Flying With Kids, Survival Tips To Make Your Flight Easier
Flying with kids is a lot different to flying solo, or with your partner. Babies, toddlers, and young kids need more attention. From the planning, to the actual flight itself, there are a lot more little things you need to consider that you may not have even thought of. Whether you are taking a short flight or a long haul flight, here are some tips that can help flying with kids much easier.
1. Flying with kids? Plan ahead
Planning is everything when flying with kids. Plan ahead and avoid leaving everything to the last minute so that you won’t need to stress at the airport. There’s nothing worse than forgetting something, or having to rush around when you have children with you.
2. Pack enough, but not too much
When flying with kids, you really need as many hands as possible, so only pack what you will need in your hand luggage and nothing more. Some spare clothes, their favourite toy, some snacks etc. Don’t go overboard as the last thing you want to be doing is carrying around heavy bags while walking around the airport, and onto the plane with kids. Also consider using a backpack so that you aren’t carrying too much on wheels. Hands free bags are much easier, especially if you have a young child who may need to be carried.
3. Check in early
Getting to the airport and checking in early allows extra time for any issues you may have along the way. So if you forget something, your little one needs an unexpected change, or one of your kids has a meltdown, at least you have time on your hands and you won’t end up late.
4. Book a bassinet for your baby
Even if you don’t use the bassinet when flying with your baby, it still gives you the opportunity to have a seat with extra leg room. Depending on the size of your baby, a bassinet can fit a child up to around a year old. It definitely gives you more flexibility so when your baby is sleeping they have somewhere to lay rather than in your arms for the whole flight. It is also more comfortable if you are flying with multiple children at once.
5. Decide on a lap seat or own seat for your toddler
If you are travelling on a short flight with your kids this may not be an issue, but long haul flights with kids can be a different story. While a lap seat on a long haul flight will save you money, it really depends on how you go holding your toddler for all that time, especially if your flight is overnight.
You could get lucky and have a spare seat next to you, but if there is a full flight and you have a wiggly toddler, your long haul flight could be more stressful than it’s worth. You need to weigh up what your sanity is worth and if you have the budget for it, give your toddler their own seat.
6. Request bulk head seats on the flight where possible
Airlines usually reserve these seats for families flying together, but it is worth asking just in case. If you check in early enough you will usually have priority so get to the airport as early as you can. Bulk head seats allow that extra bit of leg room, so when kids are getting up and down they aren’t disturbing other passengers.
7. Remember to book your kids meals before your flight
Some flights may automatically give you kids meals, but many you have to book in advance otherwise your kids end up with adult meals. You can book kids meals through your travel agent if booking with one, or contact the flight company at least a few days before you travel. Airlines don’t usually cater more meals than booked so don’t count on them having an extra kids meal if you forget.
8. Help your child’s ears on take off and landing
Take off and landing with flying with kids can be tough as they may not know how to control their ears. Give them something to eat or drink during these times to help with the air pressure.
9. Have a special stash of treats for emergencies
This will honestly be your saviour so make sure you leave this for the absolute emergencies. When kids get bored they can start to act out, so especially if you are on a long haul flight with your kids you will need a stash of treats. Not things you would normally let them have though as they won’t be as special. So it could be some chocolate or sweets, or it could be some stickers or a special toy. Something you know they will get excited about. So then when your child starts to get restless or start a tantrum, you have something to quickly calm them down with.
10. Give into the I-pad or Tablet
Not all airlines have amazing on-board entertainment. If your child doesn’t like what is showing, they’re getting bored with everything else and you are out of options, at least you will have their favourite movie or game to keep them entertained.
Patience goes a long way when flying with kids
When kids see parents stress, they tend to stress too. When travelling with young kids, accept that things may go wrong, and try to deal with any issues as that come along. Staying calm will make flying with your kids easier and allow you to have a much enjoyable flight.