If you are flying with kids, you might be worried about landing up in frenzy with your little ones spending the whole flight screaming leaving the fellow passengers sighing and complaining. Perhaps, flying with kids could be harrowing unless you make the necessary arrangements before boarding. Here are a few tips for air travel with kids that will certainly reduce your stress and make your flight hassle free.
1. Know the Charges and Regulations for each Airline
Different airlines have different charges and rules. As much variation is seen in the fares and regulations involved with taking your baby on a flight, it is always advisable to check them before travelling.
2. Catch the Early Flight
For kids, flying early in the morning is better as they generally sleep but the later it gets, the more they stay awake. Young children are often less cranky and well behaved in the morning. However, catching early flight is your best prospect to avoid delays at takeoff and landing.
3. Check in Early
Arriving at the airport two hours early takes a huge burden off parents flying with kids. You can be more relaxed at check-in and much calmer at security. After dealing with check-in procedure, you can find a place to chill with the remaining time. If your kids are young, then you can walk around the terminals with them, finding the best food and wifi. Otherwise, you can best utilize the final hours reading with your kids.
4. Get the Wiggles Out
Airports provide better play areas for kids. If you can find one in the main terminal, you can let the kids go wild on the jungle gym. Otherwise, you can just let them run up and down the terminal, explore sidewalks and roll down the ramps. After some entertainment, sitting down for hours will certainly be a relief.
5. Wear Smart Airport-day Clothing
Simple clothing is ideal, mainly when you have to use the bathroom while holding a baby. Use slip-off shoes, belt with no metal parts so that you don’t have to take them off making screening easier and faster. Wear a wrinkle-free jacket with lots of pockets. Be ready for drastic changes in temperature while flying by dressing your kids in comfortable layers, preferably without buttons, zippers, or anything that could prevent them from getting to the bathroom in time.
6. Switch to Strollers
One piece of equipment that always makes the short list is the stroller. You will have to fold it to go through security, but at least you can bring it all the way up to the gate. Strollers are great for resting all luggage and carry-ons while the kids are expelling some energy. If you have more than one little traveller with you, consider a kid harness or a leash.
7. Backpacks for Hands-free Navigation
Backpacks or across-the-body bags are ideal for flying with younger children. It becomes convenient for you to carry your child or push a buggy at the airport. Perhaps, children over three years old can also carry their own backpacks filled with snacks, toys or pillows.
8. Best Seats
The best seating arrangement ideal for parents flying with kids is the last row of the plane. It is better to make the kids seated away from the aisle. As the food cart passes by, little hands are in dangerous reach of hot beverages. However, if you are taking a long flight with a baby, opt for bulkhead seat and a bassinet, a folding crib that attaches to the front wall.
9. Use Pull-Ups for Emergency
Be prepared for emergencies like drinks getting spilt and diapers getting misplaced or dropped. As kids do not often make it to the toilet in time, use pull-ups. They are less stressful than having to race to the bathroom or deal with an in-seat accident.
10. Befriend Cabin Crew
If you have a child who is under the age of two, you must be ready for a special one-on-one conversation with the flight attendant. Perhaps, they will instruct you with essential tips on how to hold a baby for take-off and landing. Added to this, if you are travelling alone with your baby and need to go to the toilet, ask a flight attendant to hold the baby for you.
11. Bring Surprises and Play Activities
Kids love gifts and surprises. You can carry their favourite toys, colouring books, sticker books, Play-Doh and Go Fish playing cards to combat boredom. Make sure you also carry an iPad or Tablet on board with you. You can load your tablet with songs, games, TV shows and Disney films to keep your kids entertained for a longer time.
12. Bring Snacks
Food is a great boredom-buster. If the snacks come in a variety of colors and shapes, they can be kept well sorted and organized. A sack of colourful gummy bears when things are really annoying is a more effective lifesaver than any oxygen mask. So, carry ample snacks. Until the in-flight meal is served, you can fend them off with snacks.
13. Walk the Aisles
When your little ones are getting restless, you can always get up and walk the aisle together. Make a few rounds and your child will love all the attention he or she gets from the other passengers.
14. Follow Family Bedtime Routines when Possible
Flying with kids does not mean throwing off their bedtime routines entirely. If your kids have certain dolls or stuffed toys, pajamas or bedtime stories, bring them for when it’s time to sleep. Regular bedtime rituals can not only make them more comfortable but also drift them off to sleep faster.
15. Prepare for landing
Changes in air pressure can play havoc with kids’ tiny ear canals and this is really painful for them. To avoid painful ear pressure during takeoff and landing, offer chewing gum or gummy vitamins to kids. Babies should be bottle-fed or nursed to relieve air pressure.
Flying is such a new experience for all kids who might feel a little anxious. The above air travel tips will certainly help you to make them feel safe and secure. It’s the best way to settle them down.