The thought of being cooped up in an aeroplane with a bored, screaming toddler is enough to put any parent off a family holiday until the kids are teenagers! However, every year thousands of families go on holiday abroad, so just how are these wonder parents coping on flights with young children? With a bit of forward planning you can have an enjoyable and peaceful flight, and so can your fellow passengers. Here are a few tips to help you fly with young children…
- Pack finger foods for them: Things like apple slices, chopped bell peppers, sliced cucumber, and mini bread sticks make good in-flight snacks for children as they don’t contain sugars and E numbers and will keep your child occupied. Eating a small snack like this during takeoff and landing can help your child to cope with the discomfort in their ears.
- Talk about planes with them: Before your journey spend some time with your child looking at pictures of aeroplanes, and reading stories about transportation and journeys to get them used to the idea of travelling. Whilst you are doing this talk to your child about how they are expected to behave on the flight.
- Make sure they’re comfortable: If your child has a particular pair of pyjamas or an outfit that they’re especially comfortable in it’s a good idea to have them travel in it. Don’t forget to pack a spare change of clothes too in case of accidents. Remembering to pack things such as dummies, blankies, and favourite stuffed toys can also be a lifesaver too.
- Reward good behaviour: Wrap up a bunch of small presents such as toy cars, dolls, puzzles, boxes of raisins, packs of candy etc and give them to your child as a reward for staying in their seat and playing quietly. Each gift will keep them entertained for a while, until the next reward comes along.
- Plan some games and activities: Things such as sticker books, colouring books, finger puppets, books, and travel games can help to keep your child entertained during the flight. Just be sure to take something fairly compact that won’t impact on the other passengers.
- Invest in a tablet computer: Tablets can be used in aeroplane mode during the flight, so make sure you’ve pre-loaded it with child-friendly apps and their favourite cartoons and TV shows. Don’t forget to pack your child’s headphones so that they can watch their programmes without disrupting others on the flight.