Journal

Top Tips for Flying with Children

02 Aug 2018

If you’re flying with kids you might be worried about arriving in one piece. What if they act up, or spend the whole flight screaming? What if you land more frazzled than ready for fun? Here are some top tips from Skyscanner  and some well-travelled mums who know a thing or two about flying with children…

1. Plan and plan some more


Blogger Vicki from online parenting magazine Honest Mum's top tip for flying with kids is be prepared-over-prepared. Vicki says: "you can never have too many wet wipes and snacks! Fill your bag with snacks, games, playing cards, a portable DVD player in case the aircraft doesn't have one and make sure you buy water once you're through check in. I always take extra clothes and medicine, you never know when your kids might get a temperature or feel unwell."

2. Write notes for fellow passengers


Worried the other passengers on your flight are going to hate you if your child screams all the way to Geneva? Or, even worse, enjoys a penchant for kicking the back of the seat in front. Why not follow the example of the parents who handed out bags of sweets to fellow passengers on their flight or pen them a message of apology in advance.

3. Wet wipes and Pull Ups


Cathy from mummytravels.com says: "pack some spare clothes for them and for you - even now my daughter is potty trained, I've kept some emergency pull-ups. And you can never have too many wet wipes! That way if there are delays or you're in a plane that's stuck on the runway for ages, you won't be panicking...or spending a whole flight smelling less than fresh after an accident or unexpected illness. You almost certainly won't need it but it makes me feel much more relaxed, and I think my daughter picks up on that too. That way flights are an exciting adventure, not a potential nightmare scenario."

4. Consider a backpack for hand luggage


Gretta from Mumsdotravel.com says: "my kids are teenagers now, but my top tip for flying with younger children is to have a backpack as hand luggage so that you have both hands free. That makes it easier for you carry your child or hold their hand or push a buggy or show your passports or whatever else you need to do at the airport."

5. Keep it simple


A game can keep kids occupied and make the journey fly by - but you don't want to be carrying lots of equipment to make it work. So keep it simple. Easy games like I-Spy are the best.

6. Pack each child a plane bag


Katie from mummydaddyandmemakesthree.co.uk says: "pack them a plane bag - We have three young children and my girls have amassed many flights between them at a young age. We always pack a plane bag for them, we don't let them see if before we get on the flight and in it are cheap pocket money toys to keep them entertained. Things you can buy in supermarkets and that only cost a couple of pounds each, like crayons, colouring books, little sets of Lego they can build and of course sweets in case all else fails! They love it and get excited to open them as soon as we are up in the air."

7. Pre-order your baby milk from Boots


Baby milk is something that always throws up questions. What can you take? Will you have to taste it at security? How much are you allowed and will it be enough? To avoid these questions did you know you could pre-order your milk from Boots and collect from a store in the airports departures? Find out here which airports are available. Alternatively check out Skyscanner's guide to hand luggage restrictions do you don't get caught out.

8. Never travel without an iPad or tablet


Travel blogger Monica from thetravelhack.com says: "most parents start off with good intentions when it comes to screen time for their little ones but you're definitely allowed to let your standards slip during a flight! Load your tablet with games, songs, TV shows and Disney films to keep them entertained for as long as possible. Even tiny babies can be distracted for 10 minutes by a cartoon with a catchy song and it can be just long enough to enjoy your in-flight meal or avoid a tantrum. Try The Furchester Hotel - it works like magic for my little guy! Also invest in some kiddie headphones so you don't annoy your fellow passengers with those catchy Disney songs."

9.Tell the police

Skyscanner PR Manager and mother-of-two Mary Porter has loads of tips on flying with toddlers. Our favourite is: “warn young children of the ‘Aeroplane Police’ who are looking out for badly behaved children. I am not suggesting you scare them out of their wits (and admittedly we never did explain what the Aeroplane Police actually do when they catch a naughty child). However, it proved hugely effective in stopping my toddler climbing over seats, playing with the fold down table, kicking the seat in front and all the other things that passengers around you really love.”

10. Hold your baby up high

Ok, so this one won’t work for everyone, but some parents have found that holding their baby above their head makes them stop crying. No scientific reason we can think of for this one working but hey, if it does the trick… Not one to do on takeoff though!

11. Keep them comfy

An impractically-dressed child is an unhappy child, so get them dressed up in soft, roomy layers that you can take on and off as the plane’s air conditioning demands – pyjamas are probably your best option. It’s worth taking a pillow too, so they can snuggle up in the window seat against the wall, drift off and dream of holidays.

12. Calpol can be your best friend

In the unfortunate event of your child being poorly when you fly, have handy an emergency stash (no more than 100ml obviously) of mother’s little helper, Calpol. Ear drops are also a winner for coping with altitude change.

13. Cuddly toys can make all the difference

Skyscanner Co-founder Bonamy Grimes has a clever solution for that desperate moment when nothing seems to make it all better: “stock up on toys, but make sure you hold back a favourite teddy that you bring out on the plane, and keep one in reserve for the way back.” There is always the risk of losing a cherished companion in transit, which is heart-breaking, so whenever you buy them a soft toy, buy two and if the worst happens, substitute New Peppa for Left-On-Plane Peppa.

14. Remember the wonder of flying

Flying is fun. In fact, flying is amazing. Remember that your little ones don’t associate budget airlines with baggage restrictions and commuting for business – they’re probably quite excited about going up in the sky. So you should be too. “Don’t forget that flying was once wondrous. To them it still is, so point out the small houses, the clouds, the setting sun…” says long-suffering Skyscanner CEO Gareth Williams. And if you’re desperate, get them to count how many passengers are on the flight. We kid you not, this has been known to work a treat!

 

To read the full article go to https://www.skyscanner.net/news/flying-children-20-top-tips-keeping-kids-happy-board for their 20 Top Tips and ultimate reference guide to all things kids and travel related.

Author: Claire Garber



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