Strategies for Stress-Free Air Travel with Kids
Flying with kids is never easy. Babies never stop crying, toddlers just want to run up and down the aisle and older children get bored quickly. Very often, a flight can turn into a nightmare trip for anyone who has to share the plane with these adorable bundles of scream, crying pain and irritation.
Fortunately, we used our parental experience and gathered advice from other traveling parents out there to come up with some essential strategies for stress-free air travel with kids. Here they are:
Pick your flight wisely
When flying with small children, it is ideal to pick the earliest scheduled flight you can find. A morning trip by plane usually has fewer passengers. Also, it may be at a time when your little ones are tired and nappy, so they won’t be active for too long or cause too many problems.
Wear casual clothing
FAA recommends dressing your kids in layers of clothes to make traveling easy and convenient. Planes tend to give plenty of heat even if you are flying over the arctic zone. It is best that your children wear casual clothing in which they feel comfortable. You can easily take zippy jackets or pullovers off without interrupting their naps, and you can quickly put them back on once the plane lands.
Prepare your kids ahead
If you are flying with children older than 5-years old, you can probably have a little discussion before leaving for the airport. Make sure they understand what traveling by plane means, and how different it is from other means of transportation that they might already know, such as by car or train. Try increasing their excitement to relieve stress or fears and reassure them of how safe it is.
Bring a lot of entertainment options
Whether you are going on a 2-hour flight or a 12-hour transatlantic flight, you need to bring plenty of entertainment options for your kids. Take everything you can pack from laptops to tablets to smartphones and books. Even toys and small gadgets can prove to be useful when their boredom reaches boiling temperature.
Remember that children have a distinct understanding of the passing of time. For them, a 3-hour flight may seem like an eternity. All these entertainment options might also prove useful in case your flight gets delayed or canceled, and you need to keep your kids occupied while you claim your compensation.
Put your kids in window seats
Avoid putting your kid on chairs near the aisle. Small children may feel the urge to step out of their seat just as the food and beverage cart passes by. A seat by the window offers more protection, fewer worries, and even a beautiful view if you are flying on a sunny day.
Reward fellow passengers
As a parent, you will be under a lot of stress when flying with small children. You will inadvertently pass some of your anxiety to the passengers around you, as well. To relieve them from stress and for you to feel more at ease with the entire trip, you should offer them some small pre-flight gifts. A few chocolates from the duty-free shop and a cautionary, smiling apology will go a long way.