Embarking on a plane journey with the little ones in tow? It’s an adventure of its own. As parents, we’ve all been there, facing the mix of excitement and anxiety that comes with air travel when you have babies and kids in the equation. But fear not, for this isn’t your ordinary guide. This is your go-to resource, full of real-life wisdom and tips from fellow parents, turning air travel into a smooth and memorable journey for your entire family.
Essential Pre-Flight Preparations for Stress-Free Travel
Going through airport security with a toddler can be a pain, and flying can be even worse. Little ones may get antsy stuck in one seat, and changes in pressure can really bother them. But there’s no need to worry – with a bit of preparation, you can make the journey smoother for you and your child. Flight attendants have some great tips for reducing stress, whether you’re going to your aunt’s or off on a Disney vacation.
Have an early flight – If you’re bringing the little ones along on a trip, it’s best to book an early flight. That way you’ll avoid any hold-ups taking off or landing. You’re more likely to get a less crowded plane too. Plus it’s nice to be in the air when everyone, including the kids, is ready to catch some sleep.
Travel in economy – Travelling with kids in first class can be more of a headache than it’s worth. If you have an active or loud child, people in the first class might not be happy about it. It’s not fair, but if you want people to be understanding of your situation, it’s probably better to fly in economy with the kids.
Dress in layers – When taking a trip with a toddler, it’s important to be prepared for big temperature changes. Dress your kid in cozy layers that don’t have any buttons, zippers, or anything that would make it harder for them to get to the bathroom quickly. Also, skip the laces and go for slip-ons for their shoes.
Use a small stroller – If you’re a parent, having a stroller when you’re at an airport is pretty much a must. To make it easier, try switching out your regular-size stroller for a small, collapsible one. You can check it at the gate before you board and they’ll have it waiting for you when you land. And if you have multiple kids with you, it might be a good idea to get a kid harness.
Packing Smart: Must-Have Items for Kids on the Plane
Is flying with your child causing you stress? Not sure what to pack to keep your little one occupied on the plane? Preparing your child for the flight ahead of time is key. Involve them in the process and talk about the journey you’re about to embark on. Whether your flight is short or long, having the right items with you will keep your child entertained and well-behaved.
Snacks – It’s essential to have snacks on a flight. Some planes have snacks or have them for sale, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be there when you want them! It’s also a great way to distract your kid and make sure they don’t get cranky. Grab a few fruit snacks and granola bars and you’re good to go.
Clothes – It’s always a smart idea to have a backup outfit in your carry-on if you’re checking bags. It’s a good idea to pack a full change of clothes for your kid, plus a spare shirt for yourself.
Electronics – If there was ever a moment where it’s totally OK to go wild with electronics, it’s on a plane; whether it’s watching the seat-back tv, playing games on an iPhone, or downloading movies on an iPad.
Medicine – Pack your prescriptions and any other medications you might need with you when you travel. That way, if your checked luggage goes missing or arrives late, you won’t have to scramble to find a pharmacy for replacements. Throw in some pain or motion sickness meds too, just in case.
Keeping Kids Entertained: Fun Activities and Games on Board
Heading off on a family vacation and wondering how to keep the kids occupied on the plane? You’re not the only one! We usually get excited about going away with the family, but not everyone loves the thought of flying with kids. It’s understandable to be anxious about how to fill those hours, like if their routine will be thrown off by missing a nap or eating later than usual. Kids can struggle to stay seated for a long time, especially if it’s boring or disruptive, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are activities that are perfect for their age group to keep them entertained during the flight.
Magnetic games – Grab some magnetic travel games for your next flight! They are cheap and can be used for bingo, tic tac toe, chess, and checkers. The pieces are magnetic and stick to the board, so no more losing pieces! Plus, the game board is small enough to fit in your carry-on bag.
Card games – Bring along a deck of cards when you travel for amusement. Traditional cards, UNO, Skip-Bo, Phase 10, and Canasta are all great options. Or, if you want something a bit different, you can find versions of your beloved board games like Monopoly and Yahtzee in card game form.
Movies – Give your kids a personalized movie-viewing experience while they’re strapped in their seats with a portable DVD player, a pre-loaded laptop, or a tablet. Download or buy a few of their favorite movies or buy them something new they haven’t seen yet. Try surprising them on the plane with their new movies and some popcorn to make it feel like a real theater experience.
Ipad games – If you’re bringing a laptop or iPad on your trip, make sure to download some of your kids’ favorite games. That way, they’ll be able to play their go-to tablet games, which will make the flight seem more like home and give them a break from watching movies or TV.
Coping with Airplane Anxiety: Strategies for Calming Young Flyers
Most kids get pumped about going on a vacation. But for some, the thought of flying can be totally overwhelming. It can even lead to full-on panic attacks, making it a nightmare for both the kids and their parents. So what can you do to make air travel bearable for the little ones?
Talk to them – If your kid’s scared of flying, it could be because they’re claustrophobic, scared of heights, or had a bad experience on a flight before. Before you leave, have a chat with them and turn the trip into an exciting adventure. Explain the whole process, from going through security to being on the plane, the take-off and the landing.
Distract them – One way to keep your kids entertained during a flight is to provide them with distractions. Taking advantage of their short attention span can help you get through the journey! Get your tablet ready with their favourite shows or games. Bring along a book featuring their fave character. Don’t forget to bring their favourite stuffed toy so they feel at ease.
Calm them – If your kid is scared to fly, it’s totally normal. Give them some extra lovin’ when they’re feeling anxious, like a hug and some words of reassurance. You could also try singing their favorite song, playing a game, or telling them a story—that usually helps ’em chill out.
Air travel with babies and kids may have its moments of turbulence, but it’s also sprinkled with smiles, laughter, and unforgettable memories. Remember, it’s not just about reaching the destination; it’s about savoring the journey. With these tips, shared experiences, and the warmth of fellow parents who’ve been on this adventure, you’re well-equipped to soar to new horizons with your little ones. Here’s to smooth flights, happy kids, and making the skies a friendly place for all families. Until we meet again on your next high-flying adventure!
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