Fly­ing with kids

SUR­VIVAL GUIDE

Irish Sunday Mirror - - TRAVEL - BY NIGEL THOMP­SON

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.

MORE OF THIS... An en­gaged chld is a happy child LESS OF THIS... A mis­er­able child is good at shar­ing the pain

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