As frustrating yelling or crying is when traveling with kids during airplane landing or take off, airline travel with kids is essential for most of us. Every parent has been there. Trying to soothe a crying kid is never easy but there are ways to lessen these unpleasant experiences.
Here are seven insider tips to airline travel with kids that we have experimented with over time. Truthfully, not every tip will work every time but you will soon figure out which works best for your family. Just remember when your kids cry or fuss, it is not a reflection of your parenting skills or lack of.
One: Be prepared
The boy scouts’ motto “be prepared” is important when preparing to travel with kids. Here are a few things to help you be prepared using Travelmath’s calculators:
1. How long is your flight? Use Travelmath’s flight time calculator.
2. Is there a direct flight to your destination? A direct flight saves you time, helps you avoid too many landing and take off hassles, will not interrupt sleep schedules and more. Use Travelmath’s direct flights calculator. For example, if you are traveling from Chicago to Hong Kong, Travelmath’s direct flight calculator shows four direct flights. They are American Airlines, United Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways and US Airways. Look for these airlines when making a reservation to avoid all the hassles listed.
Two: Meals and snacks
Don’t overfeed or underfeed your kids before traveling. Schedule meal times as close to their usual routine as possible. Children are usually in a better mood when they are well fed and hydrated. Make sure they have their usual drinks and try not to be tempted to award them with sugary drinks when on airplanes.
Bring their favorite snacks and enough snacks for your journey.
Three: Window seats
Somehow window seats allow kids to have more space to touch and feel. You have the opportunity to point out interesting views when he or she is seated at a window seat. Window seats give you more room to attend to your kids’ needs.
Imagine if there were three seats and you are in the middle and your child is seated at a window seat or you are in the middle and your child at an aisle seat? Which is better for you and your child?
Four: Airport lounge
You don’t have to reach elite status or thousands of sky miles to use an airport lounge. Airport lounges in most major airports are available for anyone. It is especially beneficial to use airport lounges if you are traveling long haul, for example from Chicago to Hong Kong. Your flight time is considered long because it is about 16 hours 7 minutes.
Priority Pass is the world’s largest independent airport lounge access program. The company provides members over 600 VIP airport lounges, 300 cities and 100 countries worldwide.
Airport lounges usually provide a quiet environment, complimentary food and drinks, free WiFi, shower facilities and excellent work and leisure facilities. You can even bring some bottled water along with you when are ready to board your flight.
Five: Bring toys
Hours of sitting still can be boring even for adults. Bring your kids’ favorite toys, books, hand held devices and favorite blankets when preparing for airline travel. Bring a surprise new toy for each kid and you will be able to entertain him or her for hours. If a child likes electronic games, download the games before traveling and give it to the child as a surprise when on board the plane.
Everybody likes surprises especially if it is something on their wish list of things to buy.
Six: Bring extra clothing
You may never know what will happen on board or when you arrive at your destination. Always bring extra clothing in your carry on. Things happen when you travel or life in general. A kid may decide to throw up or luggage may be delayed. Having extra clothing is extremely important when traveling.
Seven: Be flexible
Kids are kids. Enjoy your ride and create memories with your family.
Travel safe this summer. Let us know your thoughts on our insider tips to airline travel with kids.