1. Pack your child a plane bag
Fill the bag with goodies you could buy from your local stationery shop, like color pencils, coloring books, stickers and small random toys that you can find at any stationery shop. Let your child know they have a bag filled with goodies and they can only open it once the plane is off the ground. They would love it and will be super excited for the trip ahead.
2. Check in early
Flying is stressful enough for a lot of people. Flying with kids is another ball game. Most things are out of our control but turning up early IS something we can put into our own hands. Running through boarding gates or stressing over long queues because you’re close to missing your flight is NOT WORTH IT. Wake up earlier and start the commute early. Don’t let the stress of getting to the destination ruin the experience of traveling for you and your family.
3. Arm yourself with healthy snacks
Berries, grapes, carrots, cucumber sticks, cherry tomatoes or biscuits. Basically, anything you know will be OK for your toddler to munch on continuously until the in-flight meal is served.
4. Travel with an iPad or tablet
OK, so before I start, Yes, I completely agree that screen time for little ones should be monitored and be limited. With that said, I also completely agree that screen time during flights ARE AN ABSOLUTE SAVER. It shouldn’t be a substitute for all entertainment but on flights where there is no space to run, stand or sit, I say, YES! Take advantage of the technology. YES, load your ipad or tablet with Disney films, cartoons, songs, and games. And YES, always remember what Ben Parker said, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” Don’t go overboard and throw an iPad onto your child’s lap every time they get bored.
5. Dress your child comfortably
Dress your child in something soft, roomy and layer up! The plane’s air conditioning constantly changes throughout the flight.
6. Bring a cuddly toy (…and don’t forget it on the plane!)
If you have a tendency to forget things on transit, buy 2 of the same cuddly toy so if one gets lost, you have your substitute toy packed safely in your carry on luggage. The experience of losing a cuddle buddy can be traumatic. So plan ahead and have the stunt double ready.
7. Take a break
This may sound odd but if your flying long haul, choosing an airline with a good connecting flight might help reduce the stress. Sometimes transit flights work better than one long-haul flight. It gives you the chance to step out of the plane and your child to simply move about and do what they love best. Run, jump and run some more.
8. Remember how awesome it was flying as a kid
Flying is awesome! Remember looking out of the windows, seeing the clouds and wondering how on earth this massive plane is able to fly? Flying is fun. To most kids, flying is an exciting experience. Keep the experience fun for them. Show them the cool colors of the sky, the water, and the tiny looking buildings below them. Open the windows and let their imagination fly.
9. Help drain your child’s energy before the flight
You can help release some of your child’s energy from their little bodies by keeping them active before the flight. Don’t get your child too tired, because that could cause another meltdown but do get your child tired enough so when it’s time to get on the plane your child would need or prefer to have a nap. You could play the game “Simon says” I won’t explain what the game is, I assume everyone knows how to play it. If you don’t, you can Google. 🙂
Have fun and be creative with the game to keep your child moving like, “Simon says, sit down” “Simon says, stand up” “Simon says, sit down” “Simon says, stand up” “Simon says, sit down” “Simon says, stand up…. on 1 leg.”
I won’t continue but I think you get my point? Get them moving!
10. Take care of yourself
While you are ensuring everyone is taken care of and in their best behavior, as a parent don’t forget your own comfort and wellbeing. Make sure you’re dressed comfortably, get yourself a travel pillow, remind yourself you can do this and are able to handle anything that is thrown at you. Take deep breaths. The calmer you are, the more awesome you will do in managing your beautiful offspring on board. 🙂