The holiday season is upon us, and that means lots of families will be travelling. Whilst it can be nerve-wracking to fly with young children, there's lots of ways to make your travel experience as smooth and calm as possible. Lucky for you, Belinda Jennings from Mum Central has compiled these 12 top tips to get you to your destination with a smile on your face!
1. If your little one has just recently been toilet trained, consider putting them in a pull up or nappy for the flight to avoid any accidents. They can still use the toilet but just in case all the overwhelm of the new experience might be too much, you’ll avoid the inconvenience of a mid-flight clothing change. It can also be beneficial to select a window seat to provide quick access to the bathroom if needed.
2. It’s always a good idea to give babies and infants a feed or dummy for take-off and landing to alleviate the ear pressure caused by changes in altitude. Often you’ll pick up on their discomfort with the whinging and crying at that time of the flight and the sucking action during feeding or from a dummy is the best thing for them! Plus, milk can be quite effective to make your little one sleepy just in time for the flight!
3. For older kids, gum or chewy sweets can be saved as a treat for this time of the flight and again avoid blocked ears and the discomfort that brings.
4. If your kids are tired, try and replicate the usual sleep routine as much as you can. Story time, lullabies (softly of course unless you have a brilliant voice!). The hum of the engines is often a great soothing environment to send them off to the land of nod.
5. If they’re keen for a sleep help them get comfy. Let them lay on your lap or roll up a small jacket or blanket to form a pillow. Once they’re asleep that’s one less child to be managing and more relaxation for you!
6. Don’t forget our complimentary in-flight entertainment system which offers a large array of movies, TV shows, games and music. Be sure to download the app to your tablet or smartphone from here before boarding and this can be used from the moment you board to the moment you disembark. A great distraction for the kids and a gem for you! Don’t forget the headphones!
7. Prepare for the flight with a range of assorted activities to amuse the kids during the flight. Try not to bring them out all at once, otherwise they might be bored later on. Waiting until they show symptoms of boredom or ask for them means you can stretch it as long as possible. Remember, you have a return flight to manage as well, so save some surprises for the trip back if you can. Great suggestions include colouring in books, activity books, story books and of course their favourite toy or teddy.
8. Cuddle your little ones with some calming words or hushed lullabies as the flight can make new flyers somewhat anxious. Make it a fun experience and play guessing games and eye spy to keep them amused.
9. Go for walks every hour or so on the plane. This will ensure that you’re not only stretching your legs to avoid deep vein thrombosis, but you’ll also make some regular friends along the way. The number of people who actually enjoyed the cheeky young faces an beaming eyes on their big adventure made it really special and often would stop the kids to chat (and we all know that’s going to be a great distraction too!)
10. It’s a great idea to bring some surprises for the flight wrapped up as gifts. Kids love the surprise of opening presents and this will build excitement and can be used as rewards through the flight too. A trip to the dollar store is often a cheap and fun way to build the excitement through the trip.
11. Try not to let the kids pick up on any of your frustration or stress as they do pick up on your mood and that could stimulate even worse behaviour (easier said than done we know!)
12. Once landed, it’s easier to wait for all passengers to disembark before attempting to yourself. It gives you more chance to ensure you’ve picked up all the scattered toys or dropped pencils before leaving the plane.
Most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask for help! Our cabin crew are there to help you make the flight as comfortable as can be and most likely, have seen it all before! Reach out and often the new attention can calm an anxious child or distract them to shift their focus.