Travelling with children is not as easy as it looks like. Everything matters and everything should revolve around your kids starting with planning the entire trip, booking flights, packing, and worst of all, flying. Yes, no matter how much you love and adore them, truth is they could be a handful especially during long flights. Adults get a certain level of discomfort whenever flying a thousand feet above the ground, how much more with children who naturally have short attention span and could easily get annoyed with the minute of things. It could really be frustrating when children start acting up but with proper planning, this can be avoided. So here are a few tips that you can follow in order for you to enjoy flying with your little ones.
Know all charges, regulations and schedule of your chosen airline
There are certain rules you need to be familiar with when taking your children on flight. It pays to know your airlines’ specifications from charges to baggage restrictions, this way, you’d know what to bring and what not to bring. Let’s say you plan on having a memorable historical trip down the lane in Johannesburg with your children, you can check with Kulula their flight schedules and baggage restrictions for you to be guided accordingly.
Prepare and plan over and over again
There’s no such thing as over the top planning when it comes to bringing your kids with you to your travels. Remember to always have extra of everything: bottles, diapers, wipes, extra clothing, toys and goodies. It is also important to keep them entertained so never leave the tablet behind, I repeat and re-iterate, NEVER EVER leave the tablet behind.
Set their expectations
Communicate with your children so they’d know what to expect before, during and after the flight. Describe to them the experience and make them excited about the big adventure you have planned for them. Check in with them from time to time to know what they’re feeling and what their needs are.
Once boarded and settled in, make sure that you stash all essentials in the seat pockets or under the chair that way you can have everything within reach whenever you need them.
Make they’re flying experience a fun activity
Play games with them, go for walks up and down the plane or bring with you coloring books or fun activities you can play with your child. Be creative in getting them entertained. Bottom line is that you do not want them to get bored and impatient during the flight.
Bring snacks and something to drink on board
Airlines differ from food supplies so make sure you load up on your kid’s favorite snacks and drink. And if you are traveling with more than one kid, keep in mind to bring with you one for each as sharing is always an issue with them and you don’t want your kids fighting over a bag of potato chips do you?
Help them get settled to sleep comfortably
Airplane seats are not the best bet for providing a good night sleep but you can let your child comfortably lie on your lap and tuck them in a blanket. For toddlers, you can follow their bed time routine by having them slip on their favorite pajamas and cuddle with their favorite plushy toy.
Never let your kid sit close to the aisle
For safety purposes, have your child seated in the middle. Kids are great escape artists and next thing you know he’s running down the aisle knocking everyone off.
Ask for help
Whenever you need assistance with anything, do not hesitate to approach your friendly flight attendants. They are amazing and very accommodating especially when they see passengers who are struggling with their children.
Comfort them during take-off and landing
Ascend and descend are the challenging parts of the flight as the ear popping experience is most definitely unpleasant. Help their ears equalize by letting them chew on food or gum, and for infants keep them occupied by breastfeeding or bottle feeding them. Also, cuddle them and let them know that everything will be ok.
While it is stressful and draining to travel with your little ones, the joy and experience that it will give them is priceless. Building memories as a family is far more important than anything else combined so while you can, go out and see the world. Moreover, exposing them at a very young age to different cultures would teach them a lot about humanity. Remember, experiences are the best treasures a person could possess.