Whether you belong to a mediocre family or a highly privileged one, flying with kids can be an equally daunting task. I mean, who wants to carry a gigantic luggage through the airport, with a notorious child in a tow. And not to forget, the part where you have to keep a hold of the unhappy child can be a real pain in the neck.
While I can’t promise that your kids will keep themselves grounded throughout the travel, these traveling tips will definitely streamline the mood of your cute ones.
#Tip1: Plan Ahead and Make the Arrangements Accordingly
The first priority for you should be to get to the airport as early as possible. Do not forget that you are traveling with your kids, so a last minute hustle doesn’t work around here. Save enough time to reach to the airport so you could get your children into the groove of flight. The additional time you get at the airport will give enough time for your child to play inside the empty gate area or do exercises if possible.
Always have a prior idea of your seat allocation online, before you leave for the airport. Print the boarding passes & keep them in a safe place.
90% of the time kids start screaming due to hunger or exhaustion. Hence, pack enough food items and toys to keep your kids happy.
#Tip2: Getting to the Airport
Getting to the airport can be another hassle a family has to face during air travel. Neither you can take your own car nor can you ask your friend to give you a lift to airport. So what’s the option left for you? A taxi could be a favorable option if you are willing to pay a big sum at the time of parking. So what can you do?
If you are heading for a short trip, consider off-airport parking. A shuttle service can easily pick you up at your initial point and drop you off at the destination.
If the trip you are going to cover is too long, you should hire a local car service that gives you an option of car seat.
#Tip3: Checking In
I hope you have already checked in online and just need to drop off the luggage. Follow these tips to make your airport check in smooth and easy. There is every chance in the world that your kid will get bored when you’re standing in a long line. Look for an open space for your kids to play or run a little with one parent to look after them.
Unless you are swinging your child in a sling, don’t take a stroller. Most airlines will allow you to take the stroller to the gate but that generally leads to a long wait outside the plane door.
If you are traveling with a lap infant, consider keeping the car seat with you, until you find a free seat for the baby on a plane.
Make an advance inquiry about the baggage restrictions. Some airlines may exclude baby items like car seat or stroller as the parent’s baggage allowance. So, it’s always better to make the adjustments before it’s too late.
#Tip4: Airport Security with Kids
As I mentioned above, planning is an essential factor when it comes to traveling with kids. One of the simple remedies to make your airport security check smooth is to have everything well-organized. Stuff rolling out off the stroller and lots of loose items in the basket can only make your experience terrifying.
Have a good conversation with your child. Tell him/her what exactly happens so that they know what to expect. Get them into the role of flying by describing all the fun facts of flying like sceneries, clouds and small houses etc. Put all your stuffs on the security belt & remove everyone’s shoes. Most of the airports offer family lanes at the security checkpoint. These extra agents of family lanes help make your trip less stressful. If you are carrying an infant, you can easily get through security by just keeping the kid in a metal-free sling. The sling helps to keep your baby asleep without being disturbed.
#Tip5: After Security
I hope your kids have cooperated till this point and certainly not made a mess out of your travel. Now take a break to give your kids a sign of appreciation for their support till now. If you have to change a diaper, this is the right time. Give them something to eat like snacks. To be honest, this is the right time to get your kids a torn out so that they sleep on the plane.
Most of the airports have a play area for your kids to work on. Check the airport’s website or ask a gate agent for the details. However, if you don’t find one, there is always an empty gate area that can be exploited by the kids for playing.
If you missed any food item or drink that you wanted to take into the plane, this is an appropriate time to buy the necessary groceries.
If your child has gone through the potty training recently, it’s best to put him/her in a diaper for the flight.
As the flight time approaches, listen to the agent for pre-boarding announcement. Getting to the plane first and organizing stuffs before everyone else is trying to board can be extremely beneficial. Send your husband/wife ahead with the carryon baggage and car seats, meanwhile, you can wait with the kids. This way the first parent can get everything organized without any distractions. Once you are on-board, make sure all your necessary items are within your reach, while you are seated. You have to convince your kid to belt their seat before the take-offs. Most parents have the issue where their children refuse to belt their seat resulting in the flight delay.
#Tip7: Flight Delay with Kids
I just wish no one falls in the trap of flight delay. I know it can be nerve-racking to wait for hours, and if you have kids with you the stress just doubles-up. Here are few things I usually try during my flight-delay.
If the plane door has not been shut-down, ask if they allow children to play on the jet way.
Kids have the habit of picking up things from their parents. So even if you are frustrated, don’t let your child know about it.
Get your kids rolling into the world of pilot games or positive play with the neighboring passengers! Keep your children engaged with high-protein snacks or sugary juice.
#Tip8: During Takeoff
Takeoff can be a horrific experience for few kids. So as the parent, you need to keep in check, all the possibilities that can frighten your child. Here are the takeoff tips that can keep your child calm and cool as a breeze. ?
Small infants have no idea how to clear their ears during takeoff and landing, so it’s your duty to help them. For children above 8 years old, gum is a good option to go.
In addition to helping with ear pressure, breast feeding can set the tone for sleep.
If your child is tired, follow the exact routine you usually follow to make them asleep during takeoff.
#Tip9: In Flight
Now this is where it comes to the focal point of air travel. The long and weary hours of travel can cause a serious trouble to the parents as the stubborn children may get onto their nerves with long cries and irritations. Apply these tips to enhance your comfort on the flight.
As the legend says – Always keep your best weapon for the best time. If your child has his/her favorite toy, flight time is the right time to give it to him/her.
To get things more spiced up, you can wrap the toy as a gift and let them unwrap it. This builds the excitement and can freshen up their mood.
Stuffing in babies’ noses is quite common, so consider taking saline drops and small syringe to help you out. Few drops can clear things up for your baby’s nose.
Get ready to be a good nurse/doctor. Pack sick bags and medical cards with you.
#Tip10: During Landing
Similar to takeoff, you will need to help your child with pressure in the ears during landing. If you need any liquid products like milk, water, or juice, ask the flight attendant before the landing begins. After landing, it’s best to wait until all the passengers get off the plane as it gives you the time to arrange your baggage properly. Most amazing part of all, not being in the path of exiting passengers gives your children a chance to peek in the cockpit.
Follow these amazing tips and you will have less or complain-free air travel. If I have missed any of the tips, do share it on comments below… Have a safe flight!