Keeping children happy during plane journeys can be a challenge but it needn’t be something every parent dreads. Family-friendly holiday experts Tots to Travel, who specialise in baby and toddler-friendly holidays, have put together their top five tried and tested tips on keeping children content.
- Be food and drink smart
Make sure you bring plenty of snacks with you for the journey, just in case there is a delay or you have a very hungry brood! Healthy snacks are the best option if you want to avoid over-hyper kids, so think along the lines of raisins, nuts, fruit, food pouches, or any other small food stuffs that you can squeeze into your bag.
If you have a young child then bring a ‘reuse or toss cup’ that comes with a lid or straw, so if your tray table gets bumped you won’t spill drink everywhere.
- Have a few tricks up your sleeve
A plane journey will require you to pull out all the stops in terms of child entertainment- bring lots of new and small toys to keep little ones amused during the trip. Produce these gradually throughout the journey, so that every time your child starts to fidget, you have a new distraction. Choose light, inexpensive toys (think sticker books, toy cars, colouring books and board books) that won’t matter if you lose them, and fit nicely into your hand luggage.
For older children, stock your gadgets up with new apps, movies and music to help keep them entertained. Make sure they pack plenty of things to do within their own bags, so you won’t be constantly hassled during the flight!
- Dress everyone appropriately
If you have young children, all-in-one outfits are a good idea in order to avoid losing any stray socks or cardigans. Your child will be sat down for a long time, so try and choose comfortable, soft and flexible fabrics such as natural cotton.
Planes can often be a bit chilly, so encourage older children to bring plenty of layers in their bag, and make sure you bring a blanket. Bring a scarf/pashmina which will double up as a blanket to wrap up little ones in, so they aren’t shivering during the journey.
- Avoid ear pain from air pressure changes
To help stop older children suffering from ear popping during take-off and landing, bring some lollipops or sweets for them to suck, to relieve ear pressure. If you have a breast-feeding or bottled fed baby then take-off and landing is the perfect time to feed them, as this can also help to stop any unpleasant ear popping. Another perfect solution for tackling this is to bring a dummy for babies that will happily suck on one.
- Nip flight anxiety or travel sickness in the bud
If you think your child is, or might be, an anxious flyer then start by talking through what will happen on the plane journey in advance. Buy them plane books, or even go and watch the planes if you live near an airport- it’s often fear of the unknown that can prompt anxiety.
If your child suffers from travel sickness, get hold of some specially designed child anti-motion sickness wristbands, earplugs, sweets or medicines. You can ask your doctor for advice on what’s the best option for your child. Try and choose a window seat over the wings of the plane, and bring plenty of distractions so your child isn’t focused on feeling ill.
Also remember that sickness bags on planes only open in one direction, so check this before you depart in case you need to grab one in a hurry!
For more information on Tots To Travel’s unique collection of visited, vetted and recommended baby and toddler-friendly holiday homes, visit: www.totstotravel.co.uk or call the team of family travel experts on: 0800 014 2770. Facebook: TotstoTravel Twitter: @Totstotravel.