Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Tips For Flying With Small Children | Travel ♥

I was recently asked to contribute a tip about flying with babies under two for an article on Ryanair's blog Into the Blue. You can read the article here and see my tip under the heading 'keep them warm and cosy'. I'm not going to lie, I thought that flying with my son would be one of the most daunting things I'd experience as a parent but honestly, it wasn't too bad at all (I say this as we are on a flight to Jersey for a weeks holiday so fingers crossed it all goes well again!). Last summer (oh it seems so long ago now...) Jacek and I took Tyler Lee on his first holidays abroad, first on a flight to the Jersey in the Channel Islands and then on a slightly longer flight to the Algarve, both went okay and I was actually surprised when our boy fell asleep during the flights - thank God for small miracles! 

We had both been feeling quite  daunted and anxious about how we would cope with him on a plane before we left (he's not a child who readily sits down for long periods of time) but everything actually went fine due to us preparing ahead and using some of the tips below. I can assure you, flying with small children is never going to be as bad as you think it will be and remembering some of the key things below can actually be lifesavers on the plane.

Book at the right time with the right airline
First things first, actually booking your flight. Some families are only able to travel during the school holidays or half term but if you can avoid peak-time flights (which we prefer to do), you’ll be rewarded with more space, more attention and a better experience all round. Weekday flights tend to be less busy too, so look at traveling between Tuesday and Friday (we're traveling on a Tuesday so we also followed this tip) and although you might pay more for a nicer airline, the additional cost is often well worth it. If you can also be flexible with your travel dates then it can really be worthwhile for saving money. We saved €300 alone by flying on a Tuesday instead of the Saturday before.

Get them excited about flying
Very young children might not fully understand what is going on but if you can teach your kids about the wonder of flying they are more likely to feel at ease and comfortable. I've been bigging up planes all week to my son and have told him that we'll be on a plane and visiting his grandad soon, this has made him excited and hopefully he'll find wonder in being on a plane and flying through the skies.

Come up with some games and activities
Keeping children occupied is tough at the best of times (I know it is for me when it comes to my son anyway!) but on a crowded and confined flight this becomes an even bigger challenge, but use the airplane to your advantage and come up with some appropriate activities or games. You could let your child pretend to be the pilot (I'm always happy to promote imaginative play!) or get them to draw portraits of fellow passengers (always a fun one!). Alternatively, there is always flying themed games on smartphones and tablets to fall back on or you could simply download their favourite cartoon and let them watch as they fly. For our flight today I've prepared a 'lucky bag' of sorts for my son, full of things which I know he'll enjoy and which will hopefully keep him quiet and happy throughout the flight. I have a mini etch-a-sketcher, dinkies, some healthy snacks and lollipops to give him a treat and to keep his ears from popping.

Don’t forget the essentials
From medicines including ear drops and sick bags for the changing altitude and turbulence to their favourite toy or book, don’t forget to include the essentials in your carry-on, even if it's for 'just in cases'. Always take more than you may necessarily need and pack similar essentials in your checked luggage just in case items get lost in transit. Bring along a blanket for your child as flights can get quite cold and this will come in very handy for keeping them snug and cosy while they nap too. I'm also bringing along his favourite comforters and his dummy, the more home comforts I can bring along for him the better.

Don’t be put off by the thought of going on holiday and flying with young children. As long as you remember these tips and tricks, you are sure to have a great time away and all that traveling will soon be forgotten about.

Are you going on a holiday with your little ones this year? Are you nervous about the flight with a baby or toddler?

1 comment

  1. We flew with Elliot to Cyprus last year and it was only 4 hours and he slept most of the way! The only issue was having him on our laps because he wasn't 2...wish we'd paid for him to have his own seat, he's a big boy and it wasn't too comfy! We are off to Florida in September so i'm a little worried about how that flight will be. Ideally, the in flight entertainment will have peppa pig on repeat!! xx


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