If you've never flown with your children before you may be terrified of the prospect. Thousands of parents fly around the world each day with young children, and for the majority, it's rarely as bad as you think. Whether you are planning your first vacation with your new baby or you are travelling with younger children, there are a couple of things you can do to ensure your journey is a pleasant one.
Your planning should start when making the booking. Babies can be carried and don’t require their own seat on the plane; this may make your trip a little more uncomfortable, so find out from the airline if you can have a seat that offers more leg room. Often parents with young babies are placed just behind business class where there is that bit of extra room.
Ensure the airline is aware you are flying with children, it’s also worthwhile to find out how booked the flight is and try and get on one that isn’t fully booked, this may enable you to move during flight to a row of spare seats where children can lie down and nap even if they are flying on your lap. It's worth leaving extra early to ensure you can check in as early as possible to avoid any potential problems.
Nappies, Wipes and Bottles
If you are flying with a baby it’s important to ensure you have plenty of nappies, wipes, bottles and dummies. Don’t be shy to ask the flight attendants for assistance if you are flying on your own. Pack the bag with all the necessities you will need for the duration of your flight along with changes of clothing for baby.
For younger children taking a choice of their favourite books can keep them occupied for a lengthy time on a flight. Let them choose which books they want to take with them to read on the plane, this way they are involved in the planning of their vacation.
Take a choice of fun card games that you can play together during the flight; this should include some board games which will keep your children entertained for hours on end. You can buy travel packs of card and board games at your local toy store, they are small and compact and easy to fit into hand luggage and come with a great benefit, quiet and entertained children on a long flight.
If your child has specific dietary needs ensure you confirm this with the airline when booking, if necessary find out what food items you are allowed to take for your child if they cannot cater for their dietary requirements.
Take some snacks and drinks on the flight with you. Bear in mind that liquids are restricted so only purchase these once you have passed through security. Also take note of what food items you are allowed to take with you. Don’t argue with your children on a flight, if they want salted peanuts or packets of crisps, let them have it. It’s once in a blue moon, but if it will keep them happy during a long flight, then rather give into their request, letting them get the most enjoyment out of the experience.
Try and book a window seat if you are flying with a child, they will love looking out the window and seeing far below. You can try and guess where you are and let them play some I-Spy games that should keep them entertained for hours.
Remember to relax, try and enjoy your flight. If you have enough things to keep your child busy and have booked your flight according to their sleep pattern, you should have a smooth flight without any problems.
Travelling with your children can often be stressful, but following these tips can help make things nicer for everyone (including your fellow passengers!). Thanks to Legoland Holidays from the UK for this collection of tips to ease your international journeys. What are your favourite tips?