Family Days Out Blog
familyDaysOut Aug 29, 2018
You might have been saving up for that BIG family holiday this summer, or you might simply be heading off for a weekend away. Wherever you're going, we're sure it's somewhere fabulous!
However, if you are heading there by plane, you might want to keep reading! Here are our best tips when it comes to flying with kids. Comment if you have any more to add!
1. Understand any extra fees with your airline!
Airlines are ALWAYS trying to squeeze that extra money out of you! Whether it's for oversized baggage, seats with extra legroom, or that perfume you suddenly forgot you needed at 35,000 feet.
With kids, there's a whole new set of costs that you need to think about, and it's worth doing your homework. Which airline gives the biggest discount for a childs fare? How much extra is an additional seat for an infant? Do you get free priority boarding if you have small children? How much is that stroller going to cost you?
It's worth doing a spreadsheet before you book your trip, and just take into account all the extras that travelling with children brings on.
2. Take an activity pack for the kids!
Back in the old days flying as a kid was brilliant. You could visit the captain, and he could sign your boarding pass. You would be given fun activity books with crayons and pictures to colour. Now, things are changing, so take matters into your own hands!
Take two sets of activity packs for each child. One for the airport, and one for the plane. You don't need to rely on technology either with their little eyes starting at an i-Pad for 8 hours straight.
Pack them a book, and some sweets. Pack them their own crayons, perhaps all in a fun little backpack they can carry. Maybe a little historic travel guide on where they are going is a what will get them in the mood for the trip!
3. Create a project book for the kids!
What is always fun is a project book for kids. Take an activity book with one lined page and one blank page alternating. Then, on the first page, write out some fun facts on where you are visiting. If it's international, what language do they speak? What are some key words? What currency do they use? What is the capital?
If it's domestic, some fun facts about that area such as what state or province is it in? What are their famous foods? What famous singer is from there?
They can help you with it, and they can start on the plane. They can write about the plane trip, what movies they watched, and what they ate!
Then, they will use it like a diary. Each day they can write what they did, new words they learnt, what new facts they discovered. They can stick in any stamps, or postcards, or mementos they might have collected.
It's learning AND fun at the same time! Plus it's great to look back on when they are older.
4. Check in early
If you want to ensure you are all sitting together, first book yourselves on the same ticket and reference number. This always makes things easier if for some reason your flight is delayed or you need to make changes.
Second, check in early. This way you can ensure you are all sitting together on the plane. Unless of course grandma wants some time to herself a few rows away!
5. Take a backpack for hand luggage
Parents, this one is for you! If you take a backpack on board as your hand luggage, then you will have two hands free for those kids who love to run away at any given minute, or if you find they suddenly don't want to carry their bags anymore. Perhaps they won't want to walk anymore! Two hands are always better than one! Make it easier on yourself.
6. Play the quiet game!
"You know kids, it's always fun to see who can stay silent the longest". Offer them something in return, perhaps they choose where to go for breakfast the next day. Whoever stays silent the longest (and doesn't shove the other one!), wins.
Make a game of it! If they cotton on to what you're doing, well it's their loss! They could have had McDonalds!
7. Snacks, snacks and more snacks!
Don't pack liquids, but snacks are your new best friend. This will keep them satisfied until the main meal, and because with kids and their unusual and ever changing fussy eating ways, it will also save you when suddenly they decide since last night they no longer like mashed potatoes, and they only eat cake.
Think of it like the Toddler Survival Kit. If they're lucky you can throw a puzzle or two in there as well!
8. Keep them comfortable!
A comfy kid is a relaxed kid. One thing out of place and you have 5 hours of squirming next to you. Put them in their most comfortable clothes. You can even pack their pyjamas! Take a small pillow (or at least a new pillow case for the plane pillows), and try and get them a window seat so they can easily drift off against the wall.
9. Remind them of the magic of flying!
We forget as adults how magical flying once was. Being up there in the clouds, high above everything else. At night you can see the stars, and the moon, or be witness to a storm or sunset.
Flying is an amazing thing, so remind them of this as you experience it together. They should be excited about flying. It's an amazing thing and it also means you are going somewhere fun together!
10. Baby Wipes!
They are your best friend. You will never have enough baby wipes. We say it again: baby wipes. Everybody! Baby wipes.
If you have any suggestions, we would love to hear from you! Just comment below and let everyone know. Enjoy the trip, kids are great fun and that journey through the airport and then the sky doesn't have to be a nightmare.
Keep it fun, keep it creative, and if you have to get matching t-shirts so everyone can joke about how you got matching t-shirts, so be it!