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5 Handy Hints for flying with kids this Christmas

  • Saturday, 23 November 2019
  • Linda Chivell

kids airplane FAMVELD SHUTTERSTOCK

Visiting friends and family during the festive period is as commonplace Santa and Rudolph the Reindeer. For some of us, this involves flying to reach our loved ones. Be a planner and at least a month before the trip start laying out the basics and make checklists of things to remember. With little travellers in tow this task can increase tenfold. However, a stress-free flight and an enjoyable holiday can be ticked off your wish list this year with these 5 handy tips for flying with kids.

  1. Booking your flight

What is the ticket pricing for a child?  Be sure to do your research when choosing your airline. Where possible, book onto a flight that fits in with your child’s nap time, this can be an easy way to ensure a relaxing flight. Be sure to check your luggage allowances across airlines as these can vary, although most major airlines allow for pushchairs and car seats.

Book a seat close to the front. If your child is prone to motion sickness try to avoid sitting toward the back of the plane where the ride is bumpier.

  1. Arriving at the airport

Book online. Check-In online. Arrive early - at least 2 hours prior to take-off, even earlier if you’re flying long-distance of more than 6-hours flight time. This will give you enough time to check-in (if you haven’t already done so online), get through security and stretch your little one’s legs and tire them out before getting on your flight.

Booking your seats in advance is a great way to make sure you all sit together before you get on the plane. Computers assign seats and they don’t know that your child is only two years old.

Travelling with a toddler? Schedule feeding times to coincide with take-off and landing.

  1. Packing for the flight

Preparation is key. Compile a list of “flight essentials” that you think you might need during your journey, as well as the usual nappies, baby wipes and warm clothes. Pack them into a “kiddie case or as an alternative, a simple backpack will do and is great for a hands-free approach allowing to hold your children’s hand and show passports/boarding passes to airport staff. Pack healthy snacks and try to avoid sugar. Sometimes, the intervals between designated meal times on an aeroplane can seem like forever to a young and anxious traveller. For peace of mind, also make sure to pack in wet wipes and extra serviettes to clean up accidental spills or just to clean sticky fingers.  Dress in layers. It’s a good idea to be able to quickly pull on a sweatshirt or jacket if your child gets cold or take off a layer if they’re warm.

Keep some Ziploc bags for soiled or wet clothes

  1. Preparing for take-off

Little ones have very sensitive ears and so any slight changes in air pressure caused by the flight may create discomfort for your children. Infants have very small Eustachian tubes which allow the pressure to equalize in their inner ears. This can mean a lot of pain and crying during take-off and landing because little kids have no other way to tell you their ears hurt. Having something for them to suck on during the ascent and descent, like a lollipop or pacifier, will help lessen the pain—for everyone.

  1. During the flight

Flying is fun and a great adventure for children. Most of us will be packing a mobile or tablet during our trip (Ensure devices are fully charged and invest in a portable charging device, such as a power bank. So perhaps download some child-friendly games and cartoons for their entertainment or go back to basics with a simple colouring book!

Try to book into a window seat, as this is a wonderful way to play and learn simultaneously! A neat little trick is present your kids with inexpensive early Christmas presents and have it ready to unwrap during the long flight. Kids love a surprise and unwrapping the gift will add to the fun and keep them occupied longer Keep an empty plastic bag nearby for all of the discarded wrapping paper as you don’t want your seat and the aisles to be full of it!

Flying with little ones can be harrowing—but it doesn’t have to be!

Enjoy the holidays!

 

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