Family travels are best experienced with kids in tow. They are who make the trip extra special with their many “wows” and “ahhhs“. It is because everything is new and exciting to them. As family trips open up the world of adventure to kids, there are somehow difficulties, too, along the way. As a parent, you have to manage these before they become full-grown complications. How to? PSST.Ph enumerates top tips for surviving a long flight with toddlers.
Backpacks over handbag
For a carry-on bag, you may want to prefer a backpack over a handbag. This makes your hands free to easily carry a child while the other hand is busy holding your passport or other necessities.
Check airline charges and regulations
Airlines have different charges and regulations involving babies on a flight. It is but prudent to check on them so you could make necessary adjustments. Will they provide a car seat or until what age would they allow a toddler to share a seat with his parent?
It is advisable to check-in early if you would like your partner to be seated near you during the long flight. Or you could at least request the check-in counter staff for your preferred seat, giving the baby as an excuse.
Take advantage of priority boarding
Surely with a kid in tow, you will be asked to board the airline first. Take advantage of this and settle your little one once on board. Offer him snacks or give him his favorite toy. Or ask assistance to open the monitor and turn on the in-flight kids’ games or movie choices.
Don’t forget pull ups and wet wipes
Potty trained or not, it is wise to stock on pull ups and wet wipes in your carry-on bag. Spare clothes are ideal as well. Flight delays may happen and so does being stuck on the runway. If any of the two happens, at least you have wet wipes and pull ups should your little cutie couldn’t control his urge to poop or throw up.
Empty the bladder first
Before boarding, request children who are potty trained to go to the toilet first. Do not give them too many drinks as well to avoid frequent toilet trips. This can be extremely annoying to the person in the aisle seat. This advice is for adults as well. You might find it a problem how to visit the loo with a baby or toddler in tow.
Entertain kids with stories
Flying is not a usual activity for most kids. They would be fascinated with how things look from below. How about entertaining your child by looking at the window and point those clouds, houses, and buildings. Surely, they would be fascinated and be in awe how everything from below looks too small.
Bring a favorite toy and some coloring materials
A toy, a coloring book, or a gamepad could keep a kid occupied and make the journey fly by. You don’t need to bring everything, though. Just choose your child’s favorite. Don’t experiment and bring something you aren’t sure he would appreciate. Some airlines have monitors and entertainment system to keep your kiddo entertained so you could also use that to your advantage.
Is your kid afraid of flying or is it his first time to fly? Play role games with him wherein he is the pilot and you are his co-pilot. Make everything fun and alive, just like how Roberto Benigni did in the movie “A Beautiful Life.” Determined to protect his son from the horrors of his surroundings when they were taken to a concentration camp, Benigni convinced his son that their time in the camp was merely a game.
Snacks might save the day
A hungry toddler would definitely let you know if he is famished. He would wail or won’t stop nagging you until you produce something edible. It is recommended then to bring snacks your little kiddo could nibble until the in-flight meal is served. Or better yet, pack your own filling, protein-rich food like hard-boiled eggs, roasted chicken, and cheese sticks. These are also sleep-inducing snacks that could help you tame your kid during the long flight.
Don’t forget vomit bags
Be always prepared for upset tummies or dizziness. Bring with you a number of vomit bags. Though there is one readily available in each plane seat, it is still prudent to bring a few bags. You could even use them to put your soiled burping pad. Do not forget as well medication for dizziness, stomach ache, and headache.
Travel at night
If you are confident to travel at night, do so. It may also mean less hassle on your part as your kid is used to sleeping by that time. With him mostly asleep during the flight, you do not need to worry about tantrums, ear pain, and boredom.
Surviving a long flight with toddlers
Make flights an exciting adventure and not a potential nightmare scene.
Planning a trip with a family in tow is both fun and challenging. As you are on top of everything – and that includes looking after the kids – you need not forget to also look after your own wellbeing. You couldn’t manage everything fully if you are dead tired or sickly during the trip. Have a good night sleep the day before your flight and it wouldn’t hurt as well if you start your travel preparation a few days before the trip itself.