Tips For Plane Trips With Kids
Do you have a fear of flying? Maybe you do, maybe you don’t but one thing is for sure – many parents rapidly develop this syndrome when they consider the challenges of flying with their children. Truthfully, flying with children is easier than driving with them (and that’s something you do every day). As with anything the secret is preparation. As you begin your preparation, here are a few hints and tips for keeping your children well behaved when flying:
- Don’t expect too much – many adults hate even the thought of flying and it is no easier on children, especially if it is their first time on a plane.
- If possible plan your flight times to coincide with your child’s normal sleeping schedule; the flight will be far more enjoyable for all involved if your children can sleep through it.
- Contrary to popular belief, nonstop is not always best. An hour or so break in an airport in the middle of a long journey can actually be a good idea. (However if you have more than one child the hassle of getting off one plane, battling through another airport and boarding another plan may be more trouble than its worth.)
- Pack colouring books and pens, books to read, playing cards, dolls, stickers, toys, and stuffed animals. Try to only allow one toy/activity per child at a time as this will get the maximum amount of entertainment value and time out of each toy, thereby taking up more time! It can be a great idea to bring along a small CD or mp3 player with earphones that fit your child. Then you don’t have to pay a ridiculous amount for a headset that doesn’t fit to listen to music that nobody likes.
- Out of courtesy for other passengers avoid the following on airplanes: any toys that make noise, Play-doh or anything sticky, balls and other roll-able objects and board games (they have too many small pieces and take up too much room).
- Keep your kids well fed so they don’t get cranky. Bring your own supplies of sandwiches, fruit, and snacks in sealable plastic bags. Avoid any sweet or sugary snacks, what good is giving the children energy surges if they have to sit still?
- A pillow or small blanket from home is a good idea for longer plane journeys. Airplanes can be chilly, and no one can get comfortable under one of those thin sheets that pass for airline “blankets”.
- Try and keep yourself from saying “shhh” every two minutes. That can be just as irritable to other passengers as your children making noise. As long as children are relatively quiet and are not misbehaving to the extent of upsetting other passengers or the flight attendants people will be understanding.
- Remember that some people don’t like children, no matter how well behaved they are. Hey, we can’t please everyone can we?
- If your child’s behaviour has well and truly shown him/her up it doesn’t mean it has to show you up too. If other passengers see that you are dealing with the behaviour appropriately, they will cut the whole family some slack, probably remembering their own childhood or their own children.
For a list of documentation, hand luggage allowances etc. for flying abroad check out Family Fun’s Travel Checklist.