Travelling with kids can be daunting, especially when it comes to flying. Long lines, crowded airports, and unexpected delays can turn even the most seasoned travellers into stressed-out parents. But fear not; with a little preparation and some insider tips, you can make air travel with kids a breeze.
In this article, we’ll share our top tips and tricks for flying with kids, from booking your flights wisely to keeping your little ones entertained during the flight. We’ll also cover strategies for managing behaviour and staying calm and offer suggestions for making a smooth transition upon arrival at your destination.
Whether you’re a seasoned traveller or a first-time flier, this article is for you. So sit back, relax, and get ready to learn everything you need to know about flying with kids.
Insider Tips and Tricks for Flying with Kids
Tips and Tricks for Flying with Kids: Before the Flight
Book your flight wisely
Booking your flight time wisely can make all the difference when flying with kids. Consider your child’s schedule and try to book your flight around their nap time or bedtime. A well-timed flight can mean the difference between a calm, restful journey and a stressful, chaotic one. Additionally, consider the duration of the flight and whether or not you’ll have a layover. Direct flights are often the best option, but if a layover is necessary, ensure you have enough time to make your connecting flight without rushing.
Packing strategically is essential when flying with kids. It’s important to bring all the essentials, like snacks, drinks, diapers, wipes, and entertainment like books, toys, and electronics. However, it’s also important to pack efficiently and avoid overpacking, as carrying too much can be a burden, especially when travelling with kids. Packing in a carry-on can also help you avoid the hassle of checked baggage and make it easier to navigate the airport. Consider packing in compartments or using packing cubes to keep everything organized and easily accessible. By packing strategically, you’ll be able to keep your kids happy and comfortable during the flight without feeling weighed down by excessive baggage.
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Prepare your kids for the flight
Preparing your kids for the flight is crucial when flying with children. Talk to your kids about what to expect during the flight and help them understand the different phases of the journey, from boarding to takeoff to landing. This can help alleviate any fears or anxieties and make the experience more enjoyable for everyone. Additionally, planning activities to entertain your kids during the flight is essential. Consider bringing books, colouring books, or electronic devices to keep them occupied. Packing snacks and drinks to avoid hunger-induced tantrums mid-flight is also a good idea.
Tips and Tricks for Flying with Kids: At the Airport
Arrive early and plan for security
Arriving early and planning for security are critical when flying with kids. Give yourself plenty of time to get through security, as it can take longer when you’re travelling with little ones. Be sure to have all necessary documents, like passports and boarding passes, ready and easily accessible. It’s also important to be prepared for security procedures, like removing shoes and going through the metal detector. For young children, it may be helpful to explain the process in advance so they know what to expect. Arriving early can also give you time to use the restroom, grab a snack, or let your kids burn off some energy before boarding. Planning ahead and arriving early will make the security process smoother and avoid unnecessary stress or delays.
Explore the airport
Exploring the airport can be fun and exciting for kids when flying. Many airports have playgrounds, interactive exhibits, and other activities specifically designed for children. Exploring the airport before your flight can help your kids burn off some energy and make the wait more enjoyable. Additionally, exploring the airport helps familiarize your kids with the airport’s different areas, making the flight experience less intimidating. If you’re travelling with older kids, consider letting them help you navigate and find the gate.
Boarding the plane
Boarding with kids can be challenging when flying, but there are a few tips to make the process easier. If you have young children, take advantage of pre-boarding to get settled and situated before the rest of the passengers board. When boarding, consider bringing a stroller or baby carrier to help transport your child and any necessary items, like a car seat or diaper bag. Packing some snacks and drinks to keep your kids occupied during the boarding process is also a good idea. Once on the plane, store any necessary items, like a stroller or car seat, in the overhead compartment or under the seat in front of you. If you have older children, consider letting them board first so they can get settled while you handle any necessary items.
Tips and Tricks for Flying with Kids: During the Flight
Keep your kids entertained
Keeping your kids entertained during a flight is vital to making the journey more enjoyable for everyone. Pack a variety of activities and entertainment options, like books, colouring books, electronic devices, or even a small toy or two. It’s also a good idea to bring snacks and drinks to help keep your kids fed and hydrated during the flight. Consider bringing headphones or earplugs for your kids, especially if they’re sensitive to noise, and download some movies, TV shows, or games in advance to keep them occupied. If you have a long flight, take regular breaks to stretch, move around, or walk up and down the aisle with your kids. Encourage them to look out the window or engage with other passengers if appropriate. Keeping your kids entertained during the flight will make the journey more enjoyable and memorable for the entire family.
