Venturing the world with your little ones can be an exhilarating journey filled with unforgettable moments and a few challenges. In ‘Kids On A Plane: A Family Travel Blog’, you’ll find a treasure trove of information, captivating stories, practical advice, and insightful tips from first-hand experiences of traveling with children. Whether you’re a seasoned globetrotter or planning your first family vacation, this blog is your essential guide to making your travel experiences rich, vibrant, and enjoyable for everyone involved. So fasten your seatbelts, and prepare for an engaging and informative journey through the world of family travel.
Preparing for the Flight
Traveling with kids can be quite the adventure but like any good journey, it begins with thorough preparation. Starting with choosing the right airline for your trip.
Choosing the Right Airline
Not all airlines are made equal, especially when it comes to accommodating younger passengers. When researching prospective airlines, you should look into their kid-friendly services. For instance, do they have priority boarding for families? Do they offer child-friendly meals or in-flight entertainment options that cater to younger audiences? Some airlines even offer activity kits for children to help them stay occupied during the flight. Choosing an airline that values its littlest customers can make your travel experience smoother.
Booking Convenient Flight Times
While it is partly dependent on the airline, choosing flight times can also tremendously affect your travel experience. Booking a flight that aligns with your child’s nap time or their usual bedtime can ensure a more peaceful flight for all involved. Fewer distractions and disruptions can also help your child adjust better to the change in their atmosphere mid-flight.
Packing Essentials for Kids
Just like grown-ups, kids need to feel comfortable and secure during a flight. In order to help them achieve this, include plenty of essential items in your hand luggage – things like a favorite blanket or cuddly toy, some familiar snacks, coloring books, story books, or their most-loved games. Don’t forget to pack the practical stuff, too. Wet wipes, a change of clothes, a toothbrush and some toothpaste can be a lifesaver in case of spills or delayed flights.
It’s important to start talking to your child about your travel plans well in advance of your flight. Explain every part of the process, from check-in to landing, so they know what to expect. Reassure them that it’s normal to feel nervous and that you’ll be there to help them navigate the unfamiliarity of travel.
At The Airport
Navigating Through Security with Kids
The security process can be overwhelming for kids, with all the bright lights, buzzers, and people in uniform. Prepare them in advance by explaining why it’s necessary. Show them how to put their belongings on the conveyor belt and help them understand that it’s all part of the journey.
Entertainment in the Airport
Airports are usually bustling places with lots to see and do. From watching the planes on the runway to exploring the different shops and restaurants, keeping your little ones entertained shouldn’t be too difficult. Remember to have a few airport-appropriate toys or games on hand to keep them occupied while waiting for the flight.
Preparing Kids for Boarding
The great thing about most airlines is that they let families with children board first. Use this time to store your luggage, settle the kids, and get them familiarized with their surroundings. Also, bring along some chewy candies or offer a bottle or pacifier during takeoff and landing to help with ear pressure.
On The Plane
Engaging In-Flight Activities for Kids
Keeping kids entertained during a flight can be a bit of a challenge, but thankfully, most airlines have in-flight entertainment systems that cater to all ages. Bring along color-in activity books, easy card games, or download some of their favorite shows on your tablet before the flight for when they tire of the screen.
Managing Kids’ Meals on the Plane
In-flight meals can be a bit of a wildcard. They often include an assortment of foods, some of which your child might not care for. Pack some travel-friendly snacks they love so they can eat when they get hungry.
Overcoming Flying Fears and Anxieties
Some kids might feel overwhelmed by the entire experience of flying. Reassure them that it is completely normal to feel scared or unsettled. Explain the noises of the airplane and what is going on around them. Make sure they know that you’re there for them and that there’s nothing to fear.
Sleeping Arrangements and Comfort
If it’s a long-haul flight, bringing travel-sized pillows and blankets can help your child feel more comfortable and encourage them to get some sleep. Dress them in cozy, soft clothes, bring along a favorite bedtime story or soft toy, and recreate a bedtime routine as closely as possible.
Dealing with Jet Lag
Understanding Jet Lag in Kids
Jet lag can be particularly hard on kids because they find it harder to adjust to changes in routine. Expect that their sleep pattern might be disrupted for a few days after the flight and plan accordingly.
Helpful Tips to Minimize Jet Lag
Trying to adjust your child’s routine gradually before the trip can help them minimize jet lag. Stick to regular meal and bedtimes, lots of sunlight during the day, and keep them hydrated.
