Airport security, cramped seats, and limited entertainment can make anyone’s flight frustrating. If you’re planning a flight with young children, you may be facing the prospect with more than a little trepidation. Fortunately, traveling with babies and toddlers doesn’t have to be all bad news. In fact, many young children love flying. Good planning and preparation are key to success. By having the right things and doing the right things, your kids can fly smoothly and look forward to their next adventure. Whether you’re taking a short-haul flight to a local destination or heading off on an international vacation, these five tips can help you make your trip as fun as possible.
1. Choose the Right Dress
Comfort is an important part of air travel, but the right clothes for your little one can also help make it easier. Temperatures can change dramatically when you fly, so it’s best to be prepared for whatever you and your children may encounter during the trip. Dress small children in groups that can be easily removed. Avoid complicated buttons and fasteners that can turn an emergency into a disaster. Complete the perfect outfit with slip-on shoes that will make checking in at the airport a breeze and help keep your kids comfortable while sitting in their seats.
2. Plan Your Activities Carefully
When traveling with babies and toddlers, be prepared to have more than you need. While you don’t want more luggage than you can safely carry, you also don’t want to run out of diapers. Babies and toddlers need comfort and entertainment to keep them going throughout the day. They also need to eat and drink more often than adults and are germ magnets in a germ-ridden environment. A to-do list can help you not forget anything important.
- Consoles: Pacifiers, blankets, small toys, bottles, etc. may be things that your baby cannot be with for more than half an hour. If this is true for your child, keep their favorite item in a bag within easy reach. If it’s a pacifier, make sure you bring plenty.
- Snacks & Water: Airplane snacks may not appeal to a small child and may be served too late to prevent fallout. Pack a few sugary snacks to keep your kids from getting ‘hungry’ on the plane.
- Hand Sanitizers and Antibacterial Wipes: Children will be exposed to germs at the airport and on the plane. Come prepared and shower often.
- Diapers & Wipes: Diapers per hour during the trip are recommended. It is also not wrong to consider using pull-ups for children who do not use them anymore. Having things you don’t need is better than what you have now.
- Air Pressure Rx: Changes in cabin pressure during take-off and landing can cause ear pain that can make even the most docile child shiver. If your children are used to chewing gum, chewing a piece during and after take-off and during the last 30 minutes of landing can reduce stress. Drinking water can provide the same relief from swallowing.
- Plastic Garbage Bags: Children will accumulate garbage. With plastic bags on hand, you can throw away without making an icky mess in your travel bag.
- Distractions: Cell phones and tablets loaded with your kids’ favorite movies can be lifesavers on the plane. Make sure you buy the right headphones for maximum comfort. Other must-haves are craft items and a favorite mobile game or toy.
3. Look for a Child Friendly Airline
Parents walk with children. It’s a life event, but not everyone can expect to handle a child’s problem with maturity and grace. The pilots strive to keep all passengers calm and happy throughout the flight. Providing fun options for younger travelers makes for a better travel experience for everyone. That’s why many leading airlines offer activities designed to keep kids busy and calm throughout their flight. Before you fly, do your research to find out which airlines offer extras such as activity kits, kid-friendly audio and video equipment, kid-friendly snacks, or other amenities. Some airports even include a dedicated kids’ club with a small play area to burn off energy between flights.
4. Book the First Morning Trip
Delays make travelers nervous, and this stress is doubled for young children. Getting up early in the morning reduces the number of possible delays and is often much less likely. This time is usually quiet in airports and on airplanes. As a bonus, if you start the day early in the morning, your little ones can settle down to sleep on the plane which will reduce the need for entertainment.
5. Help Kids Be Prepared
For children, a new activity can be exciting. However, unexpected events can also be dangerous. Start planning before the day of the trip and talk to your children about the flight and everything they can expect during the trip. Explain requirements such as waiting in line at security and sitting down at certain times of the journey. Share videos with your child that provide realistic images of what to expect at airports and airplanes. Try to focus on safety and go well with shoe removal drills and quiet time activities. With different models, your children can prepare for the trip.
Traveling with small children does not have to be a daunting task that you face with trepidation. It can be great fun for the whole family. No matter when or how you travel, planning is essential for an enjoyable and safe trip. In the same way that preparing your children’s flights protects them (and you) from a day full of problems, travel insurance can protect you from unexpected disasters. Whenever you travel, don’t forget to protect your travel expenses, and yourself, with travel insurance. Go on travelinsure.com today to find out about the safety of your next trip and get a free quote.