Take care of their comfort
Taking care of your child’s comfort during a flight can make all the difference in their overall experience. Dress your child in comfortable, layered clothing appropriate for the temperature on the plane. Consider packing a small pillow, blanket, or stuffed animal to help them feel more comfortable and cozy during the flight. Additionally, to help your child fall asleep on the plane, consider dimming the lights or using a sleep mask. Bring noise-cancelling headphones or earplugs to block out ambient noise, and use a white noise machine or app if your child is accustomed to sleeping with white noise.
If your child has ear pain during takeoff and landing, consider bringing earplugs or gum to help alleviate the pressure. It’s also important to ensure your child stays hydrated during the flight, so bring plenty of water and avoid sugary drinks. Finally, encourage your child to take breaks to stretch and move around periodically, especially on longer flights. By taking care of your child’s comfort during the flight, you’ll help ensure they arrive at their destination feeling refreshed and ready to explore.
Managing behaviour and staying calm
Managing your child’s behaviour and staying calm during a flight can be challenging but crucial for a successful trip. First and foremost, communicate your expectations with your child before the flight and set clear boundaries for behaviour. Consider bringing along their favourite toys, books, or games to keep them entertained and engaged. If necessary, take a break and walk around the cabin with your child to stretch their legs and release any pent-up energy.
Remember to take deep breaths and stay calm, as your child will feed off your energy and emotions. Additionally, be prepared for any potential behavioural issues, such as tantrums or meltdowns, and have a plan to address them calmly and quickly. Finally, consider rewarding your child for good behaviour or cooperation during the flight, whether with a small treat or a special activity upon arrival. Using these strategies to keep your child calm and happy during the flight will help ensure a positive experience for you and your child.
When flying with kids, unexpected situations can and will arise, but staying calm and flexible in these situations is important. It’s always a good idea to have a backup plan, such as bringing extra snacks and drinks or packing a change of clothes in case of spills or accidents. Be prepared for delays or cancellations by bringing additional entertainment or activities to keep your child occupied. If your child becomes sick or uncomfortable during the flight, address the issue promptly by speaking to the flight attendants or seeking medical attention if necessary. In the event of a long layover or delay, take the opportunity to explore the airport and find activities or entertainment to keep your child engaged. Remember to stay patient and understanding, and keep your child’s well-being and safety as your top priority.
Tips and Tricks for Flying with Kids: After the Flight
Leaving the plane
You can use several tips to make the process of getting off the plane with kids go smoothly. Firstly, gather all your belongings and ensure you have everything you brought with you. Make sure your child has dressed appropriately for the weather at your destination, and consider changing them into fresh clothes if necessary. If you have a stroller or car seat, have it ready to go before you disembark the plane. When leaving the plane, allow other passengers to go ahead of you to avoid rushing or crowding. Once you’re in the airport, take a moment to regroup and gather your bearings before moving on to your next destination. Finally, remember to stay patient and understanding, as the process of getting off the plane can be stressful for everyone.
When it comes to getting your luggage and staying together with your kids while flying, there are several strategies you can use to make the process go smoothly. Firstly, label your luggage with your name, phone number, and address in case it gets lost or misplaced. Keep all important documents, such as passports and tickets, together in a secure and easily accessible location. When waiting for your luggage, keep your children close and in sight, and consider using a stroller or carrier to keep them contained and safe. If you’re travelling with older children, assign each child a specific task, such as keeping track of a particular piece of luggage, to help keep them engaged and responsible. Remember to stay organized and focused, and don’t hesitate to ask for assistance from airport staff if you need it.
Arriving at your destination
Making a smooth transition to your destination with kids after a long flight can be challenging, but it can be easily managed with a few tips and tricks. Firstly, consider booking child-friendly accommodations near the airport to avoid a long and tiring commute. Have a transportation plan, such as arranging a rental car or pre-booking a shuttle service. Familiarize yourself with the area and plan activities or attractions suitable for your children’s age and interests. This will help keep them engaged and excited about the trip. Ensure you have all necessary supplies, such as snacks, water, and extra clothing, easily accessible during the transition. Finally, take some time to relax and adjust to the new time zone before diving into your itinerary. Following these tips, you can ensure a smooth and stress-free transition to your destination and start your trip on the right foot.
Flying with kids can be a taxing experience, but it can also be enjoyable and memorable with some preparation and planning. From booking your flight time wisely to taking care of your child’s comfort, there are numerous strategies you can employ to make your journey smoother and more manageable. With these tips and tricks in mind, you can fly confidently, knowing that you have the tools and strategies to make your journey with kids successful. Happy travels!
Do you have any tips or tricks for flying with kids that could help other families? If so, please share them in the comments section below.
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