Traveling with Kids – 5 tips that will help make the trip a fun experience
Traveling with children can be a challenging experience for you, your kids and the people around you. Here are a few ideas to help change that challenge into a fun family experience.
Plan your flights
If you have a multi-leg flight, make sure you leave yourself enough time between connections. The last thing you want to do is have to sprint across O’Hare airport with kid’s and bags in tow and then miss your flight and have to wait to be rebooked. If you are flying on the weekend, early morning flights tend to be the best, the airport is not as crowded and flight delays are less likely. If you are flying during the week, later morning flights are a better choice, let all the business travels clear out first.
Show up well rested
Planning and packing for a family vacation can be extremely stressful especially for mom. Sorry dads, I know this is a sexist remark, but at least in all of my experiences prepping for vacation tends to fall in my lap. Try to get things done throughout the week before you leave, this way the day before the trip won’t be so stressful. The kids will be excited about the trip, getting them out for some exercise the day before will help them get a good night’s sleep that evening.
Talk to your kids in advance about the trip
If this is their first plane trip you can take them through a copy of my book, “My First Plane Trip” or similar books on the subject to help give them an idea of what the trip will be like. Ask them if there are any special foods or treats they would like to bring on the plane with them.
Pack snacks and activities and meds
Children love surprises, trickle feed the snacks and activities to them during the flight instead of letting them see everything at once. This way you become like a magician, each time they start to get bored or antsy, you pull another rabbit out of your hat. Leave the live rabbits at home, that could get you kicked off the flight ☺.
Engage with your child if they start to get upset or nervous
I have seen this happen many times on flights. Two parents with a small child, one parent is trying to settle the child down in a more aggressive tone, it’s not working. The other parent steps in and instead of trying to stop the behavior, redirects the child by engaging them in a simple chat, helps them to notice things around the plane or just interacts with them in some fun way.
Finally a quick note about missed flights. Here are a couple of tips in case a flight is delayed, cancelled or you miss a connection.
There is no point getting aggravated with the airline staff, it will get you nowhere.
If there is a long line, get on your phone, you can search for flight alternatives or call the 800 number for the airline. If you come to the desk with an alternative solution it will save time.
If the airline does not have an available flight option, ask them if they can check and book you with another airline. If they can’t get you to your destination on time, they will often rebook you on another airline at no cost to you.
My First Plane Trip: Flying for Kids Book – http://tinyurl.com/FirstPlaneTrip
When it’s your first time traveling as a family, it’s easy to get anxiety thinking about all the things that could go wrong. With a little knowledge, preparation, and the right tools we know you can get through it with your sanity intact.
Download Flying With Kids from the app store today to get started with your planning and preparation for a great flight and amazing trip.