Traveling with Kids – Why I prefer to fly!
It’s almost Easter holidays, and my family is in desperate need of a holiday. Only problem is… we have 3 kids under the age of 4.
There is nothing more stressful than planning a holiday and arranging the transport.
Last year we decided to do the traditional family road trip to Durban. 3 kids, my Mom in law and the van. How hard can it be? Right? Wrong!
What an absolute nightmare. Screaming kids, wee’s, poos, petrol stops, boredom and a million are we there yet?
I spent the entire holiday dreading the trip back.
That is why this year I am packing the whole lot of them up and by them, I mean family and we are FLYING to Durban. Yes. I will be that mom with 3 kids on a plane.
A simple, easy 45 min flight.
Thanks to travel start we have booked
I have already started planning some ideas and tips on how to make it easy for all of us, including the other passengers.
I have done loads of research and here are the top tips form Mom’s all over the world.
Here are tops tips.
1.Write notes for fellow passengers
Worried the other passengers on your flight are going to hate you if your child screams all the way to Malaga? Or, even worse, enjoys a penchant for kicking the back of the seat in front. Why not follow the example of the parents who handed out bags of sweets to fellow passengers on their flight or pen them a message of apology in advance.
2.Wet wipes and Pull Ups
Cathy from mummytravels.com says: “pack some spare clothes for them and for you – even now my daughter is potty trained, I’ve kept some emergency pull-ups. And you can never have too many wet wipes! That way if there are delays or you’re in a plane that’s stuck on the runway for ages, you won’t be panicking…or spending a whole flight smelling less than fresh after an accident or unexpected illness. You almost certainly won’t need it but it makes me feel much more relaxed, and I think my daughter picks up on that too. That way flights are an exciting adventure, not a potential nightmare scenario.”
3.Keep it simple
A game can keep kids occupied and make the journey fly by – but you don’t want to be carrying lots of equipment to make it work. So keep it simple. Easy games like I-Spy are the best. Get ideas for more simple, cost-free, games you can play with the kids on your next journey.
4.Consider a backpack for hand luggage
Greta from Mumsdotravel.com says: “my kids are teenagers now, but my top tip for flying with younger children is to have a backpack as hand luggage so that you have both hands free. That makes it easier for you carry your child or hold their hand or push a buggy or show your passports or whatever else you need to do at the airport.”
5.Hold your baby up high
Ok, so this one won’t work for everyone, but some parents have found that holding their baby above their head makes them stop crying. No scientific reason we can think of for this one working but hey, if it does the trick… Not one to do on take-off though!
6.Pack each child a plane bag
Katie from mummydaddyandmemakesthree.co.uk says: “pack them a plane bag – We have three young children and my girls have amassed many flights between them at a young age. We always pack a plane bag for them, we don’t let them see if before we get on the flight and in it are cheap pocket money toys to keep them entertained. Things you can buy in supermarkets and that only cost a couple of pounds each, like crayons, colouring books, little sets of Lego they can build and of course sweets in case all else fails! They love it and get excited to open them as soon as we are up in the air.”
7.Check in early
If you are flying with the family, or holidaying with your extended kin (sharing a villa with your sister and her five kids perhaps?) you’ll be struggling to all sit together if you leave it late to check in. So do this online as soon as check-in it opens. Unless you don’t want to sit anywhere near your sister’s five kids, that is.
8.Make regular toilet stops
“I don’t need to go” can quickly swing to the other end of the scale when it comes to children’s’ bladders – even the older ones. So make sure they go to the toilet immediately before getting on the plane/boat/train. Don’t give them too many fluids either or they’ll be up and down to the toilet all the way to your destination – extremely annoying for the person in the aisle seat! This is sensible advice for adults too. Drinking five pints of lager before getting on the plane is dangerous, especially if you’re held up during taxiing
9.Arm yourself with snacks
For the ones on solid, gown-up food, make sure you pack plenty of snacks. Like an irascible cat which hasn’t had its morning Whiskas, a hungry toddler will damn sure let you know if they’re hungry. So, until the in-flight meal is served, fend them off with snacks. We won’t get into a debate here – obviously mainlining Hairdo is not good for them, but unless they have a soft spot for grapes, it might be the only thing that works.
10.Never travel without an iPad or tablet
Travel blogger Monica from thetravelhack.com says: “most parents start off with good intentions when it comes to screen time for their little ones but you’re definitely allowed to let your standards slip during a flight! Load your tablet with games, songs, TV shows and Disney films to keep them entertained for as long as possible. Even tiny babies can be distracted for 10 minutes by a cartoon with a catchy song and it can be just long enough to enjoy your in-flight meal or avoid a tantrum. Try The Fur Chester Hotel – it works like magic for my little guy! Also invest in some kiddie headphones so you don’t annoy your fellow passengers with those catchy Disney songs.” Before you stock up on free apps to keep the kids entertained, check out our list of the best ones for your iPad or smartphone to get before you fly, guaranteed to keep children entertained long enough for you to at least eat your in-flight meal.
11.Keep them comfy
An impractically-dressed child is an unhappy child, so get them dressed up in soft, roomy layers that you can take on and off as the plane’s air conditioning demands – pyjamas are probably your best option. It’s worth taking a pillow too, so they can snuggle up in the window seat against the wall, drift off and dream of holidays.
12.Calpol can be your best friend
In the unfortunate event of your child being poorly when you fly, have handy an emergency stash (no more than 100ml obviously) of mother’s little helper, Calpol. Ear drops are also a winner for coping with altitude change.
Now sit back and relax and plan your awesome family get away.
Here are some amazing tips from Travelstart.