Keeping Kids Comfortable Post-Flight
After a long flight, make sure your children have time to relax and recover. Try not to rush into sightseeing right away, but allow them to adjust to the new time zone and surroundings at their own pace.
Choosing Kid-Friendly Destinations
Researching Child-Friendly Attractions
Before choosing your destination, research what child-friendly attractions are available in the area. Whether it’s a sandy beach, a park, or a museum, having options available that cater to your child’s interests can make the holiday more exciting and enjoyable for the whole family.
Considering Climate and Safety
Think about the climate and general safety of the place you’re going to. Is it suitable for your child? Does it have facilities like clean and accessible toilets, safe drinking water, and healthcare facilities if required?
Balancing Kids & Adult Interests
A family vacation should be enjoyable for both kids and adults. When planning your trip, try to strike a balance between attractions that appeal to adults and those that are child-friendly.
Accommodations & Sleeping Arrangements
Finding Family-Friendly Accommodations
When booking your accommodation, look for a place that welcomes families. Do they have amenities like cribs or extra beds, a kitchen, and a separate living area where the children can play?
Setting Up the Sleeping Area for Kids
It’s crucial to create a comfortable sleeping area for children, especially the little ones. Make the sleeping area as similar to their home environment as possible. Bring items from home that will help them adjust, such as their favorite blanket or teddy bear.
Dealing with Nighttime Routines Away from Home
As much as possible, try to stick to the same bedtime routine that you do back home. This will help your kids adjust to the new environment and will make them feel safe, secure, and ready to have a good night’s sleep.
Creating a Flexible Itinerary
Traveling with kids requires a bit more flexibility. Create an itinerary that allows for unexpected stops, long lunch breaks, and maybe even a midday nap. You want to make sure that you’re not rushing from one site to another without taking time to enjoy each moment.
Incorporating Kids’ Interests
Just like adults, kids have their own interests. When planning your itinerary, include activities that your kids will enjoy. This will not only keep them entertained, but it will also make them more invested in the trip.
Planning for Rest & Downtime
Traveling can be exhausting, particularly for young children. Schedule some downtime each day for naps or just simple relaxation. This will help keep everyone’s energy levels up and excitement high.
Eating Out and Snacking
Finding Kid-Friendly Restaurants Abroad
Not all restaurants abroad are kid-friendly. When looking for places to eat, you’ll want to find restaurants or cafes that offer a children’s menu, high chairs, and a laid-back atmosphere.
Carrying Snacks & Meals for Kids
Kids often get hungry at the most inconvenient times, and finding a place to eat while traveling can sometimes be a challenge. Always have an array of healthy snacks like fruits, nutrition bars, and trail mix packed for possible hunger pangs.
Dealing with Picky Eaters When Traveling
Traveling to a new place means new foods, which can be a problem for picky eaters. It’s a good idea to bring some familiar foods from home that your child likes. Also, encourage them to try new things but don’t pressure them if they’re not interested.
Managing Emergencies and Unforeseen Situations
Prepping for Medical Emergencies
Ensure that you have a basic first aid kit that includes essentials like bandages, antiseptic wipes, and children’s pain relievers. Also, if your child has a special medical need, make sure you have enough of their medication to last for your entire trip.
Handling Lost Items or Kids
Preparation is key when dealing with the fear of losing something or someone. Talk to your kids about what to do when they get lost. Also, consider using an identification band where you can write down your contact information.
Emergency Contacts & Essential Information
It’s a good idea to have a list of emergency contacts and important information in your phone and hardcopy. This can include the local police and ambulance numbers, the address of your country’s embassy, and contact information for your accommodation.
Photographing Your Family Travels
Capture the memories you’re creating with photographs. Let your kids take some photos also; it’ll provide a unique perspective of the trip.
Keeping a Family Travel Journal
Consider keeping a family travel journal. Let everyone participate, from writing down what they enjoyed most each day to sticking in tickets or postcards collected along the way.
Collecting Souvenirs with Kids
Allow your child to pick a souvenir from each destination. It can be anything from a postcard to a seashell, creating a tangible reminder of all the wonderful places you’ve explored together.
Remember, while traveling is about exploring the world around you, it’s also about the countless memories you create along the way. Embrace the unexpected, stay flexible, and enjoy the journey!