Travelling abroad with children can be an incredibly stressful experience, particularly for parents with babies and toddlers. Concerns about keeping the kids entertained and healthy while you are air-bound can often ruin the lead up to the holiday not to mention the holiday itself. Here are five top tips to follow in order to enjoy a successful family trip.
Book a night flight
If possible, book a night flight to give your children the best chance of sleeping during the trip. Check in during the day and keep the kids as mentally and physically active as possible during the hours leading up to the flight. That way they are more likely to sleep once on board.
Make you child as comfortable as possible
Put the kids in loose fitting, non-itchy clothing. There are few things more irritating for them on a long flight than wearing tight trousers or anything else that makes them feel stuffy. Layering is the key; make certain you have clothes to cover all eventualities. It is possible you may have an unexpected stopover or the weather at your destination may be worse than expected.
Protect their ears
As adults, we know how frustrating and uncomfortable flying is on the ears due to the change in air pressure. For children, the effects are often felt three-fold. Have sweets, dummies or bottles handy for take-off and landing so your kids have something to suck on. Other ways to lessen these effects include placing warm towels over the ears, eating bland food prior to flying and getting lots of sleep the night before.
Make a list of the essentials
Have all the vitals within easy reach; wipes, drinks and snacks, books and an extra set of clothes will all serve a purpose. Flights tend to dry out the skin and can induce thirst, so ensure you have plenty of liquids handy; many containers will have to be empty pre-flight to pass through security, however.
Keep them entertained
Many parents worry about issues with fellow passengers caused by screaming children. Have a selection of activities at hand; many of the classic games are available as travel sized alternatives and a pack of cards can keep children amused for hours. Personal devices, such as tablets and laptops are also a good idea.