Flying on your own is a mission sometimes. Throw children into the mix, and you might be in for a rough flight…
If you are a frequent flyer, you would know that air travel can be a headache, and travelling long hours is exhausting. You presumably have your own travel hacks, but if you are travelling with children, you might want to add on to that hack list.
“Kidzilla” is a real thing, and to make sure that you travel hassle-free, you will have to do a huge amount of planning
Our kids deserve to travel with us; to experience and explore the world, so, to make sure that you avoid the tantrums, have a steady strategy in place.
Whether you’re planning on flying somewhere exotic like the Seychelles or keeping it local on a short domestic trip, you want to have a peaceful trip and avoid the fuss. If you will be travelling with children soon, firstly, good luck. And secondly, read our top tips below:
Schedule your flight according to their schedules (as much as possible)
When booking your flight tickets, make sure that you schedule your flights according to your kid’s daily routine. This means that if you want a peaceful trip, fly around your child’s sleeping hours to not disturb their routine.
The day before your flight, make sure you have packed all of your essentials. Don’t trick yourself into thinking that you can do these final checks on the morning of your flight. Because spontaneity can be overwhelming on the day.
Make this a fun and exciting experience for your chioldren
And by this, it means creating a countdown to the date of the flight so that your children become excited about the trip. Sit them down and communicate about the upcoming holiday to prepare them for what is to be expected.
How you communicate with your kids will depend on how old they are. Describe what will happen in great detail. For example, what it feels like when a plane takes off, available entertainment onboard, meals, and how you expect them to behave on the flight. Generally, flying is scary for kids, and this might result in them being a bit uneasy and hysterical. A top tip to keep them calm and at ease, is to hold their hands when the flight takes off and lands.
Bring along activities
Unlike adults, kids are not thrilled by taking peaceful naps on flights or reading a book. Bringing fun activities along will help distract them from their fears. Before your flight day, head to your nearest toy store for new toys, colouring books, pencils, puzzles and anything they might need. Other items you may bring along are a tablet, iPad or iPod. When they get tired of drawing, which they will, be sure you have another trick up your sleeve.
Binge-watching Peppa Pig is not such a bad idea. Make sure you have downloaded plenty of episodes. If you do not pack activities, you stand the risk of being that parent scrapping around for a serviette or a piece of paper out of desperation.
Pack some snacks
Buying food at the airport is expensive, and if you are travelling as a family, that’s going to cost you. Your kids will be just fine with packed goodies. Make sure that the snacks you pack won’t be messy or smelly as they will be surrounded by other guests on the plane.
As a warning, give your kids sugary treats at your own risk. Do you know what’s worse than having a cranky kid on board? A kid on a sugar high. So, monitor the number of sugary treats you give your kids. You don’t want them running up and down, being hyperactive.
Don’t forget the wipes
Children are messy individuals, and your area could become untidy by the time you land. Don’t count on napkins to keep your kid’s hand and mouth sanitary. Wipes, on the other hand, are great to have. So, have them close by to use when cleaning your young ones.
The best way to prepare for a family trip is to prepare for the worst. For example, instances such as your plane being delayed might put you off. So, if you are travelling with children, make sure that you pack 24 hours worth of formula and nappies.
Lastly, make sure you sort your documents beforehand. These documents include your passports, boarding passes, visas and any important documentation you should have with you during your travels.
Clarens, Free State Province