Are you all set for your summer holiday? If you’re anything like me you’ve probably downloaded numerous checklists to ensure that you’ve got absolutely everything you need for your trip, but do you feel prepared for the flight?
Here I’ll share my own tips, as well as trusty tips from bloggers, to ensure that flying with your little ones is a more enjoyable experience for both you and them. So, if you’re looking forward to your holiday in the sun but feel apprehensive about the flight, you’ve come to the right place. Learn how to travel with the kids on a plane.
Don’t Rely on Inflight Entertainment
You may have booked a flight that offers individual seatback screens, but if these fail to work then peace and quiet will go out of the window. As you know, technology can be temperamental, so you can’t solely rely on your little ones tuning into the children’s channels.
In fact, I’ve had my fair share of faulty entertainment systems on flights. Whether it’s been blank screens or dodgy headphones, there have been times where films and TV shows haven’t been an option. As a mother of three boys, this used to result in complete and utter chaos; tears and tantrums were inevitable, much to the disgust of fellow flyers.
Now, I board every single plane with an abundance of back-up options, just in case there’s a glitch with in-flight entertainment. The blogger behind Jetlag & Mayhem, Nicola Burke, certainly doesn’t depend on technology when she travels.
She says: “Don't rely on inflight entertainment to keep your sprogs entertained…it can break! I always pack a stash of colouring books, sticker books, pens and books for my 5 and 8 year old.”
Bring Your Own Gear
If you know your child will sit happily and watch Peppa Pig, why put yourself through the torture of trying to entertain them in other ways? Avoid upset by bringing your own electronic devices on board. This way, if the inflight entertainment does play up, or your plane simply doesn’t offer seatback screens, you’ll be prepared - AKA the best parent in the world, according to your little one.
And, let’s face it; the complementary headphones can often be a hit or a miss. The last thing you want is for your child to be upset because they’ve been handed headphones that don’t work. There’s nothing worse than children becoming set on a certain idea, i.e. watching a film, and then the opportunity being taken away from them i.e. no sound to listen to said film.
Bring your own gear on board and avoid pouts and sulks.
Nicola says: “Bring your own 'kid headphones' as they will sit on the head more easily and many have volume limiters.”
Go Back to Basics
However, far too many kids have their heads buried in phones and tablets these days. I personally find it refreshing to see children finding fun in other ways. Instead of taking electronic gadgets on board, I tend to pack a couple of story books and activity books to keep the boys entertained. Furthermore, once or twice I've taken a travel pack from KeepEmQuiet, which is a great way to surprise them with fun new toys and games for the journey.
Award-winning blogger of Twin Mummy and Daddy, Emily Higgins, says that her main tip on how to keep children entertained on a plane is not to overthink things. She says: “I don’t think you need to bring a bag full of toys, books and activities. Sometimes having too much can overwhelm children. I find keeping it simple is best.”
Basically, don’t pack too much. After all, you’ll only be on the plane for a few hours, depending on your destination. You don’t need to pack like you’ll be travelling on board for days.
Emily says: “If it’s a pretty short flight, an activity sticker book is great. For slightly longer flights, perhaps throw in a pack of cards too so you can play games such as snap.”
Give Them a Window Seat
It’s the simple things in life that can make a world of difference. My three boys often squabble over who is going to sit in the window seat, so I usually get them to battle it out over a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors. However, if you can give them a window seat then by all means do. Children love looking out at the clouds and keeping an eye out for other planes.
If there isn’t a window seat available, don’t fret. There are many other ways you can keep your child entertained; challenge your little ones to a game of I Spy or play noughts and crosses.
Emily says: “I find that my children are pretty good at entertaining themselves when on a plane. The new surroundings of the plane gives them something to look at, they like looking out of the window and watching the flight attendants doing their jobs too!”
However, it’s important that your children get sufficient sleep before your flight; otherwise you’ll have no hope of keeping them happy.
If your children are restless at night, it may be time to consider purchasing a new mattress. Shop our range of kids mattresses and go out with the old and in with the new; it’ll make a world of difference to their quality of sleep.