Flying with children can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. And, with a bit of pre-planning it can be a great start to your holiday and create some incredible family memories. To help you get the most out of your next flight we’ve put together a flying with kids do’s and don’ts checklist.
Do understand the charges and restrictions for kid’s fares and baby equipment
Every airline has different allowances for baggage allowances and fees. Can you take a pushchair? Do they provide carry cots? Do the kids get a carry-on allowance? This goes for scenic tours too. Make sure you know what’s allowed, what’s provided and what isn’t before you book.
Do be prepared
Delayed flights and upset tummies can make flying extremely tough. Make sure you have wet wipes, spare clothes and enough games and toys for the flight. An iPad or tablet with headphones are a great way to keep little ones quietly occupied – just make sure you’ve downloaded all their favourite games, music and shows in advance. Make sure you have snacks on hand to prevent hungry tantrums.
Do check in early
Arriving late and stressed will add anxiety for your kids – this isn’t great if they are already nervous fliers. It also gives you plenty of time to reshuffle luggage (if needed), grab snacks, stretch your legs and get to board on time.
Do plan for toilet stops
There’s often not much warning when little ones need to go to the toilet. Make sure you allow for toilet stops and it can help to limit food and drink before boarding to reduce the risk of accidents. Your fellow passengers will also thank you for less frequent trips to the toilet.
Don’t expect others to sympathize
While your kids may need to get up to stretch their legs and walk the aisles, other passengers may find this an annoyance. Don’t expect them to accommodate your children, and make sure the kids are on their best behaviour where you can.
Don’t count on the airline or tour provider to have everything
With tightened budgets many airlines won’t have a supply of nappies, wipes, milk, toys or snacks. Be self-sufficient and arrive with everything you need – this is a vital point for our flying with kids do’s and don’ts.
Don’t ignore your child’s behaviour or your fellow passengers
If your child is behaving badly don’t ignore it, acknowledge their behaviour and address it. If they’re old enough remind them they’re not at home and on a plane full of other people so everyone needs to behave themselves. If there’s too young for reasoning acknowledge your fellow passengers – a simple “Sorry we’re doing everything we can” will be appreciated.
Check if they’re feeling ok and have had enough food and drink. Bored, tired and hungry kids are more likely to act up – hence the importance to bring enough clothes, games and snacks to last your flight.
Don’t forget to look after yourself
This is your holiday too! Think about what you need to make the flight go smoothly for you – download your favourite music, grab a new book to read and savour that welcome drink. This is our most important tip from our flying with kids do’s and don’ts.
What do think of our flying with kids do’s and don’ts checklist? Are there any great tips you think we missed? Let us know in the comments.
Did you know kids under 2 years fly free on our Seawings tours?
Kids under 2 years old fly free with a full paying adult, and kids under 12 years old enjoy discounted fares. Contact us to find out more details.
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