Preparing for an air travel trip with children involves a lot of planning and logistics. You may encounter a few obstacles before and during your flight, so it’s best to be prepared and know what to expect. Children have special requirements when it comes to travelling and we have prepared 10 tips to help you organize a stress-free air travel with your children.
- Use your phone as a reminder service: Writing lists and making notes is one of the essential activities when planning a trip. Instead of taking lots of paper and losing it on the way, write everything down on your phone. You can download an application for organizing a trip or use a simple memo app. This way everything will be stored in one place and you can even set reminders for important stuff.
- Communicate with your children before and during the flight: If your child is flying for the first time it’s best to prepare him on what to expect. Flying can be fun and it’s important to communicate with your children and explain to them what it means to travel by plane. Also, walk them through the steps as you prepare to go through airport security or before you board the plane.
- Help them ease the ear pain: During take-off and landing, you should try to prevent and deal with potential ear pain. If you’re travelling with a baby, it’s best to breastfeed or feed them with a bottle of milk. The swallowing will ease the ear pain and make the landing easier. For older children, chewing on snacks helps.
- Bring extra clothes: When travelling with children, it’s always good to be prepared and have an extra set of clothes. During the flight, air pressure makes bottled water explode—your children may also feel sick. We recommend clothes in patterns so the stains won’t show as much.
- Have a bag with small presents: Everyone loves presents, children especially love good treats.
- Prepare a few small presents: which you will give your child as a reward for his good behaviour. You can wrap up small toys like soft animals or wind-up toys which will keep your child occupied for half an hour or so. Books are also a great gift and don’t take up much space.
- Bring longer lasting foods: Food will occupy your children for a while, so bring foods which take longer to eat. Grapes, cherry tomatoes, strawberries and raisins are a healthy snack and fun to eat.
- Make a plan of fun activities in time slots: Depending on the flight length, you will need to come up with enough activities to keep your children occupied. It’s best to plan your activities in 15-30 minutes slots. Watching through the windows during take-off and landing will keep them entertained for 15 minutes, while for the rest of the flight, you will need to be creative.
- Entertainment: Rules and restrictions should go out the window during a flight. Download your child’s favourite videos and games on your phone or tablet and let them binge on their favourite shows for as long as they want. Make sure you explain to your children that this applies only when flying and that the usual restrictions apply as soon as you land. They will look forward to their next flight. Don’t forget to charge your device.
- Arrange a private airport transfer in advance: Getting from the airport to your accommodation when travelling with children in a country you’ve never visited before can be a challenge if not planned accordingly. Although public transport is a cheaper option, changing between bus, train and metro lines can be complicated when travelling with children. The best option is to book a private airport transfer online before your trip. The driver will be waiting for you at the airport arrivals and take you directly to your hotel.
Provided by Susan Doyle, founder of Kinder Travel Guide, which provides information and advice to parents travelling with children under the age of four. Log on to Kinder Travel Guide for lots of great tips and top destinations for young families both home and abroad.