Top Air Travel Tips with Kids |

Top Air Travel Tips with Kids

Travelling home soon with your family? Here's some advice

Posted on

26 August 2013

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Travelling with kids advice for parents

Taking a trip with your little one? With a bit of know-how, travelling with babies and toddlers will not be a hassle.

Read our EWmums tips and information how to keep the kids happy and safe en route.

Travel Planning

  • If this is your first trip with your children, plan for a slower pace than you might usually attempt. Read as much as you can about your destination. Guide books, magazines and tourist offices are all excellent sources of information. The more your children are involved in the planning, the more excited they'll be about the trip.
  • Insure that you have all required travel document for the children, especially if you're going to need visas for your destination. There are a number of instances where you might need to carry extra documentation when travelling with children (if you're the only parent travelling - you might be asked for proof of consent from the other parent for your child to travel).
  • If you're going to stay in the hotel, always check for special family deals, from discounted rates to free meals for children; many international chains offer these.
  • It is optional to see your doctor at least two months before you leave to discuss your plans. Don’t forget to bring everyone's vaccination records to the appointment, and ask the doctor to note down their blood groups for you. Also, check with your pediatrician about airsickness medications.
  • Don't forget to talk with your child about the trip, explaining each stage of the boarding process and the flight. Make sure young children realize that the bumpiness and engine noises are normal and not a signal of an impending crash.
  • Airlines

  • Check the airline website and search for information about flying with an infant or small child. Depends on the age your child might not need a ticket, or even a seat. Also make sure which items you can keep in Infant and Children’s Baggage.
  • Some airlines let you check in online, which allows you to book preferred seats from home and cuts out queuing. When you get to the airport, you usually join a fast-track queue to hand over your checked luggage.
  • Check the latest restrictions on hand luggage before travelling. The standard instructions are not to carry over 100ml of any single item, although exceptions are usually made for essential medicines or supplies for children under two. There are also discretionary limits for baby food - these are generally kept vague, but as long as you don't have more than what security staff deem to be a reasonable amount for the flight, you'll usually be fine.
  • On Board

  • If you are travelling alone with your children try to get on the plane first and off the plane last to get a better chance of assistance from cabin crew.
  • Airlines will often have a child’s menu and entertainment, simple games, colouring books and so on. As well as a good selection of electronic entertainment such as movies, cartoons and electronic games. It might be not enough to keep you child amused during the flight, make sure that you have in your hand luggage the items that make your child feel more comfortable (his favourite toy, a story, a bottle with his favourite juice, etc.)
  • The change in cabin pressure during take- off and, in particular, during plane descent can hurt the ears. Swallowing eases the pressure, but the trick is getting your child to swallow at the right time. Encourage your child to eat or drink during take- off and landing to prevent earache.
  • Safety

  • Prepare for possible emergencies: Make sure you are aware of emergency equipment or procedures that would apply to your child: pay attention to the standard preflight emergency briefing, ask a flight attendant if that particular aircraft has emergency equipment like life preservers specifically designed for small children.
  • Keep your children under control at all times: you are responsible for supervising your child at all times. An unsupervised or unrestrained child could quickly wander way into dangerous areas such as galleys, especially if the responsible adult falls asleep. You should also be careful when walking about the aircraft with your child so that they don't reach for cups of hot coffee and other hazards.
  • Seat your child away from an aisle: small children enjoy reaching out and exploring, but if they are on the aisle they could get hurt if their little arms get bumped by a person or serving cart passing down the aisle. Ideally, two responsible adults should sit on either side of the child. Also, one can seat the child on a row with a window on one side and a responsible adult on the other.
  • Depending on their age show them the safety information card once on the plane. If they’re too young to understand the pictures, point out the exits closest to you and teach them to follow along with the safety demonstration.