Dirty looks from other passengers, a crying child, stress. Who needs to think about these worries instead of just focusing on the vacation or trip that lay ahead? Not you! We have compiled a short list of the top five must do’s so that your trip can be a success. We don’t simply want you to survive the flight; we want you to enjoy it.
1. Make a dr.’s appointment for your child just a few days before the flight to have them checked for ear infections if they have had a cold or have been fussy! If they have one you can be prepared and avoid a painful flight for you little one. Ear pain is a common reason children cry on flights. Have a favorite treat that they enjoy eating and pull that out for them during takeoff and most importantly during decent. If they are too young for gum that is fine. Anything that will get them chewing will help. For babies see if you can give them their bottle at these times.
2. Try to fly at night. 6pm flights work the best. This is especially true for long flights. If you can get them on board at a time around dinner you will reap the rewards. The first hour of the flight they will be entertained by takeoff and onboard dinner service (if one isn’t provided or if you have a picky eater make sure you grab something from a concession stand near your gate before boarding). Once the excitement of takeoff has worn off, they have a full tummy and the lights on the plane dim, they will be more inclined to fall asleep (maybe for the rest of the flight).
3. Be prepared. The flight attendants may not always be available. They may be busy with other passengers or stuck behind a service cart. Children are not always the most patient passengers, so make sure you have an ample supply of your child’s usual needs. Have some drinks and snacks easily available. (Security may prevent you from bringing on board food or drinks that you brought from outside the airport so make sure that you stock up once you go through security at the available food stands). Also be prepared with wipes incase of spills and anything else to keep their bodies happy and comfortable.
4. Speaking of comfort, dress them well! It gets a bit chilly up there. Not all airlines supply blankets so make sure you have something to keep them warm. Dressing them in layers is best so you can be ready for any temperature. When traveling to a hot destination or from a hot destination just be sure that they will have something that can keep them warm during the flight. Cargo pants that can be rolled into capris are a great pick. A simple roll helps in every temperature. Make sure the clothing isn’t tight and is comfortable enough for sleep and to sit comfortably in for hours. Pack a pair of socks as well to keep little feet warm. And always pack a change of clothes. Halfway over the Atlantic is not the time for little Billy to spill his drink and not have anything else to wear.
5. Entertainment! Don’t overdo it. Really think about what your children like and pack a small variety. Some drawling items, electronics, a favorite toy. See if you can stop in an airport store and let them pick out a new toy. Don’t let them open it until after takeoff. That way you get to enjoy at least a few minutes of peace before the new toy wears off its appeal. Also, try to get a hold of a DVD player. Even if the flight provides movies it may not be what your children like and may not be available at the time your child is in the mood to watch. Not to mention they can watch movies while waiting at the gate or during long layovers.