Flying with children is one of those make-or-break moments for parents. It’s the kind of challenge that tests the latter’s mettle to find out how tough they really are. After all, a bored child may start to cry and stream, especially on a long flight.
The good news is that you can take steps to prevent, or reduce, the stress of flying with your little ones. The key is to plan and get your children ready for what to expect on a plane trip.
Here are some of the things you can do beforehand to make your next flight relaxing (and possibly fun) for the entire family.
Book Airline Seats Together
When you are booking a flight, reserve seats together. This makes sure that everyone is sitting in one area. On top of that, it prevents your kid’s frequent bathroom breaks from disturbing your fellow passengers. Since children like to look out the window, see if you can book a window seat for them.
Get Your Kids Ready for Security Screening
Taking off jackets (and shoes for children over 12 years of age), going through metal detectors, and putting personal belongings on a conveyor belt are activities that could be confusing and even scary for kids. Thankfully, you can keep this from happening by telling your young ones what to do upon arrival at the airport.
Additionally, you need to explain and emphasize why these procedures are necessary. You can tell them that these screenings are a vital step in flying and that the officers of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are present to help keep all the passengers safe and sound in the air.
Bring Drawing Materials
Markers, drawing paper, crayons, and coloring books help keep your little ones engaged if they get bored from watching the sky or doing nothing on their seat. During the flight, tell your children to draw images of things they would like to do once they arrive at their destination. When you’re flying back home, ask them to draw sketches of the highlights of their vacation.
If there are any delays in your flight, the last thing you want to see is a cranky and hungry kid repeatedly telling you words “I’m hungry.” So, remember to give your child snacks. If possible, bring healthy food, such as low-fat crackers, cheese, and fruit. Also, don’t purchase high-sugar, high-fat treats offered on the plane.
Bring a Few Movies to Watch
Use the iPad, tablet, or laptop that you packed in your carry-on baggage to load up a kid-friendly movie for your little ones. Great children’s films can easily absorb the attention of your kid for an hour. This means you won’t be hearing the phrase “I’m bored!” during that time. If you’re going to let your child watch a movie, pack earphones to avoid disturbing other passengers.
Reserving seats together, preparing your children for security procedures, bringing drawing materials and movies, and packing snacks can improve you and your child’s flying experience. Following these suggestions will make air travel less of a hassle and more of a walk in the park.