Flying With Kids! Things to do family travel
Going on vacation with the kids can be a magical experience. Flying with kids (and also a nervous partner!) can be a very stressful experience for everyone involved. I looked at a recent study and found that many children actually have a lot of anxiety about going on a plane. Unfortunately, if you want to go on an international vacation or even go to a far part of this great country of ours. You have to fly!
Well do not worry as today I am sharing with you some tips and strategies I have used over the years to make flying with the kids (and my partner) as stress free an experience as it can possibly be.
As I have said my partner hates flying more than anyone I know, but we have always known that flying is part of life and if you want to travel far, you have to fly. We have never wanted the kids to pick up on this as we felt it would make them nervous flyers too! You keeping calm and acting like flying is no big deal or something that is really cool and exciting will rub off on the kids and help them stay calm and deal with flying. Thankfully my two are keen flyers, but some kids do get nervous about it so try and keep calm for their sakes.
The food on airplanes is a rip off there is no other way to describe it! That is why we have so many snacks in one of our bags that we could probably feed the whole plane! Having snacks is a great distraction from flying and also if your kids are like mine they can get super cranky, grouchy and just generally unpleasant if they are hungry. This is something you want to avoid on a plane. Having snacks always on hand is the way to go, do not even worry about them being “healthy snacks” you just want whatever is going to get them through the flight. Maybe the folks in the A-Team were right when they used to give B. A. Baracus the milk with the sleeping medicine in it!
Flying At Night
Now that my kids are a little older this is not as big a deal, but when they were really young I found night flights worked much better for us. The trick was getting them to stay up as late as possible which yes did lead to some grouchy moments. However, the trade off with them sleeping more most of the flight was great.
Things To Do
Nintendo Switch, tablets, art supplies, toys and everything else in between. If the kids want to play with it and it will fit in one of your carryon bags, let them take it. Most flights do have some entertainment for them to watch. But letting them take their video games or a tablet or iPad that is already loaded up with their favourite shows and movies is going to make the flight much smoother. Flying can be boring for a kid (and an adult) so what we will sometimes do is let the kids pick a new video game for the flight or we ill secretly download a bunch of new shows onto their tablets for them.
The Emergency Bag
Another thing that we have in one of our bags is emergency supplies. I am not talking about a Swiss army knife and some flares. But things like an extra shirt each, sick bags and most importantly of all, baby wipes. Whoever invented baby wipes is a god in my eyes! They are essential for any kind of trip with kids, no matter what age they are and this is certainly true for the plane. They will get sticky, spill something, need to wipe their tablet screen and it is much easier to hand them a baby wipe than let them go to the bathroom every five minutes.
Navigate The Airport Like A Pro
The first time we flew as a family I had the great idea to cut things as fine as possible. I thought getting to the airport at the last minute so the kids would not have to wait around ages was a great idea….. boy was I wrong! It was rush, rush, rush, standing in long lines and it did not go well at all. While the waiting at the airport is brutal, I would advise getting there as early as possible. We usually take an extra bag that will have dinner, supper or even breakfast depending on when we are flying and have our own little family picnic at the airport while we are waiting. I have found that having longer to wait in the airport is much better than rushing around at the last minute as it just stressed everyone out.
At the end of the day, a family vacation should be fun so while it can be tough flying as a family, take a moment to realise how lucky you guys are to be taking a trip like this. Do not forget to snap some pictures in the airport and on the plane and just try and enjoy the experience as much as you can.