Want to know how to keep little people entertained (and your fellow passengers sane) when flying these school holidays?
School Holidays are a stressful time for many—especially parents. While parents often fret at the thought of traveling with young children, the reality is that flying with young children is often inevitable.
Enjoy our guide to stress free school holiday flying
But, before you cancel plans for your family holiday, we’ve got a few ideas that will help make flying less of a fright and more of a delight for everyone (including those seated across the aisle).
So, how do you prevent midair mania and find sanity in the sky?
The Basics—take on board a small bag of spare clothes, healthy snacks, and a bottle of water (most airlines allow parents to take water on board for a child; if not, bring an empty water container). Although your little one may have outgrown the need for many baby toiletries, you’ll be amazed how convenient baby wipes, nappy sacks and disposable change mats can be for midair spills and accidents. Keep them within arm’s reach.
Plan to Play—this has benefits for both parent and child. Before your flight, have a run around at your local park, spend some time on the swings, or just be active in general. This is great for burning some energy before take off—energy that is better spent on the ground than in the air. Singapore’s Changi Airport even has a slide installed just for this purpose.
Go Early—children often require their own entourage of equipment, from strollers to car seats, cots to carriers. By allowing extra time to check in, you will have plenty of time for last minute bathroom trips, and you won’t be the one holding up the check-in lines (leave that to the over-zealous shoppers).
Make Healthy Choices—it helps to know where the sick bags are located, and a wet flannel placed on the back of the neck is a handy tip to prevent nausea. If your child needs to carry prescribed medication, such as an EpiPen, make sure you have copies of your paperwork in an easy to reach location. Also, if you have ordered a special meal for your child, confirm with the staff at check-in—it’s often too late when you’re on board, and there’s nothing worse than having your child get upset watching every other child get a special meal.
Enjoy ‘We’ Time—when you fly alone, you often enjoy the ‘me time’ flying offers. When flying with children, why not enjoy the ‘we time’. Bring plenty of small books and puzzles that you can do together, and try to devote as much of your attention to your child as possible. For longer flights, an iPod or a tablet loaded with audio books, nursery rhymes or games can be a great tool for when you do need a break.
New Things—ever noticed how your child can play for hours with a new toy or game? Save something from the mountain of birthday presents and stash it away for long flights. Having something new will hold off the boredom for longer than a toy, app, movie or game they have grown familiar with.
A Good Night Flight—children can often drift off to sleep with the motion of flying. If you need to book a longer flight, consider taking a red-eye. By getting your little ones active during the day, feeding them well and bringing any regular comforters, they will soon be sleeping beauties. It’s also good to know that most parenting rooms at airports have microwaves if you need to prepare a warm drink prior to takeoff.
Stay Calm—not every flight will go to plan, but if a parent is anxious or stressed, children tend to reflect these feelings, making them more prone to misbehaving. Don’t stress or panic if they have an outburst, and don’t ignore them. Often it’s not the crying that upsets people; it’s the way the parents respond (or don’t). There really is nothing worse for your fellow passengers than to feel they are placed in an awkward situation with a stranger’s child, roaming the aisles or spreading their food around.
But, with a little courtesy shown to your fellow passengers, and by keeping your child, their food and their toys away from their personal space, you will be surprised how tolerant and even helpful they can be.
Prepare for Delays with Travel Insurance
Unexpected flight delays and cancellation annoyance is heightened when travelling with children. Comprehensive travel insurance will cover additional expenses like emergency accommodation, food, toiletries and necessary clothing. Travel Insurance Plus offers quality cover for less as we are a specialised online travel insurance provider.
With these simple tricks together with a bit of planning, you can take the stress out of what should be a fun family affair. By knowing how to make flying with young children easier, you can look forward to showing your little one the world, and the more they travel the easier it seems to get.
Flying these school holidays?
Don’t forget to ensure your whole family is covered with our family cover: Family Travel Insurance.