How to have a stress-free flight with children
Flying with young children is many parent worst nightmare. Passengers can often think of nothing worse than being stuck on an aeroplane with bored noisy children and when it happen to be your own children who are inflicting their noise on the entire plane many parents just want to die of embarrassment.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Long-haul flights to the far east may still be a challenge most people get bored after a 10 or 12 hour flight but getting around Europe shouldn’t present too many problems.
Stress-free travel with children means making preparations before you fly. Modern technology is your friend here. Many airlines now offer in-flight entertainment systems that include either children’s television programs or games suitable for children. These can be great for the duration of the flight. The difficultly may well be explaining why the entertainment is turned off when it is time to land.
The other problem for parents is that you will be at the airport for a few hours before your flight probably just sitting around in the departure lounge. Sometimes there are activities for children to do here if there is space for them to run around it’s a great idea to let them burn off some energy after all they will soon be sitting in a chair unable to move around.
If you have never flown with your airline before or if you are not sure what is available at your departure airport it is wise to check in advance and if you can’t find the answer then being along some entertainment of your own. This might include a tablet or music player to keep children entertained. If you don’t want your kids staring at a screen for hours then some more traditional activities like a colouring book and crayons or a sticker book will stop them getting bored both before and during the flight.
Don’t forget to stock up with snacks
The time before departure is also your last opportunity to make sure you have stocked up with snacks and drinks for the children. Most airlines do bring around snacks but when children get hungry or thirsty waiting for the airline to provide is not always a good option. It is better to be able to satisfy them immediately and avoid tantrums during the flight.
Most children love the idea of flying to them it is a great adventure but for some children it is the flight itself which is the big worry. If children are not used to flying then they can sometimes become distressed or anxious especially during take-off and landing or if the flight experiences turbulence or bad weather. In cases of anxiety then it is important to bring along whatever comfort items the child prefers maybe a favourite toy or cuddly bear or whatever provides that needed sense of security so that they will relax until they can be back on the ground.
A final item that should be in every parents hand luggage is a change of clothes for your toddler. However much you prepare for a flight accidents will still happen. It’s not much fun if you’ve just begun the flight and you have a child covered in orange juice or even worse vomit and no way of cleaning them up until you land. Carrying a change of clothing and a packet of baby wipes will make all the difference to this situation.
While flying with children is rarely a fun experience it is important to remember that by planning ahead and making sure you have everything you need to make the flight as stress-free as possible for you your child and everyone else on the plane.