Travelling is a necessary hassle. Everyone needs to do it – including your kids. There are times when it is necessary to travel with your kids on a plane and you know that long hours of travel will definitely exhaust your children. A kid’s attention span and an 8-hour travel to grandma’s is definitely not a good combination. Here are some things you have to prepare before getting your kids on a plane.
- ‘Non-Peak Time’ Schedule – Bringing your kid at the airport is in itself stressful – as you have to always mind what they are doing and the possibility of losing them in the crowd increases a parent’s stress. To somehow lessen it, book you flight schedule at a time when the airport is not too busy. These times are usually on Mondays to Wednesdays at night.
- ‘Non-stop’ flight or one to two hours break at most – Having stopovers during your flights are, in a way, good when travelling alone as you get to rest before going to your destination. However, stopovers are not really good if you have kids with you because you will have to go through the problems of taking care of your things and of your child. However, one-to-two-hour stopovers are fine to let your child move around a bit because for them being inside an airplane too long is like putting them in ‘prison’.
- Fly According to Your Kid’s Sleeping Schedule – Your child may be hyperactive due to excitement but when it’s time to sleep, he will sleep. So, to buy yourself some time to relax, schedule your flight according to your kid’s sleeping schedule.
- Baby Strollers, Car Seats and Airplane Restraints – Baby strollers are allowed until before you board, so use it. This will help you move more freely. Car seats, however, are allowed on board so you can secure your kids on their seats and there are things which are called, ‘airplane restraints’ which basically function like car seats made for airplane.
- Dress Your Kid For Comfort – Your kid is not in the runway and chances are he is going to mess himself up trying to move around. It will be best to dress him comfortably so that he would not feel restrained.
- Prepare Extra Clothes, Diapers, Baby Wipes and Formula Milk – as said earlier, your kid will mess himself up in a long trip, so it is best to come prepared with the aforementioned items.
- Bring food: No to sugar, chocolate and caffeine – Your child will get hungry. Be prepared. Bring food that will fill their stomachs but will not make them hyper. Momentarily pacifying them with chocolates will give you more problems in the future.
- Bring chewing gums or lollipops – just something for your kid to suck or chew, this is help him get rid of the clogging in his ears when flying without your child even noticing what they really are for. If your kids are younger, you can put earplugs on them.
- Bring Entertainment –Activity Books, Crayons, DVDs, and Electronics are your friends on board. They will help you keep your child occupied until you reach your destination.
- Bring his favorite Teddy Bear, Pillow, Blanket – this is to make your kid comfortable and be able to sleep well on board. Sleepless kids get cranky and cranky usually ends up crying and disturbing other passengers, you wouldn’t want that.
- Explain to You Child What Exactly is Going to Happen on Board – if this is the first time for your kid to board a plane, chances are, he is very excited and curious. Explain to him what will happen inside, how adults act in a plane and how he is expected to act.
- Children enjoy playing grown up, use it to your advantage – Since you explained to your kid how adults act, tell him that if he wants to grow, he needs to behave as well. If you can, you try to strike a deal with your kid that if he behaves, he will be rewarded.
- Sit Your Child by the Window – If he’s a bit of the noisy type, try to get a seat at the back – These two are strategic: 1.) sitting by the window gives your child more entertainment than you have in your bag; 2.) The sound of the engines at the back helps muffle the sound your child is about to make.
- Control Yourself – Stop Shh-ing your kid. If other people are fine with how much noise your kid is making, be okay with it as well. Your child is not like those in fairytales and most people understand that.
- Smile and Don’t Act Cranky – When your cranky, your child will get cranky and the situation will be very stressful. So, smile. Relax. You can handle it. You’ll survive.
These are just some tips to help you handle travelling with a kid on a plane and to help your kid enjoy his trip via plane as well.