Heading towards the peak summer holiday period, there’s a high chance you’ll end up jetting off into the sun for a well-earned break. But what happens if you have little ones? Travelling with young children can be stressful experience; it would be a shame if the fear of a negative plane journey puts you off booking one of the many family holiday packages provided by the likes of Tots Too. How will you keep them occupied during a short flight let alone a long haul?
There’s no denying it is more challenging travelling with youngsters but there are plenty of ways to make things a whole lot easier. Here are five handy tips:
Take plenty of food
The last thing you want is a hungry toddler mid-flight, so make sure you take a wide range of snacks with you on board. Food pouches that you or your child can squeeze are ideal as they’re less hassle and can be warmed up by placing them in a cup of warm water (ask nicely and the flight attendants will even do this for you). The rules are quite relaxed regarding baby food and milk, but it’s advisable to check with your airline if you have any concerns.
Think about take-off and landing
During take-off and landing, the change in cabin pressure might cause your ears to tingle, hurt or even pop. This can be quite distressing for children, so always give them something to drink or suck as this will help equalise the pressure in their ears. Older children can enjoy a boiled sweet; however, it’s wise to breastfeed babies or to offer them a bottle. If they’re not due a feed or won’t take their milk, give them a dummy as the sucking motion is similar.
Take their favourite toys
If you’re a parent you’ll know that young kids need a lot of stimulation, so it’s a good idea to pop a few of their favourite toys in your hand luggage. Remember you’ll be limited to what you can take, but a few small items like teething rings, cars or puzzles might do the trick. As you’ll be sharing a small space with others, check out this list of quiet travel toys and try to be courteous towards fellow travellers. Most people are more patient where kids are involved but you never know.
Go for walks
When you check-in, ask for an aisle seat as this will allow you to get up and down easily. While babies will probably want to be cuddled, toddlers may want to wander down the aisle. So long as you don’t get in the way of food and drink trollies, this is completely fine. Most passengers and flight attendants don’t bat an eyelid and some will even entertain your kids for you. It’s the luck of the draw how much fuss or attention your kid will get, but a bit of oohing and aahhing will certainly while away the time.
Pack a change of clothes
No matter what the length of your journey, you’ll need a change of clothes – just in case. It’s a well-known fact that babies can poo out of their nappy and you really don’t want a stinky bubba sat on your lap. Two or three outfits are recommended and if you want your child to sleep soundly, ensure they’re as comfortable as possible. In other words, stay away from shirts and jeans and opt for vests and tracksuit bottoms instead.
Travelling with kids is fine, so long as you’re prepared and because of that hopefully you will feel more chilled. Make a list of everything you need and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.