I have never traveled by plane with my kids. So when my husband pursued our plan to go to Hong Kong Disneyland for a vacation, I was quiet anxious about what to do and what to prepare since I was flying with children.
It seemed risky to bring the kids. I even considered leaving them with my mother but I knew they would miss out on the fun. Thus, I interviewed friends who had experienced flying with their kids for any spare change of tips regarding this.
11 things to remember when flying with children
Here are some useful bits I found.
1. Booking your flight
Once you finalize your destination, look for an airline which will give you the best price and the best accommodation especially when you are travelling with your child.
Check out if an airline allows you to book ahead for a baby bassinet for infants below 8 months. If you are with your spouse or another adult, it may be ideal if you book seats apart from each other so you can take turns in entertaining the kids and in taking a rest. If your flight will take long hours then buy a seat for the baby.
It will be uncomfortable for you if you let your baby sit on your lap for the duration of the flight. Just ask the airline on the discounted rates for infants or kids. If possible, choose a direct flight to your destination.
Book a seat that is found at the back of the plane especially if your child likes to move around. When you are seated at the back, you don’t have to worry about distracting other passengers.
When flying with children, plan what clothes you and your child will be wearing at your destination. One thing to remember is to pack light clothes. However, consider the climate and temperature of your destination when packing.
Make sure you bring enough clothes to wear with one or two extra change of clothes for you and your child. Aside from this, think ahead about what you and your child may need on board the plane.
Bring the basics such as medications, one change of clothes, food, toys, DVDs, DVD player, wipes and diapers. Put all of these in a backpack instead of bringing a shoulder bag and/ or a diaper bag.
3. What to wear
Comfort is important when you are flying with children. It is also advisable to wear a layer of clothing just in case of spills. Choose also something comfortable for your child to wear while boarding a plane.
4. Getting on board
Think of boarding early if you have a long flight especially if you will bring a car seat for your baby. In this way, you can get it settled before the long flight begins.
For shorter flights, try to wait for the “last call” before boarding. If you have to be on board a connecting flight, then make sure you check in early especially if you have one or two kids traveling with you.
5. Getting through security
If it is your first time traveling by plane, search ahead of time for information about security check at the airport so you won’t be delayed.
Try to know what items are allowed or not allowed to be brought or carried on board. Try to also find out if you need to have certain items declared before going through security.
If your child is old enough to understand, explain to your child about airport security.
6. Diaper changing
If it’s your first time to use a change table on an airplane, ask for assistance from the crew.
Just make sure you have secured in one bag the diaper, wipes and a bag for the used diaper.
7. Ensuring health and hygiene
Don’t forget to bring air sick bags just in case your kid vomits due to motion sickness. Also keep a pack of wipes, cotton, and hand towel on the side pocket of your cabin bag.
8. Eating on board when flying with children
Remember to bring food or snacks for your child when he or she gets hungry. Though most airlines may serve snacks or meals on board, it’s ideal to have food that your baby or kid enjoys.
You can bring your own food, bowl and utensils for your infant. But don’t bring juice, yogurt or sauces which tend to be messy as they cause leaks and spills. If you need to bring water, check out first how much you can bring or if the airline provides it on board.
9. Entertaining when flying with children
For long flights, it would be good to distract your kids with toys, games or music they enjoy. So don’t forget to carry an iPod, portable DVD player, DVDs or toys in your backpack.
In this way, you won’t have to come up with ways to keep them entertained. You may also bring books that your child can read throughout the flight or bring materials for an activity they can engage with.
10. Sleeping on board
Bring a cotton sheet or a baby sleeping bag which you can use when your child sleeps. You can use a cotton sheet to wrap your baby or toddler. And if you have a baby sleeping bag, you can easily carry your baby around without having to wake her up.
11. Staying safe
Position your child in a place which will ensure his or her safety. Infants should be placed on a car seat while toddlers can have a regular seat with a seat belt.
Never let your child run or walk around without your assistance or crawl on the floor of the plane. Distract your child with headphones or feeding during take off and landing.
With all our tips on flying with children are you confident you will have a great trip?
Also read: Travelling with a baby: Janet Hsieh shares 14 super-useful tips!