12 Essential Tips All Parents Need To Know If They're Flying With Kids
We are insanely lucky in this day and age that we are able to fly across the world with relative ease. I mean, in theory, all we really need is a passport, a flight, and potentially a visa.
Of course, traveling by plane certainly isn't for everyone. For one thing, it could potentially entail having to confront a long-standing fear of flying or just heights in general. It can also be quite a stressful activity with plenty of running around and pre-planning.
Yes, flying anywhere by plane can actually be a bit of a nightmare - but especially if it's a long-haul flight and especially if it is with kids, and especially if you haven't planned ahead quite as diligently as you should have. So let these 12 hacks be a source of guidance to you or any other parents out there who are planning to go abroad with their young children in tow.
1. Pack toys/items you know will pacify them if need be
If your kids start throwing a bit of tantrum, it will be a massive help if you are able to bring out something that will soothe them. Something like a toy that they really love, one that is known to calm them down when they're a little, erm, overexcited.
2. Provide your kids with enough water
Airplane cabins have low humidity so your kids could very easily get dehydrated. It is, therefore, recommended that you bring sippy cups and buy water when you get past security. Or you could instead ask the flight attendant to top them up. Be prepared to change a lot of diapers though.
3. Avoid jet lag
If you are crossing over into a different time zone, then you might want to gradually change your child's bedtime and naptime in the days leading up to the trip so they're not as affected by the inevitable jetlag.
4. Bring a change of clothes for your kids
Accidents can happen - especially if you're on a long-haul flight so it's best to be prepared, you know, just in case.
5. Shipping items and curbside check-ins
If there are certain items you will need at your destination but not so much when you're traveling, you might want to consider asking your hotel if they are able to hold packages for you until you arrive. If not, you can also take advantage of curbside check-ins.
(Another great tip is ordering a cheap stroller straight to your hotel. Not only does this save space, but it is particularly handy for destinations that involve a lot of walking and charge for stroller use - such as Disney World.)
6. Remember the car seat bags
If you are planning to bring car seats, you might want to carry them in a special car seat bag. This will make them a lot more practical to carry and leave more room for other items.
7. Prepare for the possibility of popping ears
The change in pressure can have a particularly harsh effect on young children. The best way to deal with this is to ensure they have enough to drink or you could just give them a lollipop or two.
8. Treat them
Airplane flights aren't the easiest of situations for a child to be in so why not treat them for (hopefully) being on their best behavior? What do you only allow your kids to do on special occasions? Play games on your iPad or eat a whole chocolate bar? Go on, give them something to be excited about for a little while.
9. Bring new, flight-practical toys
Toddlers adore new toys so why not surprise them with a new one on the flight? Something to really occupy their attention for a little?
10. Remember the basics
Bring plenty of diapers, wipes, a change of clothes and whatever else it is you might need.
11. Devise a food strategy
When kids are hungry, they can sometimes use this as an opportunity to start acting up. Make sure you plan ahead in terms of food and dining options at your destination. Get familiar with the area ahead of time so you know exactly where you need to get to.
12. Ask for help if you need it
Getting all your bags and kids into a rental car might be a little too hectic. So you might want to contact your rental-car agency and request that they send a special van for you.
Wherever you end up going and whatever it is you end up doing, we wish you the smoothest of travels!