Going on holiday with children can be a beautiful thing. They pick up on the great things in life that adults have somehow forgotten. However, it is not always plain sailing – airport delays, illness and unusual food can cause some seriously tense moments when flying with kids.
Catching a plane often heralds the start of the holidays and can be great fun. Getting through long queues for check in or security is the first hurdle. Older children will usually have an electronic device to amuse them but younger children can get restless. Make sure that you have coloring books or even plasticine in your hand luggage, as well as some prizes (sweets or maybe a comic) and set challenge. A popular challenge is for the kids to make their favourite cartoon character and you have to guess who it is. Be prepared for lengthy queues and minimise the stress of travel for all concerned.
Boarding the plane
Before boarding, if you are travelling with kids under 10, it is always worth approaching the airline staff and asking if you can board early. Most airlines will accommodate this request but some companies do not announce this in the airport. If the airline allow you to board early, the embarkation process becomes much calmer experience for your child.
Keep your kids involved by allowing them to hold the tickets or by looking for the seat numbers. The more involved in the process, the more distracted they will be!
Preparing for take off can be a little tricky if your child is not fond of seat belts. Take the opportunity to explain the rules of the seatbelt game before you even leave for home. The rules are that the child must put on the seat belt and sit and play with a favorite toy until the all clear is given to unfasten the seat belt. Then the prize can be given. Wrap up various little prizes before the holiday and award one after every hour. These do not need to be expensive but should keep the child busy. For instance, a puzzle book, a new DVD, a drawing book or even a Lego toy. Technically this is bribery but on a long haul flight it may be a Godsend!
Airplane food may not live up to your child’s culinary demands so the simple solution is to bring your own. It can be against airport rules so check in advance but a packed lunch would save a lo of heartache. If you cannot bring food into the airport, then buy snacks and drinks in the airport. Do not buy food with high sugar content as this will create a sugar high and this must be avoided if you want to arrive at your holiday destination with your sanity intact.
The pressure in the ears during descent can really hurt little people’s ears. To avoid disembarkation with miserable children, give them sweets to suck, drinks or a bottle for a baby.
After leaving the airport, chances are that you will be heading for a rental car. It is a really good idea to pre-book your car and child seats to avoid long delays.
So, to make your trip start smoothly, take the time to plan for the journey. It is as important as the holiday as the journey to your holiday destination and will set the tone of the best holiday you are likely to have!