School holidays bring with them joyous family trips to warmer climes usually involving a flight or two and though holidaying with young children can be amazing fun, travelling to your destination, particularly by plane comes with its fair share of…. umm challenges. From packing essentials to keeping them entertained during the flight each step must be carefully considered to ensure a smooth(ish) journey for both parents and little ones. Here are some valuable tips to make plane travel with young children as stress-free (as possible).
Preparation is Key
The success of your journey begins well before you step foot on the plane. First things first. Make a list of essentials such as nappies, wipes, spare clothes, snacks, extra dummies, and any favourite toys your child may need. Basically, imagine anything you might need over the course of a full day and pack a mini version of it. Make sure all these essentials are in your carry-on luggage, for obvious reasons.
Time Your Flight
Yes, there are a lot of things to consider when booking a flight including, flight costs and hotel check-in times but it is worth considering a child's sleep schedule and trying and align times with their nap or bedtimes. A sleeping child is the best-case scenario for flight, they are quiet and peaceful and they will be rested when you need to embark on the baggage pick up and transport to the accommodation.
Snacks and Hydration
Pack an assortment of your child's favourite snacks this is not the time to ensure they are getting in their vegetable quota, whatever you know they will eat is best, hungry children are not happy children, it is also a great distraction for when they are starting to get bored. Also, keep your child fully hydrated, it might mean several toilet trips but aeroplane cabins are dehydrating and can cause headaches if you don’t keep up the water and juice intake.
Entertainment is the key to keeping little ones from making their own fun, like kicking seats or screaming while they run up and down the aisle. The important thing is to bring a mix of activities, an Ipad, coloring books, and small toys or UNO cards. Please remember to pack headphones, your fellow passengers do not want to listen to Peppa Pig (neither do you).
Ear Pressure Control
If you have ever taken a flight yourself you would know that changes in air pressure during takeoff and landing can cause your ears to pop or ache, same for children but they can’t always tell you. Encourage chewing and swallowing by offering a chewy snack, a pacifier, or a bottle. This helps equalise ear pressure and reduces discomfort.
Travelling with young children requires a healthy dose of patience and flexibility. If you are stressed out, your children will pick up on that, so be prepared for delays, tantrums, and other people's attitudes. Remember, your child is just reacting to the change in the environment and if you are a little late or things don’t go exactly as planned, you are still on holiday and it's all about the fun. So go with the flow, and have as much fun as you can.
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