Travelling with a child is exciting – and on many levels. From not knowing how they will react to a change in schedule and environment, to that pure awe in their eyes as they see something new, it’s an experience full of immeasurable highs and lows.
With that said, the benefits far outweigh the negatives. In this article, we’ll offer some tried and tested tips for easier travelling with kids.
Tips for flying with kids
Flying with kids is an entirely different ball game when compared to all other transport modes. There are suitcases to manage, the kids’ gear, (potentially) endless wait times, as well as the unique environment that is a packed plane. Consider the following when flying for a less stressful experience:
Board early (or last)
We know this is a gross contradiction – but some kids will benefit from early boarding, others won’t. Now, if you’re carrying half the house as hand luggage, you must board early to find enough space in the overhead luggage compartment. But, if your kid isn’t too fond of sitting down in one place for an extended period of time, you may benefit from boarding last and giving them more space to use up their energy prior to being cooped up in their seat.
Be cordial to other passengers
There are two types of passengers: those who smile fondly at little kids and those who get the fright of their lives when they see a little face about the board. Be cordial to both, but know that kids will be kids and there’s no saying how they will react on a flight. Remember, it’s not your fault if they misbehave and those around you should, simply, suck it up.
Activity bags are lifesavers, especially on longer journeys. Pack something they love, and something new. Our travel bags usually include an activity book with stickers, colours, a pack of child-friendly playing cards, play dough, and little figurines for imaginative play. We also pack a tablet with their favourite shows downloaded and ready to go.
A.k.a the holy grail to happy kids. Kids get hungry at the first sign of boredom so expect added requests for food. Snacks on an airplane are ridiculously expensive and not always child friendly, so make sure to pack a good amount of sustenance (with little or no sugar) to last you the duration of the trip and all the waiting involved (take into consideration potential delays!). Check out our article for healthy, mess-free snack ideas.
Dress in layers
Airplane temperature is either too hot or too cold. Layering up is a good antidote to fluctuating airplane and airport temperatures.
If your child was recently unwell, the change in cabin air pressure can do a number on their tiny ears. Encourage your child to drink water or eat during take off and landing. The swallowing helps with the pressure.
Visit our family travel tips section for more quick and snappy tips, and if we’ve convinced you to book the trip your family has been dreaming of, head to our home for more tips, support and family friendly city guides. Check out our most loved travel gear, from brands we trust.
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