Every air traveller’s worst nightmare appears to be getting stuck next to a crying child for an 8 hour flight. When your kid’s parent, the nightmare could be worse. You don’t need to hold your breath and hope for the best. Here are a few tips for flying with children without alienating other passengers in the procedure.
Keep your expectations realistic – aviation can be difficult on kids (as well as adults). Do not expect perfect behavior, and do not freak out if your child act up. Stay calm so that you can deal with whatever issues come up.
Prepare children for what they will likely experience during the trip, ie audiences, delays, lines etc..
In hindsight now I would have chosen an overnight in Dubai to rest, shower and have a wonderful meal, before tackling the next 16 hour leg of the flight. Our excursion was 27 flying hours in total with a two hour lay over in Dubai, we arrived exhausted without a clue what day or time zone we were in. Based on the time of your kids decide which kind of trip is suitable for your family best.
Schedule naps. If possible select a flight that coincides with your child’s sleep schedule. If they could take a rest at their regular time, or get a great night’s sleep on a red eye, they’ll be more refreshed and better behaved upon arrival at your destination.
Meals – if you child is a fussy eater they might not like plane kids meals. Bring their favorite snacks and meals for one portion of the trip at least. Starving kids are agitated kids in tiny environments.
Visit the doctor before flight – check there aren’t any illness’s or ear infections. Also check what drugs you are able to bring if on international flights in the event of illness whilst away. You do not want to get stuck at customs as you’ve brought medication not permitted in that country.
If your child isn’t night time toilet trained attract nappies too. I fly with spare clothing, toothbrushes, hairbrushes etc so you can feel refreshed when flying.
Bring toys or compact teddies to occupy your kids when flying. Some airlines have consoles with TV and radio, but not all airlines, so pack a tiny lightweight item to amuse your children.
Last of all give your children movement breaks at least every hour, otherwise they’ll feel like caged animals. Kids are lively and like to play and don’t deal well with being confined for extended amounts of time.
Great luck parents I hope utilizing these suggestions will provide you a more enjoyable flight on the next journey.