Flying with kids
1 BEFORE YOU BOOK Make sure you consider your children’s routine (timing of naps, mealtimes, bedtimes and so on) when deciding what time of day to travel. It might be better to go for the most convenient and suitable flight, rather than the one that’s the cheapest. Spending a few extra euro is undoubtedly worth it if it can buy you peace of mind and
2 happier kids. CONSIDER INDIRECT FLIGHTS Although you might want to just get the journey over and done with, sometimes having a stopover might break up the boredom and give kids
3 the chance to burn off some energy. GET THEM INVOLVED If you have older children, get them to help you plan the holiday, so they’ll be more excited about it when the time comes. Encourage them to help pack their own suitcase and decide what they want in their carry on bag. Making even a small child ‘responsible’ for something gives them a sense of purpose (under your watchful eye, of course – you don’t want a suitcase full of dinosaurs and no clothes). 4 GET TO THE AIRPORT EARLY You should factor in time for tantrums and stalling. If you’ve got little ones, do plenty of walking around the airport as hopefully it will wear them out ahead of the coming plane journey. 5 REIN THEM IN Depending on the maturity and reliability of your child, invest in reins or an electronic child locator so you don’t lose them in the airport. Also, write your mobile
6 number on their hand . CASE FOR TRUNKIS Trunki ride-on suitcases may be cumbersome but they’re good for getting contrary children to the departure gate on time. You might have a
7 bad back for most of the trip, though. KEEP ‘EM BUSY Bring plenty of activities to keep kids occupied, as sitting on a plane for hours won’t be easy for
8 them (see our ideas on the next page). BRING BACK UP Don’t count on in-flight entertainment as the only distraction for older children, it can break down! Have a back up plan. And hold off on the use of electronics until towards the end of the flight – otherwise they won’t want to do anything else. Also, pack earphones that fit:
9 airline ones rarely fit smaller heads. UNDER PRESSURE Bring something for them to suck on to stop their ears from popping, whether it be a sweet
The school summer holidays are upon us and millions of families will be jetting off to the sun. And that of course brings the challenge of plane travel with your offspring. Nobody wants to be the parent of the most annoying kid in the cabin. And nobody wants to sit by one! To dissipate the dread, we’ve teamed up with the aviation gurus at leading global flight search and travel deals platform Cheapflights.co.uk to bring you the definitive guide to surviving the experience – happy flying! Do plenty of walking around the airport to wear them out ahead of the coming flight
for older children, or a dummy or a bottle for babies.
10 BEDDY-BUYS There are some nifty gadgets to turn a seat into a tot’s bed. Check out Jetkids Bed box , Fly Legs up, Flytot and 1st class kid. Trunki’s car seat that doubles as a hand-luggage approved backpack is another winner. It can carry toys and games etc on the flight then transform into a car-seat on arrival so you don’t have to pay for one with your hire car. 11 BE CHUMMY Pal up with the cabin crew when you board – you
12 may need their help. BOTTOM LINE Make plenty of trips to the toilet. Even for potty-trained kids, bring pull-up training pants in case your plane is delayed on the runway without access to the loos.
13 BE SEAT SMART If you’re a family of four, find out in advance from the airline or check-in desk if the flight is busy. If not, it can pay to reserve seats in two rows – one child and one adult in each. Book an aisle seat and a window seat, leaving the middle one free; it will often be unused and, if someone does use it, they’ll be more than happy to swap so that you’re sitting next to your child!
14 IT’S IN THE BAG Pack kids a special ‘plane bag’ full of little treats and presents they only get to open on the flight. To beat boredom, ration them to one treat per hour.
15 STICKING POINT Avoid any food that can be smeared by sticky fingers – dry crumbs are easier to clean up. And choose water over sugary, sticky fizzy drinks and juice.
16 LAYER UP With loosefitting clothes (to avoid fiddling with buttons) that can be easily put on or off.
17 SMALL WONDER Try to to remember flying will seem a thing of wonder to your child and indulge this. Explain the process of moving through the airport or why the seatbelt sign is important, get excited with them, make plane noises, point out the little houses and wispy clouds! It can all be part of the fun of travel.
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