PLANE AND SIMPLE Tips for flying with kids that every parent needs to know – including recreating your home on a plane
Even choosing the flight you're on and where you're sitting could help
FLYING with children can be stressful for any parent, but it's even harder when your kids are young. But there are plenty of tricks you can use to make the journey easier.
Being prepared will go a long way to help.
You could bring things like toys and snacks to keep your kids entertained during the flight, for example.
But actually, planning before you even book your holiday can
help as well.
Here are some ways you can make flying with kids easier...
While booking your flight...
Travelling on an emptier plane could give you some much needed
space - but it might not always be possible if you're travelling during
By plugging in the details for your route, you can see how many seats are available and therefore how busy the flight is - but it's not full proof. The best thing to do is to check again when you check in and board your flight - if the plane isn't busy and there's someone else sitting near you, you can always ask if they mind moving to and alternative seat.
Depending on how old your child is, you might want to choose your seats accordingly. If you're travelling with a slightly older child or if you want to book a bassinet, go for a bulkhead seat.
Bassinets are only available for these seats - although they
may not be available on all flights - and if you have toddler, the
extra room can give them space to play. However, if you have a baby,
you may want to pick a seat towards the back of the plane as these are
where the baby changing facilities are generally located. And according
to Corinne McDermott, founder of HaveBabyWillTravel.com, "Usually the
restrooms with change tables are located at the back of the plane, and
you will be close to the galley if you require hot water or any
assistance from the flight attendants."
What to take with you on the flight
Another great tip that Kathleen gives is to "recreate home" - basically think about what you might need to keep your kids entertained if you're spending the same amount of time at home.
It will help you to decide what to pack. As a rule though, it's good to have toys and snacks for the journey. Emirates’ cabin crew Emily Jones advises: "Bring a mix of old and new toys with you and make a game of giving the toys out by wrapping them up and asking your children to guess what’s inside.
"For babies and toddlers, think stacking cups and boxes, anything that you can ‘hide’ other small toys inside.
"The games can continue throughout the flight by adding items you find along the way such as the Emirates Fly With Me toys which our cabin crew will give to you during your journey."
Also remember to bring pyjamas, plus a spare, so your kids can
get comfortable and have something to change into if there are
accidents or spills.
Helping your child sleep on the flight
Picking a night-time flight means that your little one is more likely to rest during the flight. But you could also try tiring your kids out before the flight by getting to the airport really early and let them play around. For the flight itself, bring some blankets to help cover up any lights to help them rest.
Norwegian Air's cabin crew have also shared some good tips with Sun Online Travel. Liliana Chantre, Senior Cabin Crew said: “Bring noise cancelling headphones for new-born babies and toddlers – it helps them to feel calm and relaxed as well as helping with the pressure change.” And Lee Allen, Cabin Crew, said: “I always pack lavender balm. Just put a touch on the kid’s temple to keep them calm. On a night flight, the soothing smell helps induced sleep”
Ask for help
Don't be afraid to ask for help.
Emirates cabin crew Emily Jones said: "We love to meet your
little ones and are happy to have visitors in the galley which also
keeps us entertained on long flights!
"Recently, I entertained a five-month-old baby for half an hour whilst the mother went to the bathroom and got her belongings organised. She told me it was the best 30 minutes of her 22-hour journey!
"Flying with children can be stressful enough, so let the cabin crew help you to have a break."
If you run out of anything, cabin crew can help too. Some
airlines will have spares of nappies, wipes and even baby formula.