Travelling by Plane with Your Child
I have found some things to consider which I would also like to share with parents who plan to travel on a plane with their kids.
I have never traveled by plane with my kids. So when my husband pursued our plan to go to Goa for a vacation, I was quiet anxious about what to do and what to prepare. It seems risky to bring the kids. I even considered leaving them with my mother but I know they will miss out on the fun. Thus, I interviewed friends who have experienced flying with their kids to have ideas on what I should do.
I have found the following things to consider which I would also like to share with parents who plan to travel on a plane with their kids.
Booking Your Flight
Once you finalize your destination, look for an airline which will give you the best price and the best accommodation especially that you are traveling with your child or children. Check out if an airline allows you to book ahead for a baby bassinet for infants below 8 months. Also ask information about flying with kids. 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 the lap for the duration of the flight. Just ask the airline on the discounted rates for infants or kids. As much as possible, choose a direct flight to your destination. A flight from Delhi to Goa, via Mumbai is likely to leave your baby crying non stop because of the change in pressure and the frequent landings and take offs. 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 of distracting other passengers.
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 will need onboard an airplane. Bring the basics such as air sick bag, medications, one change of clothes, food, toys, DVDs, DVD player, diapers, wipes and diapers. Put all of these on a backpack instead of bringing a shoulder bag and/ or a diaper bag.
What to Wear
Comfort and ease of wear is important when you travel. 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.
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, you may wait for the “last call” before boarding so that you don’t worry of keeping your child still for long. If you have to be on board a connecting flight, then make sure you check in early especially with one or two kids along.
Getting Through Security
If it is your first time to travel 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 then tell him or her that you will go through a screener.
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.
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.
Eating on Board
Remember to bring food or snacks which you can provide for your child when he or she gets hungry. Though most airlines may serve snacks or meals on board but 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, yoghurt, 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.
Entertaining Your Child
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 headaches keeping them entertained as you head for your destination. You may also bring books that your child can read throughout the flight or bring materials for an activity they can engage with.
Sleeping on Board
Bring a cotton sheet or a baby sleeping bag which you can use when your child sleeps on board. 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.
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 seatbelt. Never let your child run or walk around without your assistance or crawl on the floor of the plane. Let your child use an earphone or feed him or her from a bottle while on takeoff or landing to protect his or her ears.
So mom and dad, are you now ready and confident to go flying with your kids?