Tips for Flying with Children

Flying with your kids is all part of the holiday experience, and children are often just as enthused about their first flight as the holiday that will follow. For parents though, the idea of taking children on an airplane can be quite daunting. Getting kids to sit still for any longer than 20 minutes at a time takes skill even when at sea level, let alone miles high in the air surrounded by strangers. The trick is to try not to worry too much, and plan ahead so you can minimize any stress to you and your fellow passengers on the flight.

Arrive early
Getting stuck in traffic and having to run through terminals is difficult enough when you don’t have small people in tow. Add in kids and you are unlikely to make it on time, and if you do you will be wound up ready for a high stress flight. Make sure you arrive at the airport in plenty of time for your flight on the day, or consider staying in Heathrow Airport the night before so you and your family wake up fresh and ready to fly the next morning.

Don’t pay over the odds when travelling with infants. The under 2s usually fly for free, and there are sometimes cut price flights for those aged 2 to 11. Check what each of these options means for your baggage allowance, and remember if you pay adult price for a child, they are entitled to the same allowances. Find out about boosters and other child friendly options that the airline provide by calling or checking their website.

Go to the bathroom at least twice before you board the plane. The last thing you want while the seatbelt light is on is a small child repeating over and over that they need to go to the loo. There is nothing you can do about it when the light is on, and having an accident on the plane means an uncomfortable and unpleasant flight for you and your family, not to mention some unhappy air stewards.

Be smart with your packing and anticipate boredom, especially on longer flights. Find books and toys which are small enough to be held in your carry-on, but engaging enough to keep your kids still and relatively calm whilst in the air. Cards are a great bet as you can play loads of different games. A favourite regardless of age is bingo with some conventional cards, and of course snap with a special deck. Remember you are not tied to your seats for the entire flight, and no one will begrudge you a wander round the plane with your kids if they need to stretch their legs.

The getting there is just part of the holiday experience. Don’t let the worries about flying overshadow the great time you will have when you get there. Pack smart, be organised and think on your feet and it will all be fine. If your kids do start to get a bit fractious on the plane, just apologize to those that it may effect, but don’t overdo it as it is just children doing what children do. Happy holidays!


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