Jetting off on holiday to an idyllic place in the sun is all you've been thinking about since you booked those tickets, yet when flying with kids, those lovely daydreams can quickly turn into a nightmare! Stuck in a tiny cabin, thousands of miles above the earth, with an inconsolable little person isn't the holiday start you had in mind. So how do other parents hack flying with kids?
The Truth About Flying With Kids
The truth is they don't. In fact, most parents like yourself have found themselves in the same situation. Why? Because flying for kids (and some adults) is a super scary experience coupled with horrible sensations like ear-popping changes in air pressure, not to mention the stress of being in unfamiliar places and following a strange routine!
Thankfully, parents can do a few things to make flying with a baby easier and less stressful. In this article, we’ve collated some top tips for flying with a baby and flying with a toddler; hopefully your next trip will be a doddle!
Top Tips for Flying With a Baby
Most airports have dedicated facilities that cater for those travelling with babies.
- Keep your baby accessories in your hand luggage (wipes, nappies, toys, shoes etc.)
- Children under 2-years tend to travel on your lap, so taking a cushion/extra blanket helps
- Choose an easily accessible seat on the plane
- Ask your airline what fluids (milk/formula) are allowed through security
- Ease the discomfort of changing cabin pressure by feeding or allowing your little one to suck on a dummy.
Top Tips for Flying with a Toddler
Many airports have airport lounges that provide entertainment for young children.
- Invest in a small travel stroller, as regular-sized strollers tend to be too bulky. Most airlines allow passengers to take strollers to the gate before boarding, and the crew ensure it is ready when they get off the plane.
- Kiddie harnesses are great for active toddlers on the rampage after a long-haul flight! They also help frazzled parents protect their kids from getting lost when heading to baggage reclaim or a connecting flight.
- Pull-ups are excellent for little ones when travelling, even if they have mastered their toileting regime. Why? Because they reduce the stress of queuing for the overly busy mid-flight loo and help avoid in-seat accidents.
- No aisle seats, please! Avoid seating your toddler in the aisle where curious little hands might connect with the hot food or beverage cart as it whizzes by.
Other Top Tips for Flying With Kids
No matter what their age, flying with kids can be challenging. Below are a few tips you should always consider, no matter how old your kids are.
- Book an early flight as they tend to be less crowded, and there is less chance of delays and, therefore, less chance of tired, hungry kiddies.
- Layer up and ditch fiddly shoe laces. Avoid buttons and zips that can make going through security difficult or going to the loo at short notice an accident waiting to happen! Instead, opt for comfortable, easily removable layers and shoes that slip off and on quickly.
- Encourage your child to drink water for air-pressure changes. Swallowing water right after take-off and during decent helps with pressure changes and keeps them hydrated.
- Bring a surprise present. A new toy helps keep your kid occupied if there are delays or when on a long-haul flight.