Airplane travel can be stressful, but it’s an entirely different experience if you are traveling with children. Follow these tips from Bumrungrad International Hospital before, during, and after take-off to help make your trip easier.
Being prepared for the unexpected can make all the difference when flying with children. Dedicate a carry-on bag to airplane travel essentials. Pack wipes and diapers, milk or snacks, toys and books, blankets, and even an extra change of clothes.
Don’t forget to bring plastic or Ziploc bags. These are not only great for organizing toys and outfits, but they are good to have on hand to contain dirty clothes or used wipes after a mess.
Checking in and going through security
Checking your family’s luggage is a good idea. Struggling with multiple carry-ons while trying to get your children properly seated may be too much to handle. For less stress, only bring one bag containing your children’s travel essentials with you onto the plane.
If there is a family security line, use it because the extra staff is there to help you with your belongings. To prevent any hang-ups in the security line, children and adults should wear slip-on shoes and refrain from wearing watches, jewelry, or belts.
If you choose to bring a stroller, most airlines will allow it through security and check it at your gate. Remember to collapse it yourself because the airline staff may not know how to. The stroller will be waiting for you when you get off the plane.
Prior to boarding
After going through security and if you have time, take your children and explore the airport. Often airports will have a play area where kids can release some of their energy. Use this time to go to the bathroom and change diapers prior to the flight.
This is also a good time to buy any drinks or snacks that will come in handy during and after the flight.
When it’s time to board, many airlines allow for families to board first. Use this as an opportunity to take your time getting your children seated and your carry-on items stowed before the remaining passengers board.
Take-off and landing
Talk to your children about the importance of using their seatbelt during both take-off and the flight itself. Flights are often delayed because a child refuses to be buckled.
The change in cabin pressure can hurt children’s ears. If you are traveling with an infant, make sure to have formula or milk available during take-off and landing to regulate their inner ear pressure. For older children, providing them with gum is an excellent alternative and a welcomed treat.
Your children may be curious about the plane and the flight, so this is a good opportunity to teach them about flying and satisfy their curiosities. Keep children entertained with quiet toys and books. Bring out one toy at a time and not all at once in order to prolong their entertainment.
Giving your children an in-flight sleep aid is not recommended. Some children have unexpected reactions such as becoming hyper or throwing up instead of falling asleep.
Once you’ve landed, it’s best to let all other passengers off the plane first so that you can take your time gathering your belongings and making sure that nothing is left behind.
While most parents know that traveling with children can be challenging, with these tips you can be better prepared for what life may throw at you.
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