If you are a parent and the thought of you traveling with your children on holiday for long hours freaks you out, you are not alone.
Being a parent of two boys aged 3 and 1, I often have nightmares of my kids running up and down the plane driving the lovely flight attendants and other passengers crazy.
I recently did a little research and realized that my travel experience with my toddlers became manageable with a great packing list and of course, a good attitude.
On that note, below are a few tips and tricks I use to make sure we survive the long flights and land safely with my sanity still intact.
- Legal documents
Passports and other travel documents are a requirement for everyone including toddlers and infants. Every country has its requirements so after you search through Dealchecker looking for cheap holidays for your family, do a little research on your destination’s travel laws.
If one parent will not be available for travel, have a validly signed document that clearly states that you have permission to take the kids with you.
- Get your children in the know
Do not underestimate the power of being psychologically prepared. Talk to your children and let them know beforehand that they will be going for a long trip to a foreign land.
Go a step further and show your kids some photos or videos of the travel destination. This is to prevent the risk of suffering from culture shock. If they know what to expect, the place will seem familiar and the probability of them settling in faster and easily significantly increases.
- Hand luggage
During a flight, your children will need at least one complete change of clothes. As a parent, you will also require an extra shirt or dress, especially if you are dealing with small babies as you are prone to spills.
In addition, have some baby wipes, a small first aid kit, a sippy cup with a secure lid, and healthy snacks in small containers. You could also stuff some sweet treats in your bag. These come in handy when the kids start fussing around and all you have to do is bribe yourself some peace and quiet.
Diapers and milk are a must-have for toddlers and babies. For the school-going kids, consider packing some coloring books and crayons for them.
- Children’s attires while aboard
No matter how hot the weather is, cloth your children in some warm attires as the temperature on planes is normally cool. Have a pair of socks and a light jacket at arm’s reach.
Also, while choosing the right attire, make sure it is one that can easily be removed in case of diaper leaks and unprecedented spills
- While on the plane…
To keep the kids calm, let them carry their favorite stuffed animal. This offers some form of familiarity and can double up as a pillow when they sleep.
For older kids, have a laptop or iPad where they can play games or watch their favorite movies. This can also be another way of rewarding them for good behavior. The smaller ones can make use of their drawing books and crayons.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to keep the children hydrated throughout the flight. Last but not least, give your small children a pacifier, a bottle or the breast to equalize changes in air pressure while landing. This minimizes the occurrence of ear pains.