Travel With Kids Made Easier
It happens to the best of us. Toddler tantrums can spring up on us parents at any given time, but when it happens to be during a long haul flight back to the home country, it seems to be ten times worse. Having travelled with my two and half year old toddler a couple of times, both on long and short haul flights, I have tried and tested out means of ensuring travel to be a bearable, if not an enjoyable experience. Here’s a few tips that may help avoid those angry tears and monstrous meltdowns:
1. Book a flight that works around your toddler’s schedule
Before you even get on that flight, start your day right by booking a flight time that suits your child’s routine. This may mean catching a flight later in the day, so that your toddler wakes up at their normal time in the morning and potentially falls asleep for their nap during the flight. “Potentially” of course. Or, it may mean catching a flight in the middle of the night so your toddler sleeps through the entire thing and is fresh and awake upon landing at your destination. Either way, you know your child best, so plan according to that.
2. Small packaged Gifts
If sleep is short-lived or worse – nowhere to be seen, pack a few small cheap toys in sparkling gift wrapper and offer one at every hour of the flight. The excitement it will create in your toddler will be tenfold, especially as they rip open their presents, and it will keep you sane for a few more minutes. Gifts can range from toy cars, sticker books to play dough. From personal experience though, avoid bouncy balls as part of your travel gift hamper at all cost. Those things cause as much havoc as a tornado.
3. In Flight Entertainment
What else is the “digital nanny” there for if not to entertain your child? Whether it is the beloved iPad or the in-flight tv screen with endless episodes of Bob the Builder, they’ve got your back, and there is nothing to feel guilty about. Also, the headphones are a great source of entertainment in themselves!
Though flights provide plenty of options and special meals for the tots, there is no harm in taking their favourite snacks, both healthy and not so healthy. Be sure to keep them hydrated by giving them lots of water during the flight too.
Read more: Mindful Eating for Mamas
5. Comfortable Clothing
Comfort is key, and this means tracksuits are a god send for both your child and yourself. You can always pack an extra pair of “nice” clothes to change in to after landing so the grandparents don’t think your child is a complete tramp. During the flight, make sure your child is at their optimum temperature so they do not get fussy. Since it gets rather chilly in flights, be sure to pack an extra jumper and a pair of socks.
Read more: How to Holiday With the Kids
6. Don’t be shy or sorry
Perhaps the most important of all tips to ensure a smooth flight is this. Don’t shy away from asking for help, or accepting it too. It will make things much easier, and most flight attendants and other fellow travellers will be happy to help. However, in the case that your toddler does end up being upset, do not be apologetic or take heed of any “looks” around you. You do your thing, mama, and concentrate on the needs of your child.
How do you cope with travelling on flights with a toddler? Are there any tips you would like to share that have worked for you? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below!