Is there a good way to turn your flight into a super exciting adventure when you travel with small children, and especially when it is a long haul?
The answer is Yes providing you understand your child’s individual needs, and you do your best to offer enabling environments to meet these needs. While it may seem more challenging to do so when travelling by plane, it surely is possible, and with a little planning in advance both you and your children will be happy. Here’s a few practical tips to help you prepare for your next family air travel.
How to help children move safely? What to do about active children?
- For many children, especially for those who travel by plane for the first time, flying itself is attractive enough to be able to stay still for a longer period of time. Looking through the plane windows offers children a unique opportunity to see the planet from a completely different perspective. When the plane is still low enough to spot rivers, lakes, mountain chains, beaches or fields, observing geographical features of the Earth may keep them busy for some time.
However, if your child is more active then they may need to take frequent trips along the isle or even to the toilet just to change the dynamics. Let your child take their shoes off and put their legs on the seat, encourage them to change their position frequently including laying on the seat or playing some stretching games if this is what they need.
- Travelling with a first class will make it easier as there is more legroom, the seats are much bigger and they can be reclined, which makes the whole experience more comfortable for us and for the little ones. Then your children may even play beneath their seats on the floor and the space provided will allow them to change their position frequently from sitting to reclining, laying down and even standing.
How to keep children entertained?
- You will always need to take toys or books with you to keep your children entertained. The best idea is to bring along only the most practical ones that can be enjoyed in many different ways during the flight, and that will keep your children happy for longer. These are toy cars, a small set of plastic construction blocks, mini figures or toy animals, logical games and toys, card games or flash cards for smaller children.
- A set of your child’s favourite books can be used in many ways, e.g. you can play a guessing or spotting game, make up a follow-up for the story, encourage your kid to retell the story in their own words, etc. The biggest problem with books is that they are quite heavy and you can’t take more than just a few. The perfect alternative is to take one or two paper books and have more stories to enjoy downloaded on your child’s tablet or iPad. Ideally you would download a few books that your child already knows and likes, and some entirely new ones to offer an element of surprise.
- Bringing your tablet or iPad onboard is indispensable as you can pre-download not only books, games and movies but also creative apps for constructing, drawing or painting. These are always useful no matter your child’s age.
- Taking your children’s favourite toys is important as it helps them feel more secure, especially when they experience an anxiety during the flight. Travelling with a first class may again be a good solution as it means your hand baggage allowance will be bigger and you will be able to bring along much more of your child’s favourites to create an exciting environment onboard.
What to take when travelling with babies?
You will need to take more staff with you to keep your baby clean, happy and entertained.
As babies learn about the world by mouthing they will constantly need things to chew on, especially when they are in their teething period. Bringing along rattlers may also be useful to distract your child whenever they start crying or in pain. If your baby is happy to use a pacifier, then
you’ll always want to keep one at hand. It may help your child fall a sleep or calm down easier, especially during taking off or landing. Alternatively, use your baby bottle or offer your breast when they need it.
- One of the best ways to keep your child clean and dry is to take a good drool bib and a burper. You don’t really want to be changing your infant’s clothes every half an hour. An absorbent burper is an absolute must and a colourful one with interesting details to study will keep your little one’s attention for some time.
- Having more legroom seems to be a priority when it comes to babies, especially those crawling or walking ones. Ideally you would have enough space to put your child on the floor in front of you, offer toys and books to play with. Otherwise, and especially when your baby is really active, they may get frustrated with having to sit on your laps during the whole flight. With more legroom breastfeeding will also be more comfortable both for you and the baby. Booking a first class flight may be a good solution.
What food should I take?
All children love picnics and for them it usually begins as soon as they are on board. The problem with food is that you really cannot take much with you due to the security restrictions. Bare necessities such as your child’s favourite crackers or biscuits, apples or carrots to chew on should be fine in between warm meals that you can purchase on board. Travelling with a first class however means that your snacks, meals and drinks will be included in your ticket price so your picnic lovers will be more than satisfied with their choice of food.
Is it possible to travel first class for less?
Travelling with a first class will definitely make your life easier and your children’s travel experience more comfortable and positive. And if you think that a first class seat must cost a fortune, then you definitely need to register with www.1st-air.net where you can find return long haul flights for as low as around $40, which is even less than economy!!! The website offers Search Validation feature which tells you the lowest your route has sold for over the past 12 months and the current demand for your flight. The site also offers the Fare Monitor feature to help you find the best price for your flight.
Make sure to register with www.1st-air.net and take your family travel to the next level!!!
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