Travelling can be a stressful experience as it is. From fighting through public transport to waiting for hours at Passport control, a travel company’s biggest challenge is always the enjoyment of their passengers because, as it is, the experience toys with the risk of being truly horrendous. But for mothers and fathers travelling with children, the likelihood of having a painful travelling experience only increases. Being cramped on a 10 hour transatlantic flight borders on torture for a 45 year old let alone a toddler with the energy of the Duracell Rabbit.
Keeping your kids relaxed or in a state of enjoyment throughout the journey is important to you as a parent, because walking down the aisle with glaring eyes is never comfortable. Everyone understands that travelling with kids is difficult, but no-one wants to find themselves next to the crying baby or in-front of the kicking toddler, and you know this all too well. And, although you might have considered it, sedation is frowned upon.
Thankfully many parents have been through the difficulty of voyaging afar with their 4 year olds or their adolescents (both of which cause their own respective challenges). So we have scoured the internet to find you the top tips that might help you avoid the tantrums and difficulties on your trip away.
- Travelling rhymes with treats (well, almost)
Sometimes we have to make concessions for the greater good. No matter how strict you are normally, when travelling it’s alright to give your kids something to keep them subdued. Chewier sweets are great when your in descent, but stay away from too much sugar, a rampaging 5 year old demolishing a drinks cart is probably the only way to get thrown off a plane mid-flight.
Keeping a child’s attention is hard when at home let-alone when they are cornered against a window 35,000ft up. One way to keep them entertained is to systematically present them with new presents, or trinkets that they might enjoy en-route. From colouring pens to stickers, these will at least keep them engaged for a while (for stickers, taping up a sheet of paper to the window works as a substitue for seats and tray tables. Also, if you make sure you only give them the presents when they are behaving well you’ll be (supposedly) conditioning them into good-behaviour. To make this work right, many blogs state that you should break the flight up into segments and only present the gift when they’ve good during that set period of time.
- Technology is king…
When it comes to modern aviation, technology is king. Not only for the fly-by-wire aircraft you are sitting in, but also for your peace of mind. In most cases too much tech is detrimental, on planes iPads with a good selection of movies or games will keep your kids occupied for hours. Also, there are some great games that actually help your child learn, so win-win right?!
- I’m scared
Flight normally creates anxiety. It’s noisy, bumpy, swingy and makes your ears hurt. To keep your kids appeased bring their favourite blanket, cuddly toy, or a pillow with you on the plane. Toys are obviously a must, but keeping them engaged with the experience works well as well. As you are taking off talk them through what is happening, what everything is and how exciting the experience is. In the end they’ll be asking you to bring back model airplanes every time you visit the airport.
- Woop-woop, watch out for the Airplane Police
Obviously fictional, but then again what are your kids to believe apart from what you tell them? A little worry is great if they think they’ll be caught, but don’t frighten the living daylights out of them. One parent has said that this worked a treat for them, ensuring their toddler didn’t treat the seat in-front of him as a climbing frame.
We hope these tips and tricks help you on your way to your sunny holiday,