How To Deal with Long flights with young kids
Travelling with children is a challenging event for any parent. You worry that other passengers will despise you and even be unpleasant if your kid is crying or talking too loud. Possibility of being marked as ‘that parent’ is never easy and brings a lot of stress before you even board. But not all is lost. Check out these 6 tactics for surviving long flights with young kids that will put your mind at ease and help you enjoy your travels.
Before the flight starts
Pre-flight preparations are very important and could help your kids to feel more comfortable. The first step is to do some research about the flight before you even buy a ticket. This means that you want to find out everything you can about the in-flight entertainment, meal plan, and seats.
Try booking a direct flight if possible or one with a longer layover so that you would have at least two hours on the ground. That way you won’t run around with your kids and put extra stress on all of you. Go to the airport bathroom before the flight which will save you at least one trip to the plane’s tiny lavatory.
Talk to them about the trip
Depending on how young your kids are, you should talk to them about the trip. If they are younger than 3 this probably won’t work, but those older will love hearing about what to expect. Tell them about planes first so they wouldn’t be afraid of flying or by the size of the aircraft.
Then, talk about the airport and what you will have to do before boarding the plane like checking-in the luggage and going to the bathroom. Tell them about movies and games they will have on the plane, as well as that they have to behave to not disturb other passengers. This will help them understand what is going to happen so they don’t feel scared of the unknown.
Bring sleeping aids
It’s hard to get kids to sleep on the plane especially if they are young. While making them comfortable and not overly excited is the key, getting them to fall asleep can be agonizing. So, consider using natural supplements which can help them fall asleep like melatonin.
Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone in the human body produced by the pineal gland. As a supplement, it is considered a sleep aid although when it comes to children you need to pay attention to guidelines. Studies suggest that using it short-term on kids is safe, you should nevertheless consult with your doctor before buying this over-the-counter supplement.
Bring extra food
Pack snacks and extra food just in case your kid falls asleep and misses the mealtime. They will also help you in between meals and during the long flights when the kid gets hungry. You may be able to buy something on the plane but those can be expensive and not appropriate for your young child.
Cut fruits and veggies at home and pack them in containers that will keep them fresh for the flight. Also, contact the airline about what type of foods you can bring with you on the plane and how to properly pack it. This will prevent it from being confiscated when boarding a plane leaving you without any snacks.
Make everyone comfortable
Bring comfortable clothes, their blankie, and pillow so they would feel safe and secured. This is especially important if you travel on long flights and you need to sleep, or if you travel overnight. Put their PJs on and put them to sleep, just like you would at home since this will make them cozy and calm them.
However, don’t forget about yourself since kids can sense when you are stressed out and frustrated. You should also dress comfortably, bring your eye mask, and even consider carrying multipurpose neck massager on the flight to feel more relaxed. After all, the flight is not the only thing that needs you sharp, since there is carrying the luggage and transport from the airport to the hotel.
Pack travel toys and colouring books
Movies and games on the plane are the perfect way to distract your child from the flight, but sometimes they are not enough. So, bring your entertainment with you that your kid likes like songs, audiobooks, and cartoons. However, you will have to pack some of the usual things like toys and coloring books.
The best strategy is to be wise to how you expose your kid to this entertainment. Let them watch one movie, then give them a coloring book and afterwards the toys. This type of diversity will keep them occupied and interested during the flight so they won’t even notice the time.
Long flights with young kids will always carry a certain amount of stress, but you can do so much to keep that to the minimum. And just like your kids, you also need to make yourself comfortable during the flight so do something about that as well.
If your flight isn’t a long haul, but you are still struggling, Check out these Tips For Airplane Travel