First of all, a big hello from us at Raising Rem! We have been very quiet the past few months, with lots going on in the background. All will be revealed in future posts, but for today we are discussing Flying With Children. I myself haven’t had the opportunity to fly with Emily as yet, but it is something that is inevitable for us. So many articles have popped up on my newsfeeds of late around this topic, and I have had many friends fly with their children recently.
I feel this has all been happening purposely so that I can prepare myself as best as possible, and so I’ve taken the time and read through all the information. I’ve written up this post with 5 of the tips that I thought seemed the most useful.
- Choose the most appropriate time for you to fly
I have seen with Emily that as soon as she gets tired, and is then put into a strange environment it’s not the easiest thing for her to deal with. So based on this, if I were going to be doing a short flight to OR Tambo International Airport I would book it for as early in the morning as possible. This way I would have a happy and cheerful toddler who had hopefully rested well the night before. Flights are generally less delayed the earlier they are, so there is less chance of dealing with the unexpected. If I were doing a longhaul flight, I would most definitely book that for the night time, where hopefully both baby and I could get some sleep.
- Be as prepared as possible
Pack your bags well in advance so you have lots of opportunity to double check that you have everything, particularly important travel documents (make sure well in advance that you aren’t due for a Passport Renewal ). Get to the airport early enough so that you can check in and get all your luggage sorted peacefully. This also allows you to (if your child is walking) walk your child around the airport a little bit so that they can use up any pent up energy before getting on the plane.
- Provide various entertainment options
Children, toddlers specifically, have a very short attention span and we therefore cannot expect them to behave like adults on a flight. Pick out various activities that you know your child enjoys, eg colouring in and drawing, rattle toys, stickers, as well as activities that they haven’t spent too much time doing. This will help provide a little bit of an element of surprise that might help keep them entertained that much longer.
- Bring snacks
We all know a hungry child is a grumpy child, so snacks are an essential! Besides just being there for nutrition, food also can act as entertainment. Cut up food into interesting shapes and provide options with various textures. Your child can then have some fun while enjoying the food. Just make sure the snacks you are providing are not too messy – you don’t want to add the additional worry of having to clean up a mess!
- Communicate with the in-flight crew
The hosts and hostesses fly on a daily basis, so would have had lots of experience dealing with families and small children. Let them know if it’s your first time flying with a child, or if you think you will need some extra assistance. They’ll be able to advise you on the best times to walk the aisle with your child, and they might even offer to keep them for a little bit if they’ve got some extra time!
As I mentioned previously, I don’t yet have the experience of flying with a child so please do let me know which tips worked for you, and how you have managed to successfully (and as stress-free as possible) fly with children! While you’re here, take a look at this video for some more information on flying with children.