The school holidays are fast approaching, which means most of us are getting ready to jet off as a family. Yes, holidaying together is exciting, but it can also be a little daunting for parents, especially when you’re faced with the prospect of a long flight.
Well fear not – keeping your little ones entertained for hours on end doesn’t have to be stressful. Take a look at our top tips for flying with kids and you’ll never have to deal with a mid-air tantrum again.
Take plenty of snacks
Children love snacks, so the more you take the better. Whether you opt for things like fruit, crackers or yoghurts, it’s a good idea to pack a variety in case your kids get peckish in between their in-flight meal. It’s also worth considering lengthier snacks such as a box of raisins as this will occupy your kids for longer. Also, don’t forget to bring along some sugary snacks as this is a great way to encourage good behaviour.
Let them document their journey
Diaries and scrap books are a great way to keep your kids quiet on a flight. Not only will documenting their journey get them excited for their holiday, but it’s also something they’ll be able to keep for memories sake. Just make sure you keep things like boarding passes and receipts so they can add them to their books.
Scrap books are also a great way for the kids to show their school friends what they did over the holidays, this can also come in especially handy if their school does show and tell sessions.
Sacrifice the window seat
As hard as it may be for those of us who love the window seat, sacrificing it for child could be the best decision you ever make. Yes, we know this isn’t always as straight forward if you have more than one kid, but children are often fascinated by what’s going on around them. So, giving them the window seats is sure to make their flight even more enjoyable.
Reward your child with presents
Providing your kids with a bunch of wrapped gifts can be a life saver when you’re travelling by air. Kids love unwrapping presents, and they don’t have to be expensive either. Things like small cuddly toys and books will go down a treat, but whatever you do make sure you don’t give them all out at once.
Instead, reward them with a gift every half hour or so, depending how long your flight is, and this is bound to keep them occupied for a good chunk of your journey. After all – there’s nothing worse than your child finishing all their activities and games before you’ve even left the runway.
Kids can get extremely restless when they’re tired, and no one wants to deal with a screaming child when you’re 37,000 feet in the air. It’s always a good idea to pack some of their home comforts, and by comforts we mean things like pillows, pyjamas, blankets and their favourite toy. This will be particularly beneficial on night flights and longer journeys as kids are more likely to nap for a couple of hours if they have something familiar.
Invest in an iPad or tablet
Nothing beats an iPad or tablet when you’re travelling with children in tow. Whether you’re on a short haul flight to Spain or you’re flying long haul to Mexico, you can load them with everything from videos, games and apps, and that’s you in for a relaxing flight. Besides, this is a great backup plan if your kids get bored with the in-flight entertainment, but whatever you do, don’t forget the headphones.
Take activity packs
It is essential that children have enough activities to last them the duration of the flight. So, that’s where activity packs come in. Usually offering a variety of things to do from colouring books to puzzles and magazines, you’re kids are bound to find something to fill their time.
Let them get creative
Kids love nothing more than the chance to be creative – yes we know it’s probably not the greatest idea to buy anything which might end up everywhere like paint or small beads. But things like crayon sets, Spiro graphs and fuzzy felts are always a great option as they will hold your child’s attention without all the mess.
Try interactive books
Most kids are easily board by books, once they’ve looked at the pictures, they’ve had enough. That’s why we suggest choosing more interactive books which have things like stickers, games, pop-up pages, and laces to tie.
Now, you’re ready for your flight, all you have to do is decide where you want to spend your family holiday.