So many people worldwide fly regularly, making it seem like this experience is truly fun. Not to mention that daily flights have increased considerably recently. But the reality is quite different, and frequent flyers know that more often than not, air travel can be anything but exciting. There are so many things that could go wrong when planning a trip. If Mother Nature throws a tantrum, your trip may be canceled due to the terrible weather. Or, you may forget your ID, or your luggage may get lost. Add a bored child into the mix, and you’ll get a flying experience that’s far from enjoyable.
Now, don’t get us wrong, that doesn’t mean you should leave your kid at home with their grandparents– definitely not. After all, family travels are great, and your kids should feel the joy of seeing sights that they would otherwise see only in photographs. However, if you’re going to take young ones on a trip, it’s vital to take the time to plan effectively. But don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. This guide provides practical tips on how to relieve the stress of flying with kids, and we promise that at the end of it, you’ll be better prepared for your trip. Let’s dive into it!
Book the flight wisely
Good preparation starts with booking the right flight, as you want to ensure that the schedule works around your kids’ routine. Avoid those flights that depart at late hours during the night and arrive early in the morning at the destination – they are torture for everyone, no matter the age, and bringing a hyperactive kid on such a flight can cause outrage. However, if your only option is an overnight flight, consider making some adjustments, like eating before boarding the plane and bringing travel pillows with you.
Regardless of the departure time, it’s vital to work around your kids’ schedules. Suppose the flight is in the morning; in that case, it is critical to ensure your kids get enough sleep – otherwise, they may be cranky, which is something you don’t want when flying!
Pick the right seats
Sitting together can be quite an issue when flying, so you can consider yourself lucky if you find an airline that allows you to choose your seats! This ensures you and the other family members will be together during the entire trip. But not everyone affords the luxury of flying with such an airline, and in that case, it’s vital to book seats in advance – otherwise, you may have to pay extra money to sit together.
The best seats are those at the back of the plane because they are closer to the bathrooms, which means toilet trips will be more convenient, as you won’t bother other passengers. Plus, you also have better access to flight attendants if you need anything. That said, the front row also has advantages, as it is often designed specifically for families with young kids, so consider this option as well.
Pack the essentials
When packing, it’s vital to gather all the items you need in a backpack. This includes essential documents, your wallet and smartphone, and, if necessary, prescription medication. You also need another bag to store things like an iPod that keeps your kid entertained, clothes, toothbrushes and toothpaste, and so on.
Make sure to choose versatile clothing and also consider the weather. But most importantly, do not overpack! Have a critical eye when going through your stuff and leave behind those items that you could easily do without.
Arrive early at the airport
Kids are more likely to get bored quickly if they have to wait longer at the airport. On the other hand, getting there at the last minute can be genuinely stressful not only for them but also for you! So, you should aim to arrive at the airport at least two hours early. This will give you enough time to park the car, go to the terminal, and get through check-in and security. Consider airport parking, too, when figuring out the time when you should get there.
It may take a while until you find an available spot because the parking demand tends to be high especially in large airports. Fortunately, you can save yourself the trouble of wasting money and time through a service like Parkos, which enables you to find the best possible deals and book the parking spot in advance.
You need great bribes and rewards when traveling with children, and snacks are just what you need to get your little ones through the challenging parts of the trip. For instance, you can reward them with a lollipop for showing good behavior. Lollipops can also prevent their ears from hurting because of the air-pressure changes occurring in the cabin when the plane lands and takes off.
Service airlines offer snacks for kids but often have limited options that your little ones may not like. This is why it is better to be prepared by packing some easy-to-handle snacks, such as puffs and biscuits.
Keep your expectations realistic
Here’s a harsh truth: you won’t be able to have a relaxing trip where you can recline in your seat and enjoy the incredible view. After all, the tips in this guide are about reducing stress, not eliminating it, as that is like a unicorn! Since you can’t achieve it, make sure to set realistic expectations.
The reality is that you will spend most of your time entertaining your kids and putting them to sleep, and the sooner you accept this fact, the better. You may not have any energy for a tour around the destination after the flight, and that’s okay! You can create an itinerary that allows you to rest after arrival – that way, you can enjoy the rest of your trip and have a great time with your family.
The bottom line
Traveling with your children doesn’t have to be a nerve-racking experience. You can make it more pleasant by following the tips mentioned in this blog. The flight will be over quicker than you think, so remember to relax and enjoy your trip!