Travelling alone can be stressful enough. Throw in those restless, volatile, messy and impatient little humans and you have a completely new scenario. Your biggest fear is probably the harsh way in which other passengers are likely to look at you. Another thing is that you do not know how your kids may react to being airborne 10,000 feet above ground. It does not matter if your kids are among the most well behaved. You risk diaper blowouts, puking on a stranger and multiple scream sessions.
So how do you handle all this? Fortunately for you, it is not all doom and gloom. In fact, there is something you can do to keep this madness at bay. Although the tips discussed here are mainly for parents who are flying with kids, they can be applied to other types of travel.
Do not pay attention to the idiots
The first mistake that you should avoid doing is trying to please everyone on the plane. Other people just hate kids. They are likely to shudder by the sight or sound of a child, no matter how angelic the child might be. Ignore such people and also ignore their glares, however damning. Remember that your kids too, have a right to be on the plane, just like the other passengers.
However, as a parent, you should also refrain from being an idiot. It is your responsibility to ensure that your children do not infringe on the space and comfort of other passengers. Some parents do the unthinkable in the plane. They even change poopy pampers on tray tables. This way, they let their young ones kick at other passengers. Since you want to know how you can travel with your kids nicely, chances are that you are a conscientious parent keen on keeping kids well-mannered and as calm as possible during air travel. Therefore, so long as you keep an eye on your kids so that they do not become a pain to other people, you are going to be okay.
Plan for the flight
In case you will be flying in the morning, ensure that you give your child enough sleep on the eve of the flight. Taking an under-rested kid on the plane is asking for disaster. Trust me!
If you have children who still sleep or tire at certain periods of the day, consider planning your flight at those drowsy times.
For an afternoon flight, engage your children in activities that will wear them out. Expose them to sunlit physical play outside the house. Once you get to the airport, encourage them to scamper around the play areas as you wait for the plane.
Night flights are a torture, and so, in case you can avoid it, do not increase the severity of the torture by bringing on board a restless toddler. People want to relax and even sleep on the night plane. They will be very angry when you have a screaming baby with you.
If possible, fly nonstop. Alighting from the plane, pushing your luggage with your children in tow as you rush to make a connecting flight does not help your mental health.
Make efforts to reduce flying discomfort
As the plane takes off or descends, there is normally a rapid alteration of pressure that troubles even adults. For kids, you can imagine that it can even be worse.
- The solution is to give kids juice or milk during takeoff as this can relieve the inside air pressure. It is also the right time for nursing babies.
- If you have little kids, an alternative to chewing gum is the gummy worms. Not only do these last awhile but are also very popular among kids.
- Earplane earplugs are another great solution to make kids comfortable during taking off and landing. They are available for different ages from age 1-10 as well as for the 11 year-old kids and above. The plugs are specifically designed to reduce the discomfort that the air pressure brings.
Pack useful items to help maintain your sanity. Other than the toys and other things, the following essentials are also important:
- Spare outfits not only for your kids but also for you. These come in handy in case of spills of vomiting.
- Several wipes as well as sizeable zip lock bags. These can be used as garbage bags among other uses.
- Milk or extra formula
- Snacks (some of the good ones include string cheese, crackers, dried fruit and carrots).
- Any drug as well as First Aid supplies that you may require. Consider things like hand wipes, teething remedies, kid vitamins, anti diarrhea medications and band aids among other things.
Most people hate travelling with their kids because of the way they tend to be messy. This is why some parents will wait until their kids attain the age of 7 and above before they can move with them. However, following the tricks above, you can tame the kids and have a smooth journey.