Until we can effort to have a private plane, I still have to cross my fingers and hold my breath every time we during air travel. Yes, it’s that stressful. Kids cannot be predicted. Even if you try your best to keep them calm and happy before getting on the plan, a limited space and long hours flying seems to tick them off very easily. We fly quite often, at least 3 round trips on domestic fights and 1-2 round trips of International flights a year, so we went through most imaginable episodes of Yaseen’s naughtiest drama.
One thing you have to keep reminding yourself while traveling with kids is to keep yourself calm. Though patience is a key, I have to admit that “Toy” is the most crucial weapon. So here are some tips and checklist we use to ensure a smooth ride in air travel
- Plan your trip
Book non-stop fight whenever possible to avoid changing of terminal and run around with unwilling children. Flying can make them very cranky and tired so plan your trip to accommodate them. Communicate with your airline and ask for comfortable seats where you can be in control with the situation. Some airlines are very nice, and they are ready to assist the passengers with children on board form the gate.
- Be Organize with your traveling documents
Keep all traveling documents like passports, visas, tickets, boarding pass, your taxi service and hotel booking detail, etc. in one place with organized compartments for easy excess whenever you need. Don’t forget a pen for filling forms and check your mobile connection in the airport.
- Keep your luggage to minimum
Pack only essentials and don’t carry a lot of stuff as you will always need a hand to keep the children on track.
- A small bag for kid
Allow your kid to carry a small bag filled with their stuff like toys, cuddly dolls, games, a few treats, napkins, etc. It should be light weight, and make sure all items they carried are not in the prohibited item list.
- Safety at the airport
Talk to your children about the trip, what to expect and how they should behave. Put a name tag with contact number, your name, and your address on the child just in case. I don’t know what’s with them but kids love running in an airport! Tell them how to identify an authority/security if they get lost. Ask your spouse to keep an eye on your children while filling forms. If you travel alone, you should strap your kid in toddler tether / child leash. Talk to your airline in case you need to carry a car seat or bassinet on board.
- Entertainment in Airport
If you arrive early and have time to stroll around in an airport, take your children to the game zone where they could play and enjoy various activities. This is the tip I use all the time. This makes your kids really happy and almost tired enough to go to sleep right away when they get to their seats.
- Be attentive/entertaining while flying
It is very important to keep your children happy all the time while traveling because the limited space usually makes them bored and frustrated very easily. Have their favorite toys, candies, quiet games, etc. Play with them, tell exciting stories, and engaged in fun conversation. Ask for comfortable pillows or blankets when they’re feeling sleepy.
- Extra clothes, napkins, wet wipe
Accident happens, you should be ready to clean and change them immediately. Have extra clothe, napkins, diapers, wet wipes, etc. in your carry on. They should be in a comfortable outfit so they can relax during the flight.
- Meal for kid
Request kid meal in advance. Kid meal is usually available in most airlines. Make sure you book it at the time of booking ticket.
- Safety on board
Pay an attention to safety demonstration and talk to your kid about it. Make sure your children are secured with seatbelt while taking off and landing. Have earplugs ready to manage ear pressure pain.
- Prepare for the worst
There are time kid are just out of control. They cannot be predictable so you must remind yourself to be patient. Always have plan B and C. Crying and screaming are the worst scenario in the public place. Make sure you have something that could turn their mood around. For Yaseen I packed his favorite treat called Kinder Joy which has a surprise toy inside. He loves it and it will keep him calm immediately.
- Evaluate the entire experience
At the end of the journey, talk to them about how they did. Always remember to communicate in a positive tone. Tell them how nice they did on the trip and what they should not do again next time they travel.
I think it’s important to keep communicate with your children all the time while traveling. Yaseen is never an easy subject so we always look out for another tip and tricks whenever traveling with him. Feel free to share your thought and tips here…coz man…We’re in need of them 🙂
Hey I almost forget to tell you that we are flying to Kerala tomorrow. I will update some local delights and our fun journey from there.
Take care, kids!