind their behavior. It isn’t the greatest idea to have a fidgety child on a red-eye flight while others are trying to rest.When booking
A very well-tried tip for flying with kids is to choose seats that are closer to the toilet. By doing so, you are saving yourself (and your child) the annoying trips to the toilet that include nasty eyes and bumps into the seats of other passengers.
Traveling solo can be expensive, let alone with kids but some airlines offer discounts so you should always check for such. It doesn’t matter if it’s for a plane ticket or just visiting a museum/gallery it is your right to ask for child discounts and if there are such to use them.
Preparing their minds
Flying miles above the earth takes guts and your children need to be prepared for the new sights and sounds they will encounter on an airplane ride. Tell your kids what to expect before the flight. Don’t scare them into not going but make it sound as exciting as you can while making sure they understand the rules of the plane.
Tip: It’s a fabulous idea to introduce them to the rules of a plane and the plane itself by a plane toy while showing them some parts of the aircraft such as the tail, wings, turbines, etc.
Turn the flight into a game by giving them something to be looking for such as the seat-belt light, the chair treys, the view outside the window, the friendly flight attendants, the pilot’s voice over the intercom, how to sleep on the plane, etc. Make it something they can look forward to and offer little rewards that they can earn periodically through the flight if they are good.
Pay extra attention to their behavior
As a parent, it is your responsibility for your child’s behavior. Before going through the gates or even entering the airport, sit them down and explain the rules. Talk to them as if they were adults and show them how to be well-mannered on public transportation or any transportation at all.
But in the end, they are just kids and you are the parent so you should always be on guard.
Prepare the passengers around you
You would probably get lots of nasty looks if you are traveling with a baby or a small child. Another great tip for flying with kids is to surprise the passengers that are seated closer to you. To elevate the mood around you it would be kind to prepare some small gifts. They can include some sweets or a small bottle of whiskey or other alcohol. On these gifts, you can introduce the little passenger, ask for patience and excuse in advance for inconveniences during the flight.
A further tip is to prepare baggies filled with goodies that can help in amusing your child. For example, if your kid likes turning backward to look at others this is a great way to keep them quiet and happy. Just give the baggie to the passenger behind you and let them know what to do with it.
These tips for flying with children are top-notch and you should definitely give them a try
Packing for the trip
Keep in mind your destination, season and weather so you can bring the most appropriate clothes with you without any unnecessary luggage. Before you start packing check the allowed weight and dimensions you can take on your flight. You can always call, email or check the airline’s website.
Easy to access bags
Everything you need quick access to should be in a small bag or backpack. Such things could be passports, tickets, transport details other needed documents. You can also include your wallet/purse, power banks, chargers and tablets full of entertaining apps for your child or any medications (if needed).
Another easy to access bag might include some essentials for your kids. It depends if it’s a baby there could be spare clothes, diapers, wipes, formula milk, water, and bottles.
Bag for each child
If your kid is old enough, they can carry their own small bag full of goodies, spare clothes, snacks and anything you can think of. Furthermore, they’ll feel more of a grown-up and what better way to start developing some responsibility?
Packing the food
During your packing phase of getting ready to make sure to bring a LOT of snacks. When it comes to keeping your kids calm and pleasant for your fellow passengers, this is no time to be health-conscious. Naturally, you don’t want to give them sugar highs but individual crackers, chips and cookie bags will bring forth little fussiness and messiness. If you’re attempting a very long flight (8 hours plus) you may want to call up the flight staff beforehand and pre-order your children’s meals.
Don’t forget to include yourself in the snacks, after all, you need food fuel too.
Further ideas for snacks “Road Trips With Kids”
Bringing games, books, electronics, and toys are ESSENTIAL when flying with children. Bring larger items that won’t get lost under their seats like coloring books with attached coloring tools or Etch N Sketch. Remember to bring your own earphones for your electronics since the ones that the flight staff has are made for adults. Surprise your children throughout the flight with little gifts so that they have a motivation to keep up their good behavior.
Other entertainment ideas while on the location “Travel Tips With Kids”
Bribing or a little scare
There are two ways you can help your child to keep calm and quiet during a flight. The first one is to bribe them by promising them something exciting when you’re off the plane or with small gifts and surprises during the flight. Or you can easily scare them. For instance, telling them that there are spies that look out for naughty children would keep them well-behaved throughout the flight. These tips for flying with children will make it easier for you and the passengers around you.
Tire them out
This is one of the few neglected tips for flying with children out there. Before going through the gates it would be best if you tire your child/children out. Let them run outside, jump and laugh all they want before you set a foot inside the airport. That way you’ll have a better chance of them sleeping on the plane.
When all is said and done, you’ve done your best to keep everyone around you happy by following many tips for flying with children, so don’t add more stress to this trip by allowing other people’s opinions to scare you. Even if your kids ARE behaving really well you may STILL get evil looks from people. Why? Who knows! People think what they think and there’s nothing you can do to change that. So let the scrutiny eyes roll off your back and make this airplane flight about you and your kids, nobody else. You may not ever see these people again anyway, so don’t let them spoil your fun.
At last, you’ve had a safe landing and now you and your family can race each other off the plane and into a taxi to take you to your hotel. Yes, you do have to turn around and fly back home in a week. But as long as you remember our tips for flying with children you should be able to conquer your flight home with relative ease.