5 Easy Steps for Flying the Kid-Friendly Skies: How to Fly with Children

by Super Coupon Lady on December 22, 2012 · 4 comments

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The holidays and traveling go hand in hand. While you may have heard charming tales about bundling up the kids and boarding a horse drawn sleigh to grandma’s house, today’s travel scenarios aren’t quite as picture perfect. Long check in lines, cramped air planes, and delayed flights can make traveling with children quite scary! So if you are traveling by plane this holiday with small children, take a peek at some of these travel tips to make the experience a little more picture perfect!

1. Schedule around sleep. If possible, schedule the flights around your kids’ sleep patterns. Book long flights that take place at night when they’re normally asleep so you can catch a few minutes of sleep yourself or even just get some quiet time. The travel time will zoom by for both of you if children are sleeping for half of it.

2. Set the rules.  Before the flight, talk with children about what will happen and teach them what they need to do. Make them repeat it back to you so you are sure they understand. Please, don’t be that parent who lets their kid run wild around the plane or kicks the backs of people’s seats while opening and closing the meal tray. Explain to them that they are expected to behave and what exactly that will entail.

3. Enlist the help of flight attendants. There are some kids who would rather listen to complete strangers than their parents. So if you are having trouble getting your child to follow rules,  ask the flight attendant to tell them in a stern voice to sit down and get buckled tight. Plus, the attendant may have small items such as flight pins or other freebies for children who show they can behave!

4. Gadgets are your friend. If you’ve got an iPhone or an iPad, load it up with new kid-friendly apps your children have never tried or will already be bored with. Just don’t allow them play before take-off. Kids might get upset at being told they have to stop playing  until the plane is well up in the air. Buy some proper headphones that will fit on your kids’ heads before you fly. Most flights do not have headsets that are built for little ears.

5. Food is fabulous. Be sure to pack some cookies and whatever other snacks your children are normally not allowed to have into the mix of regular snacks you were planning bring aboard. Nothing keeps a kid quiet those first critical moments of the flight when gadgets must be turned off like some normally off limit snacks. Add some chewing gum to the mix as well, since chewing will make the air pressure changes easier on their ears. Avoid chocolate and other high in sugar snacks however, as now is not the time to get them all jazzed up.

Most importantly, be prepared and stay calm. The less frazzled you are over luggage, security issues, flight times, etc., the more you will be able to focus on enjoying the trip and tending to your child’s needs. Spend an hour each day leading up to the trip double checking flight info and making sure you have packed everything you will need. That way when travel day arrives, you feel confident and prepared. Modeling for them a calm demeanor will help them feel the same!

So wherever you decide to travel this year, take these tips with you and enjoy the flight!

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