We all know that travelling with children is often a stressful experience, but at least if you’re driving with the kids you can pull over and stop if you need to.
Not so much on an aeroplane. Children can get serious cabin fever on long flights, especially if they’re tired and there’s not much room for them. Plus even the most patient of fellow passengers can give you a hard time.
But there are several ways that you can make sure that you and your children have a safe and pleasant flight and we’ve listed some tips that will help you survive any plane travel with kids!
Do your research
Some airports have crèches for play areas to keep children entertained while waiting for flights – these can be a life saver if your flight is delayed! Also check to see if you can keep your pushchair with you until you board – this will save you having to carry your child and provides a handy place to store hand luggage until your flight. Families often get priority boarding, which lets you board before other passengers.
Take the pressure off
Take off and landing can play havoc with your ears and small children are much more sensitive to the air pressure. Although crying is one way to clear their ears, it’s better for everyone else’s ears if your child is sucking (a dummy, lollipop etc.) or swallowing instead!
Day or night
While you might not have that much choice, it’s important to think about which type of flight will suit your child. Your child might (if you’re lucky) sleep through if your flight is at night-time… but if your child screams throughout the flight, other passengers won’t thank you! It’s also worth thinking about arrival times – do they coincide with when your child would normally be sleeping?
Where possible, coincide your flight’s take off with your child’s nap time. If they’re tired and are used to sleeping they should at least sleep through the first part of the journey if you’re lucky! It’s also worth reserving a bassinet on the plane – even if your child doesn’t sleep in it, you can use it to store all of your stuff during the flight.
What can we say, bribery works! Get some of your child’s favourite small toys, plus a few new surprises and snacks and wrap them up individually. On the flight, give your child one every hour or so. The mystery of the parcel itself will amuse them and each should keep them occupied until the next unwrapping.
What are your tips for flying with children?