We are sharing this information with you to help make your trips easier and more enjoyable! Please give this article to anyone you know who may have children and will be flying soon! Jervise Penton of TheSixthDegree.media writes here about the tips and tricks! (I for one know first hand. I knew all the secrets and techniques but when I HAD to fly with my 2 1/2 year old son and 1 1/2 year old daughter, time stood still!)
Top tips for flying with children
Photo by Steven Thompson on Unsplash
As Saint Augustine said, “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page”. Travelling opens opportunities for us to learn about history, understand different cultures, see the amazing contrast of landscapes from country to country and go on adventures that form life-long memories. World-schooling your children not only enhances their social and life skills but also aids their brain development. (Read more about it with this link).
However, the thought of rallying your children through an airport and convincing them to sit still for 10+ hours is enough to make anyone shudder. The excitement and novelty of flying can soon wear off and become frustrating and exhausting for everyone. It’s boring, and bored kids equal stressed parents and carers. So to help you reach your destination with at least some of your sanity, here are some top tips for flying with children.
Plan your flights effectively:
Flying during the night gives you more chance of the kids actually sleeping, at least for some of the journey. Bring a neck pillow and their favourite blanket, with eye masks being a good option for older children too. Early morning flights tend to be less busy and less prone to delays, though it may mean everyone is more tired and grumpy if they can’t get back to sleep.
Though it may cost a little more, booking direct flights will massively reduce the stress of the journey for everyone. You do want to minimise the time spent waiting around at airports and hearing, “I’m bored” repeatedly, right?
Set your expectations:
Children behave far better when they know what is expected of them. Whilst they may not understand the entire process, it’s well worth taking the time to explain what will happen at the airport and how you want them to behave. They won’t remember everything or behave perfectly, but it’ll be far easier for you to get them on track with a gentle reminder if they already have an idea of the rules of this new situation.
Play with them:
Unlike when you’re driving, on-board a plane you have nothing much to do but keep your children entertained. Use this to your advantage and play with them, giving them plenty of positive attention. This will go a long way to ensuring they can cope when they inevitably become restless.
Snacks and sweets:
The snack trolley and in-flight meals are unlikely to be appetising to children, so bring a lunch box or two. Taking off and descending causes a change in air pressure within the cabin which is super uncomfortable, especially for children. You can give them something to suck on, like sweets or a lollipop to encourage swallowing and help their ears pop. For babies or toddlers, breastfeed or give them a bottle during the transitions.
Ignore screen time limits and the judgemental glares – cartoons, movies, games… give them everything. By all means, bring the crayons, but pack the kids’ individual devices too (now is not the time to encourage sharing). Remember to bring their own headphones, as your fellow passengers really do not want to hear the same episode of Peppa Pig twenty-five times.
Ready for take-off:
Don’t be embarrassed if despite your best efforts, your child still has a melt-down. Flying is tough, but preparation is key. Pack the essentials and have a few aces up your sleeve for emergencies but above all, try to enjoy the special time with your children as you jet off on a new adventure.
Wishing you Blue Skies and Smooth Flights!
Captain Laura with Jervise Penton 6XD Media