Friday, 20 February 2015

How to handle flying with toddlers and young kids

Despite the fact family holidays can be extremely enjoyable, they have the potential to be rather stressful and demanding as well. But even if you manage to find a destination and accommodation that suits the wants and needs of your little ones, there is still the journey to think about.
Your kids may be used to travelling in the car, but flying is another matter altogether. It is natural for kids to feel a bit nervous or scared about getting on a plane; thankfully there are a few ways of making this experience much more pleasant and entertaining for both you and your children.
So, regardless of whether you’ll be on flights to Tenerife or Turkey, here’s how to handle the journey to your chosen getaway with toddlers and young kids in tow.

Don’t forget flying essentials
In addition to packing essential medical and sanitary items, don’t forget things specific to flying such as eardrops and sick bags for the changing altitude and turbulence. It is a good idea to take more than you necessarily need and have back-up supplies in your checked luggage as well.
Download child-friendly apps for your smartphone or tablet
Even if you’ve got the luxury of an in-flight entertainment system, the games they have might not be great at keeping your kids’ attention. But child-friendly apps on smartphones and tablets are available in abundance; just make sure you turn your device on airplane or offline mode.
Beware of the “Aeroplane Police”
Try not to scare your children even more with this one, but if you tell them the “Aeroplane Police” are on the look-out for badly behaved kids, they won’t be tempted to kick the chair in front or disturb other passengers.
Wrap up some presents
To reward your child for being good and behaving on the flight, give them a present every hour or so. You don’t have to spend a lot, as something like a small soft animal, sweetie or wind-up car will suffice. Alternatively, dig out a forgotten old toy, which will come as a pleasant surprise to your youngster.
Give your child a camera
Giving toddlers a disposable camera or child-specific snapper will provide plenty of fun and enjoyment. Not only will their attention be on something other than the flight, they may even take some rather interesting and impressive pictures.
So, although the prospect of flying with toddlers and young kids might be a bit daunting, there are various things you can do to make this experience easier and more enjoyable.
Images by Martin Howard and Steven Conry, used under the Creative Commons license.
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