Monday, January 2, 2012

Flying with the Little One - 12 Tips

Flying with children need not be a stressful experience. [Pic]

I loathe long hauls, especially when I have to share the same trip with a wailing child (not necessarily mine).

I don't have much experience flying with young children. However, each time when there is a grouchy little one on board, I can totally feel the kind of stress the minder has to go through.

If you have minded little ones on board, you would know what I mean.

You need to be flexible when traveling
with young children.

Life for you and junior need not be that bad in the air. Take a look at some tips I have gathered from first hand experience and observation. I have also included what friends, relatives and some experts have shared.

You know your young traveling companion better. Be prepared to adjust along the way.

Let junior decide which toy to bring along. [Pic]

12. Before the trip

Get your child involved in the packing. Let him/her decide which toy to bring along. Explain to him/her the purpose of items packed so that he/she has some idea what to expect at the destination. For eg., let him/her know that you are packing a bottle of sunblock because you are bringing him/her to a sunny place.

11. Ample time before flight

Let your child have a great time playing at the airport. Build in sufficient allowance and give him/her time to run around. The child might be stressed out if you are rushing for time.

Bring only what is necessary on board. [Pic]

10. Don't bring too much

Unless you are flying in style via the first/business class, do expect the economy class cabin to be squeezy. Bring what is necessary on board and don't carry loads of stuff as if you are migrating. You should be paying more attention to your child and not the luggage.

9. Airport security

The clearing process can be intimidating to young children. Take time to explain to your child the purpose and that the security personnel are not there to harm anyone. This is especially important to first time young travelers. You do not want to create a scene when he/she refuses to let teddy bear go through the scanner.

Explain to junior that teddy bear has
to go through security checks.

8. Boarding

Most airlines allow passengers traveling with young children to board first. This makes a lot of sense. However, your kid may feel uneasy watching the crowd looking for their seats and stowing their luggage above their heads.

Boarding first is not necessarily a good idea. You might want to be the last instead. Let the rest settle down and you board just in time. Your child does not need to start his/her journey gawking at the chaos before taxiing.

7. Stroller, to bring or not to bring?

It depends. If your holiday involves some traveling on foot, do not expect junior to keep up. However, if you are just going to hop in and out of your rented car, a stroller might not be necessary.

If you are bringing a stroller, have it folded and placed at the end of the jet-way before boarding. You will pick it up from the 'same place' at your destination. Don't forget to tag it.

Suckling some candies can help to reduce
pressure in the ears.

6. Food

Your child may not like airline food (who does?). Young children are less compromising when they are hungry. Bring along some handy snacks and let your child have access to their favorite food at all times. 

It would be a good idea feeding them at the airport before the start of the journey. Get him/her some lollipops to suckle during take off and landing. That might help reduce the pressure in his/her ears.

Be sure to check the custom regulations before bringing any food items across the border.

5. Give some assignments

If your child is old enough, assign some tasks to keep him/her occupied during the flight. Let him/her have a drawing pad or a jotter book. He/she may draw or write about what he/she likes to see during the holidays. Nowadays, with gadgets such as iPad, your little one can have endless ways to be kept entertained.

Bring suitable gadgets to keep your
child occupied.

4. Stay hydrated

The air in the cabin can get very dry. Let your child take frequent sips of water during his waking hours. Some lotion for dry skin would come in handy too. Occasionally, wet his/her nostrils with your wet finger. A child with irritated nostrils will not be in a good mood.

3. Sleep during flight

This would be ideal. If it is within your control, plan your child's nap time such that it largely coincides with the flight time.

Keep the little one hydrated
throughout the flight.

2. Medication

If you are planning to get some medication for your child to ease motion sickness or aid sleeping, consult your doctor first.

1. Watch your own behavior

Little children are very sensitive. They can be become apprehensive and cautious in a new environment. Your child will look to you for assurance. If you are flustered, worried or frustrated, your child will not feel any better.

Your mood can affect your
child's behavior.

So remember, just relax and make the best out of any situation.

A holiday is not supposed to be stressful. Think through it, plan ahead, adjust along the way and always be prepared to abandon your plan.

Have a great trip!

"You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance." (Franklin P. Jones)

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1 comment:

Weird Quotes said...

I think you’ve made some truly interesting points. Not too many people would actually think about this the way you just did.