Every family wants to make the best of their holidays. Of course, if you are flying with kids, you might be stressed about arriving sane and in one piece.
Kids can act very crazy, or they can spend the whole flight screaming and crying. This can be immensely difficult for parents. Nevertheless, we are here to give you some of the best tips for having a great experience when flying with children.
The Best Tips for Keeping Small Kids Happy an Airplane
Be very prepared
It’s important to make sure you have the kids’ travel essentials. These include wet wipes, snacks, games, playing cards, a portable DVD player if needed or better a tablet, water, extra clothes, and medicine.
Your kid might take you by surprise and get a high temperature, or simply start feeling unwell. Nevertheless, you must be highly prepared for almost any scenario.
Understand the airline’s promises and regulations
Different airlines have many different rules and regulations. Some airlines might charge you for one thing, while others might not. Parents should be highly aware of each variation when flying with kids. What does this mean?
This means checking out the airline’s website and making sure you can easily contact them for any and every question you might have. If you use a tour operator, bring all their contacts as well.
They can help you solve most of the problems that may happen during travelling. However, even if you lost or forgot all the contacts, don’t panic: a good airline company or tour operator website template always has all their emergency contact on the main page or at least on the main toolbar.
Try adjusting the time of flight
You will do an amazing job if you try to match the flight with your normal circadian rhythm. If possible, try to choose flights at a time when your kids are meant to fall asleep.
However, this could always go the other way if your child is very excited so that he/she doesn’t want to go to sleep since you’re way up in the air!
Wet wipes and pull-ups
Experiences from frustrated parents say that having a lot of wet wipes is never enough. Any plane might have a long delay, or it might get stuck before take-off.
This won’t negatively affect you and your child if you have a lot of wet wipes and emergency pull-ups, as Cathy from Mummy Travels says. This way, your flight will be quite a chill and fun adventure, not a potential nightmare scenario.
Arm yourself with snacks
A hungry toddler will always let you know if he/she is hungry. So, until the in-flight meal is served, make sure that you fill them up with snacks.
If you don’t want to give unhealthy snacks or fast food to your kids, try to give them sliced up fruit and/or vegetables, such as grapes, apples or cucumber. It might be only stuff that works.
Scare them (just a little, of course)
We’ve had a couple of confessions from young mothers saying that they warn their young children of the ‘Airplane Police’ who are looking for badly behaving children.
Of course, you should never scare your children out of their wits, but this has proven to be hugely effective from stopping young toddlers doing crazy stuff, such as climbing over seats, playing with the fold-down table, kicking the seat in front of them, and all of the other things that passengers around you will definitely hate.
Make regular WC stops
Always make sure to go immediately to the bathroom before getting on board the plane. Try not to give your kids too many fluids, since they will be up and down to the WC all the way to your destination.
This way, it may be extremely annoying both to you and to the passengers around you. This is sensible advice for adults as well. Drinking a lot of water before take-off is maybe not the smartest idea, especially if you were held up before arriving at the airport!
Pack a child bag
When we interviewed a young mother with three children, she said that she packs a plane bag for each one of them. Maybe you should try to fill a child bag up with simple toys to keep your children entertained.
These include cheap, pocket money toys that usually cost a couple of dollars each. Try packing a child bag with multiple crayons, funny coloring books, little sets of Lego they can build during the flight, or any other idea you might have.
Kids love this stuff and they get excited to open them as soon as they are up in the air.
Whatever you do, don’t over-stress about flying. Remember, flying is amazing. Your little ones don’t associate flying with business or vacations – instead, they are very excited about going up in the sky. You should be too!
Don’t forget, this is just a flight that will certainly come to its end, so even if your kids misbehave… well, a couple of hours of shame and then flush it and move on. After all, the kids are just kids, and being patient as a parent is the most essential we all can do.
Check out our guide to find the best car seats for airplanes here.
Over to you:
Which of the points did you find most helpful? Should you have any additional tips, please share them in the comments below.