Ten Tips for Flying with Kids

Planning a family holiday, but are concerned about taking your kids on an extended flight? All is not lost. Here are some tried and tested tips for flying with kids.

1. Involve the kids pre-trip

Kids love routine and knowing what to expect. Involving the kids alleviates anxieties and creates enthusiastic little travellers. You can do this by asking them to help you pack, counting down the days until the big trip, or reading fun books and having open chats on what happens at the airport and on the plane.

2. Make special requests well in advance

Flying with kids involves careful planning. Inform your airline of special requests well in advance, including (but not limited to) bassinet requests, infant or kids meal requests and whether you will be flying with an approved car seat

Always ask for email confirmation or a booking reference number. Reconfirm all details prior to your day of travel, to ensure all your requests have been made.

3. Remember flying with kids = survival mode

Flying with kids means survival mode, which means your usual parenting routines and structure can sometimes go by the wayside. The aim is to get your young kids on and off the plane and to your destination in one piece with minimal disruption onboard. If they have some junk food, overload on screen time or if the baby is held for extended periods, it’s OK, you’re on survival mode.

4. Navigate airports hands free

A baby carrier keeps young kids close and contained whilst you have your hands free to carry hand luggage, tickets or push baggage trolleys. Especially helpful when navigating airports with kids!

5. Always visit the bathrooms before boarding

Avoid any accidents or scenarios where your kids are busting to go right before takeoff. Take the kids to the toilet just before you board the plane.

6. Make technology your best friend

Tablets, devices, DVD players are life savers when flying with kids. They keep kids in their seats, entertained and pre-occupied, and thoughts of running up and down the corridor or climbing over seats become back of mind.

View Virgin Australia's wireless in-flight entertainment options

7. Pack awesome treats and goodies

Hungry or thirsty kids can become irritable on flights. Keep the kids hydrated and their bellies full throughout the journey by packing some healthy treats to keep kids content on planes and prevent midflight meltdowns.

Another option is to reward your child's good behaviour with a few small goodies to throughout the flight. A few discount toys, crafts or colouring in items can go along way to keep kids entertained.

8. Fly with an approved car seat (you’ll thank me later).

Not only is flying with an approved car seat safer, it also means your child is strapped in and comfortable. Once asleep, they also tend to nap longer in their own car seat - giving you time to take in an inflight movie, or a bit of shut eye.

Find out more about flying with approved car seats.

9. Take care of little ears

During take off, landing and change in altitudes the cabin pressure can cause sore ears for little ones. Try breast feeding or offering your baby a bottle. For older children, you could provide a lollipop to suck on, some water to sip on or special ear plugs to reduce the pressure.

10. Just breathe

You will find most passengers onboard are sympathetic, so long as you are doing the best you can to manage your kids. Don’t worry too much about what others may or may not be thinking. You have every right to fly with your family.

Just breathe, relax and don’t sweat the small stuff - and look forward to your upcoming holiday!

For more tips on flying with kids or inspiration for family travel visit www.togetherweroam.com

Words by Rene Young - Published May 2015
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