So, you’ve had your first holiday abroad as a family booked for some time, but as it gets closer to your first time flying with children the fear has crept in. As the weeks progress you remember that flight you had pre-children where a baby cried the entire way, or the time your friend told you about her son peeing himself in his seat and you’re suddenly regretting not booking a nice weekend in Brighton. Well don’t fear, flying with children in tow doesn’t have to be a challenge, simply follow these simple tips and you’ll have a simple, stress-free flight and ultimately the relaxing holiday you deserve. Ok, we can’t promise a relaxing holiday but the flight will be easier we’re sure.
Tips for Flying with Children #1 – Check Out the Boarding Options
Some airlines automatically allow parents with small children to board early, and others give this as a paid-for option, so make sure you research in advance to see what your options are. As parents we know that everything from leaving the house to putting your shoes on takes 10x longer once you have little ones in tow, so boarding a flight is no different. Early boarding will allow you a little extra space and time to put your items away, get out the necessities and ensure you and your child are cosy and comfortable before the rest of the passengers arrive. Another great tip would be to check in early, this means you don’t have to get deal with the stress of a last minute check in and you’re more likely to be seated next to one another.
Tips for Flying with Children #2 – Don’t Expect Them to Sleep
Lots of parents expect their child to sleep on a flight, but we wouldn’t recommend banking on this. Go with the idea that he/she won’t sleep and if they do it’s an added bonus. Ensure you have packed enough activities to keep them busy throughout the entire trip, as boredom will almost certainly result in whiney, grumpy children. This tip stands even if you’ve booked the flight for bedtime hours, with a different environment you simply cannot predict.
Tips for Flying with Children #3 – Snack Attack
Due to the liquid regulations on flights many people are nervous about taking their own food on a plane, but with in-flight food not being so tasty or healthy it’s useful to pack your own snacks for children. Finger foods are perfect for bored kids who are announcing the dreaded ‘MUUUUUM I’M HUNGRYYYY’ message to the entire aircraft. Try packing sandwiches, vegetable sticks, fruit, nuts and sweet treats that they can graze on throughout the flight. But of course, any liquids must be under 100ml to be taken on hand luggage. TOP TIP: pack an empty water bottle and once you’re through security ask one of the restaurants to fill the drink for you.
Tips for Flying with Children #4 – Surprise Surprise
It goes without saying that before going on a flight the best thing to do is to pack your little one’s hand luggage with his/her comfort toy and activities to keep them busy. But, for prolonged entertainment surprise them with an array of new, unseen toys in their bag. From colouring books to dominoes the excitement of a new treat (however small it is) will make playing with them all the more fun!
Tips for Flying with Children #5 – Zip Lock Bags
As a parent your hand luggage is guaranteed to be filled with all sorts of odds and ends, that you just MIGHT need. We recommend organising your bag using zip lock bags, freezer bags are the perfect solution and being clear means you can easily see what you’re looking for. Put together your liquids, medications, paper work, toys, money etc. Having these items grouped together in a small bag means you’ll easily find what you’re looking for, when you need it.