Traveling with Kids? No Problem. Take it Easy with These Simple Tips and Innovations.
Updated: Sep 11, 2019
You have planned all the small details of your trip, scratched out all the items from your list, packed everything neatly and practically together, including your children's belongings, and you think you are all done but the whole time you secretly know the hard work is not exactly completed. Why? Because you still have to bring the little people themselves - your kids.
The main issue when it comes to traveling with kids is how are they going to behave. You know best that even you cannot be certain about it - they might be angels but they might also squeeze the last drop of energy and bliss from your soul until the point you become absolutely powerless and infamous (amongst the other passengers). If you are afraid of intense situations involving your children and air travel, remember that you are not alone. Some parents even go to their pediatricians and ask them for permission to drug their kids. Do not go so far, there is no need for medical prescriptions when you execute your journey flawlessly.
This week we did a survey and asked competent people for proven techniques that help when flying with children. The participants in this project were pretty straightforward and gave us the following advice:
1. Prepare them. Recommendation number one is to instruct your children what they should expect when traveling by airplane. We, as adults take our journeys for granted, while they were actually miracles when we once did them for the first time.
Help your children to appreciate how privileged they are to be on that trip, inspire them but meanwhile do not forget to explain to them what is going to happen. Go through the sequence of events - arriving at the airport where it is possible to cue; the boarding; the flight; and the disembarking.
Better do not wait for the cabin crew to secure your kids, you can skip this drama by telling the children in advance why they should strap in and how to protect themselves. As elementary as it might seem, this knowledge is gold and it can turn an excited toddler into an excited independent person.
2. Choose wisely. Apart from deciding on your travel destination, plan carefully the route, the timing, and the seating. For instance, pick a direct flight instead of one with stops. This way you will avoid additional gateways and transits. In case there is no way to escape from spending longer time at airports, be informed where the children areas and lounges are.
Next, the chance your children get agitated is smaller if they fly during a period of the day when they usually rest. Imagine them sleeping peacefully next to you through the whole flight, more time for you and more fun for them later when they wake up!
Last but not least, whenever this is possible, select your seats. Of course, the most important priority is to sit next to your children ( if you do not choose, your seats might be separated), however, keep in mind it is a good idea to be close to a toilet and a galley where the cabin attendants who can shower you with attention are. Kids find window seats fascinating, so reserve them.
3. Keep them busy. Some airlines give toys complementary, others have designated nannies in their crew but do not count of it. Always carry an activity pack for your child. It is convenient, provides stability, and it does not take a lot of space. This pack should include a non-slippery tray for drawing, watching movies, playing games or even snacking.
4. Ensure comfort for all. If you are a parent of a baby flying on a longer sector you could be offered a baby bassinet but it is not a rule. Regardless, you are allowed to bring your own portable baby bed, a baby carrier (some of them have a seat installed), an inflatable child cushion , a baby seat belt, a car safety seat, and, listen to this, a backpack stroller, which you can have as a carry on luggage.
In order to experience a smooth and pain free flight, buy gums as they would solve the problem with blocked ears. Another option is the Earplanes for kids.
We wish you best of luck and many many happy flying hours with children on board! Prove to some carriers that do not let kids in their business class cabins that they are wrong!