Traveling with your kids can be quite challenging and overwhelming, as there are so many things to consider, plan for, and account for. It gets even tougher if you need to travel with your kids by plane. But if you are well-organized and plan ahead, you can avoid a lot of the stress that comes with this way of traveling. When compared to other ways to get to your destination, flying is thought to be the safest and most reliable. Keep reading to learn more about getting your family ready to travel by plane.
Some of the most important things you should consider are booking direct flights and minimizing stopovers. Also, even though many parents think that booking a separate seat for their child is unnecessary, it can, in fact, come in quite handy. As a parent, you can take advantage of early boarding. Moreover, when searching for an airline, try to find one that is child-friendly. Don’t forget to bring snacks and fun activities to keep the kids occupied. You should also bring extra clothing for your children and yourself. And lastly, you should talk to your kids to let them know what to expect. Check out the following tips for a hassle-free journey.
1. Book direct flights and minimize stopovers
When traveling with kids by plane, one of the most essential things is booking flights early and booking direct flights with no stopovers if possible. Direct flights minimize your headaches, as you don’t have to worry about rushing to make the connecting flights. You also avoid having your luggage lost and numerous flights being delayed. Getting travel insurance is plausible, and it can protect you from those kinds of unfortunate occurrences. However, travel insurance will not help you deal with the stress of dealing with a fussy baby, a cranky toddler, and a misplaced suitcase all at the same time.
2. Consider booking a separate seat for your child
Even though booking a separate seat for your child might seem unnecessary as most families travel on a budget, it can mean a lot for your peace of mind while traveling. So, you should seriously consider it due to several plausible reasons. If you are traveling with a baby, you probably also need a car seat. You can then place the car seat on the plane seat. This is a better option, as your baby is already familiar with the seat and can probably sleep well in it. Additionally, it is more comfortable than the plane seat. In that way, you don’t have to worry about holding a child. This way of traveling costs more in cash, but it definitely costs less in stress and inconvenience.
3. Take advantage of early boarding
When traveling with kids, you get some advantages, such as early boarding. People who always get to board first on a plane are people who require extra assistance or people with small children. So, make sure that you use this advantage. That way, you can board the plane before everyone else, giving you some extra time and room to prepare yourself and the kids for the flight.
4. Choose a child-friendly airline
Traveling by plane means that you get to pick an airline. In cases where you plan to travel with your kids, you should choose an airline that is child-friendly. This is important, as it will make your flying with kids go much more smoothly. Some airlines allow you to combine your family’s miles and get some free miles. Also, some of them have playgrounds on their terminals where kids can work out their energy before the flight. Moreover, flying with some airlines means that everyone will have their own TV and free WiFi. If you’re traveling with a baby, you can check whether there are diaper-changing stations onboard.
5. Bring snacks
What you should definitely pack for your flight are snacks. Children are often picky when it comes to food – you’ve probably noticed that. So, the chances are that they won’t like the meal offered on the plane. On the other hand, if they attend childcare, they are probably used to eating all kinds of healthy meals, so you shouldn’t have a problem with meals on the plane. Nevertheless, you should take matters into your own hands (it’s better to be safe than sorry) and bring the food for the flight, in case some poor choices are left. Make sure you pack some healthy options (which kids often don’t prefer), their favorite snacks, and even treats. Treats such as gummy bears, lollipops, and gum can be real lifesavers in certain situations.
6. Pack fun activities to keep kids occupied
Aside from snacks, consider packing some fun activities to keep your kids occupied. This is particularly important on long or connecting flights. You should download their favorite movies and TV shows as well as apps and games. A tablet or phone with these will surely keep them occupied. You can also bring coloring books, sticker books, pop-up books, pencils and crayons, stuffed animals, dry-erase books, markers, and other things. Mix in some of their favorites, but also add something completely new as an element of surprise. Keep that for an emergency.
7. Pack extra clothes for you and the kids
When traveling with a baby or a toddler, you should pack extra clothes for both your child and yourself. All kinds of incidents can happen with small kids, and they can end up all over you. It would be much better if you had something to change into. Also, kids can get uncomfortable on the plane and need a change of clothes – so it’s always good to have extra clothes packed. The same goes for adults too. You should also bring some plastic bags in case there are any messes or spills onboard the plane.
8. Talk to your kids about what to expect
You should try to prepare your kids for the plane trip. Talk to them about what they can expect and about the course of events. That will help them picture everything and be better at handling these situations. Show them videos and watch cartoons to help them visualize. It’s always a bit scary for them when they do something for the first time.
Traveling with your family is a wonderful experience that brings us many benefits. With these tips, you can prepare well for a flight and have it go without any major setbacks or incidents.