Below are our tips for travelling with kids, including some ideas on what toys and games to take with you to keep them occupied. We all know travelling with kids isn’t always easy, whether by land, sea or air. Here are some tips that will lighten the load, with a bit more emphasis on the air travel side.
Use Early Boarding Only for Unassigned Seating and Long Flights
For short flights, all Early Boarding does is increase the time the child must sit in their seat. Use the Early Boarding option when you do not have assigned seating and you want to make sure you’ll all be able to sit together. For long flights, the short bit of time the child must sit is negligible compared to the length of the flight – you might use the time to set up what’s available for the child in the set or have the child go to the bathroom before takeoff.
Substitute a Backpack for the Changing Bag
A backpack is much more convenient, much less bulky and leaves your hands free. A diaper bag can be too bulky to move through the aisle and over people’s heads when trying to stow it away.
Let Your Kids Carry Their Own Luggage
We do not mean that you should make each child lug their own suitcase through the terminal. Give each child a backpack appropriate to their size and make sure it contains what the child needs for the trip. There are plenty to choose from on our web site – use the links on the right to find the best type of kids suitcase for you. When you have the right kids’ luggage, be sure to leave some room for the child to decide what else they would like to bring along. The child will feel more grown-up, you will have less to carry and the child will be able to pull out whatever they want when they they want without making demands on you.
Keep Your Kids Occupied
Slip these items into your child’s backpack:
A deck of cards, along with printed rules for the simpler games
A small notebook to use as a travel journal, play hangman, noughts and crosses, town country river… or just for scribbling
Sharpened pencils – those little ones you can pick up at golf courses are perfect
Drawing paper and coloured pencils
Do not bring anything that has lots of little pieces (such as a jigsaw puzzle). If you do, you’ll spend the whole flight on the floor of the cabin searching for them.
Bring Large Plastic Zipper Bags
If you’re bringing an infant, you’ll need something to hold those dirty diapers when you carry them off the plane – the flight attendants will very much appreciate not having to handle those dirty diapers. Use the bags for baby wipes too.
Bring Clean T-Shirts
Just in case your child gets airsick, both you and your child will need some clean clothing to put on. And the dirty ones can go right into one of those plastic zipper bags.
Airlines do not provide much kid-friendly food nowadays – you’ll get salty peanuts or pretzels and maybe fruit juice. Bring an empty sippy cup and ask the flight attendant to fill it with your child’s favourite juice or water. Bring what your child likes to eat and that will not create a mess.
Take Steps to Avoid Ear Pain
Some children and even some adults may experience ear pain during takeoff and landing due to the changes in air pressure. Explain to children who can understand that continual swallowing will help and hand out hard candy, lollipops or gum. For infants, feed them during that time to encourage swallowing or give the baby a dummy.