Tips for easier plane travel with kids

When I started travelling my biggest concern on flights was which movies I would watch, the meals on offer and eyeing off any spare rows of seats so I could hopefully stretch out and have a half decent sleep.

Fast forward a few years, I still have a wandering soul and my love for travel has not changed, Just my travel companions have become a little shorter. Travel gives me perspective and I hope it will do the same for my children. A passport, a plane ticket and a plan for adventure feels like the best gift that I can possibly give them.

Of coarse travelling with children does come with its challenges and it’s definitely better to come prepared then going in blind BUT this is travel, anything can happen so you also need to bring along a few friends called Calm, Patience, Self-control and Strength.

Here are some ways to help with plane travel so you and your family are as comfortable as possible,

  • The best bit of advice I was given by another travelling parent was “It’s only 1 day”. This is my mantra on flights, especially long ones and it really does help. My husband and I just returned from a holiday to Canada, which included a wonderful 15hr direct flight with a 1yr and 4yr old. To say I was a little anxious about it would be an understatement but in the end we managed just fine and had a great flight.
  • Be early for airport check in, There is nothing fun about waiting in a long line with infants or bored kids. Check in and let the kids explore the airport with you, Airports are pretty amazing places when you look around. Remember you are about to sit for a long time so stretch their legs and tire your little mini me’s out as much as you can.

“It is better to travel well, Then to arrive’ – buddha

  • Board the flight toward the end of boarding, although the airlines allow parents with children to board first, its always around 30 to 45 minutes before you actually take off so why make the kids sit in the seats any longer then they need to and become restless. 
  • When travelling with infants, always make sure you have the same sleep suit that they would sleep in at home, It gives them comfort and similarity and they will know its time to sleep.
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  • Bring a bib, I totally forgot a bib once and wow we had a mess! A change of clothes for each child and if still using nappies bring enough to cover you for any delays.
  • Ask your travel agent to book the bassinet for you if you are flying with a baby, It is always to late to ask for it once you are checking in at the airport AND ask your agent to confirm the child or baby meals have been added to your booking as these are special requests and don’t always default to a child’s meal so your toddler or infant could end up with an adults meal.

“Travel is the only thing you buy, That makes you richer”

  • Don’t bring the entire play room. Sure bring a favourite toy if it comforts your child and will help settle them, Just remember there isn’t much room so pre think what will actually work in the small space and ditch the rest. Kids love interaction with you so think along the lines of books, cards, finger puppets, puzzles. 
  • If you have Children old enough to settle in and watch movies, (A) you are very lucky and (B) make sure you bring along a pair of children’s headphones as the ones on the planes don’t tend to fit younger kids. I purchased my 5yr old a pair from Big W that were very inexpensive and have worked a treat!

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  • Next time you need to shop for luggage, Buy the luggage with spinning wheels. It is much easier to wheel around through the airports. Let the kids help you as this type of bag is super easy and the kids love pushing them.
  • When you have a long flight you definitely need to take shifts looking after the kids. My husband and I would take turns, One gets to watch a movie while the other entertains the kids, and then switch. Great for the kids because they get excited when the parent shift changes and great for mum and dad as you both get a little breather. But when the kids sleep you all sleep!

“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life” – Jack Kerouac

  • Why is Mummy tea writing about plane travel you ask? If you love your tea like I do (or coffee) you MUST take a travel mug on the plane with you . It is extremely difficult and dangerous to have a hot drink when you have little ones crawling over you. Airlines only give you a small cup with no lid so this way you can still enjoy a cuppa even on the flights. I am a tragic tea lover and I also take my own tea so I can really enjoy it. Mummy Tea has the perfect wanderlust tea pack for the travelling parents to take with you on your journey.
  • Always visit the airlines website who you are travelling with before you leave, they give excellent information about travelling with children and will be able to answer all the questions you are no doubt thinking about. If you find a professional travel agent he or she will be full of information and always happy to help you with your travel needs.

I Hope these tips help you out! Plane travel with kids really isn’t bad at all, It’s only 1 day and you will be on holidays making memories that will last forever.

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xo Bec

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NOTE: This blog is not intended to replace the advice of a qualified healthcare practitioner. All information contained in this blog is the opinion of mummy tea and is not to be interpreted as medical advice. Consult your prenatal care provider to discuss using any herbal products during your pregnancy.

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