Are you gearing up for your summer vacation with the family? If you’re flying, it’s important to be prepared for everything—including dealing with kids on a plane.
There are a lot of things to think about when it comes to flying with kids, but don’t worry—we’re here to help. Below are some travel tips that will make your trip a lot easier, from dealing with jet lag to packing the right supplies.
We hope you find these tips helpful!
Before You Take Off
You need to do a little bit of research before you fly with kids. After all, you want the experience to be as smooth as possible, right? First, pick a seat that works for you. If you have an infant, you might want to book a bassinet seat. If you have a toddler, you might want to book a window seat so they can look out the window during take-off and landing.
Next, think about what you’re going to do during the flight. Are you going to watch movies? Play games? Bring books? Whatever you do, make sure you have enough entertainment to keep your kids occupied during the flight.
Finally, pack snacks. Trust me, you don’t want to be stuck on a plane with a hungry kid. So, pack plenty of snacks—enough for yourself too!—to tide everyone over until you land.
At the airport
Assuming you’ve already checked in online, now it’s time to head to the airport. I recommend getting there two hours before your flight is scheduled to depart.
Once you’re at the airport, the first thing you’ll want to do is find the family lane at security. This is where families with small children can go through a separate, shorter line.
Pro tip: Take your shoes off before you get to the security conveyor belt. That way, you won’t have to hold up the line when you’re trying to wrangle your kids and their shoes at the same time.
On the plane
The key to flying with kids is entertainment. Make sure you have plenty of activities for them to do on the plane. Colouring books, portable video games, and handheld consoles are all great options. And don’t forget the snacks! Hunger is sure to strike at some point during the flight, so it’s best to be prepared.
If you have a lap child, be sure to bring a blanket or scarf to tie them into your seat. This will keep them from squirming around and falling out of your arms during take-off and landing. And speaking of take-off and landing, try to time your child’s bottle or pacifier so that they are sucking on it during these times. The change in pressure can cause their ears to hurt, but sucking will help relieve the pain.
Arriving at Your Destination
The second part of your journey is arriving at your destination. If you’re flying, this means dealing with baggage claims and getting all your stuff to the car or taxi. If you’re driving, that means dealing with rest stops, potty breaks, and maybe even a flat tire. No matter how you’re traveling, there are a few things you can do to make this part of the trip go more smoothly.
First, try to keep your kids entertained. This will help them (and you) stay calm. Pack some snacks and drinks for the ride, and bring along some toys or games to keep their minds occupied.
Second, be prepared for anything. Bring along wipes, extra clothes, diapers, and anything else you might need in case of an accident or spill. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
Finally, relax and take it one step at a time. Traveling can be stressful, but it’s important to try and enjoy the journey. After all, it’s half the fun!
Dealing with Jet Lag
If you’re flying east, try to stay up later than usual the night before your flight. If you’re flying west, go to bed early. And on the day of your flight, get exposed to as much natural light as possible. This will help reset your internal clock and make it easier to adjust to the new time zone.
When you land, do your best to stick to the local schedule as much as possible. This means getting up at the usual time, eating meals at the usual time, and avoiding naps if it’s night-time where you are. I know it’s tempting to just crash after a long flight, but trust me, this will make it harder to adjust in the long run.
General Flying Tips for Kids
– Arrive early to avoid the stress of a last-minute dash to the airport. Plus, it’ll give you some extra time to grab snacks and keep your little one entertained.
– Dress comfortably: Keep in mind that you’ll be sitting in a small space for an extended period of time. So, dress your kids (and yourself!) in comfortable clothes that won’t make you too hot or too cold.
– Bring snacks and drinks: Hungry and thirsty people are grumpy. So, pack plenty of snacks and drinks for both you and your kids. And if your child is old enough, teach them how to ask the flight attendant for what they need.
Bring activities: Be sure to pack some books, colouring pages, and small toys to keep your kids occupied during the flight. You might also want to download some movies or shows onto your laptop or tablet.
– Don’t forget the essentials: Make sure you have all of your child’s necessities, such as diapers, wipes, lotion, and so on. It’s also a good idea to pack a change of clothes in case of an accident.
Now that you know all about flying with kids, it’s time to put these tips into action. Get ready for a smooth and stress-free flight by planning and being prepared. With a little bit of effort, you can make flying with kids a breeze. So, what are you waiting for?
By Mehreen Bano