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Plane travel doesn’t have to be a nightmare, if you prepare ahead of time. You know best what your kids like to do and what sort of things will distract them, these should be your surprises.
Traveling with Baby by Plane:
Bring a portable DVD player – and take it with you. Those things are lifesavers, especially with longer flights. Most of the newer planes now have TVs in the back of the seats so inquire when booking your flight.
Booking your Flight – consider the timing of your flight carefully. For daytime flights, lunch time might work the best. This way we can feed baby and that can occupy then for part of the flight and use upl 20-30 minutes. For later flights, consider leaving right around baby’s usual bedtime. Go through his usual bedtime routine in the airport or on the plane if possible–jammies, bottle, snack, song, book, whatever you normally do.
Feedings – Nurse or give a bottle during take off and landing or have the child suck on something. It helps equalize the pressure in the ears.
Boarding the Plane – Parents travelling with small children get to board the plane first. However, this means you’re sitting in the plane an extra 15-20 minutes waiting for other people to board. If possible, some airlines may let your spouse board with all the baby gear while you wait at the gate with baby until the last minute to board the plane.
Check in early – If the plane isn’t full, most airlines will ensure that families with babies have the full row to themselves so that you actually end up with an empty seat to use for baby.
Getting Around – Consider using a snuggly or baby carrier around the airport\on the plane instead of a stroller. Your hands will be full of so much stuff, it’ll be nice to not have to worry about pushing a stroller.
Toys – Purchase or borrow new toys and keep them hidden until travel time. Children love new things and it’s more likely to keep them entertained longer.
Basic Supplies – Remember to pack the usual supplies – soothers, bottles, baby wipes, diapers, food, snacks and blankets and extra clothes. Remember your luggage could also get lost.
Traveling with Kids by Plane:
Travelling with kids can be a challenge, as any parent knows. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the stress and nerves. Make sure your family travels without incident by following these tips.
Be prepared – Bring along toys and things to keep your kids occupied on the plane. For older kids, surprise them with a fun travel game, a coloring book. If the flight will be particularly long, buy several treats beforehand and store them in your carry-on bag, pulling out a new item when the kids get bored and whiny.
Build the anticipation – For kids age 2-10, you can build up the idea of flying, especially if they haven’t been on a plane before. Learn about the kind of plane you’ll be flying on and talk frequently about how exciting it will be before you leave.
Play games – There are plenty of travel games that can be adapted to planes. Word games are best for this, they can be kept fairly quiet and distract children. Memory games keep kids so busy trying to remember the order of items that they forget to fight or squirm.
Take shifts – If you are travelling with your spouse or another adult, it’s a good idea to take shifts with the kids. While one adult stays with them in the waiting area, playing a game, the other can go pick up the tickets and make other arrangements. Same goes for picking up your luggage and finding the rental car.
Have fun – Most of all have fun and enjoy your family vacation. Sitting next to your child is the best time to chat with them with no outside distractions.
For more information please check the following airlines for guildlines and suggestions when travelling with children: