We’ve recently returned home from our Summer holiday, a trip to Benalmadena in Spain. Often, the thought of flying with children can fill parents with dread but there’s nothing like getting off the plane to comments from other passengers about how well behaved and awesome your kids were. Of course, flying to Spain is only a 3 hour flight so nothing too dramatic timewise but our thoughts and planning would stay the same for longer flights, just extended.
Here’s some of my top tips for surviving a flight with your children:
We had tablets for both boys, we got NJ a brand new one so there was no fighting over the existing one. Make sure it’s loaded with games, apps videos that will keep them occupied. One of our favourites this year was the iPlayer Kids app, with access to loads of Cbeebies shows, we stocked NJ’s up with Andy’s Dinosaur Adventure, Jess’s Mini Beasts, and more. For the record we have a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 and our new one is an Amazon Fire – great value.
Kids need fuel, whether it’s to give them energy to fly around the room or even just to sit still and be comfy. Hunger is not conducive to sitting still. Don’t leave it to chance that the snack trolley will have everything left by the time it gets to you.
If you’re taking some form of electronic entertainment, make sure you have some headphones for your little one. This serves two purposes in my opinion. 1: It keeps the volume down for people sitting nearby and means that they won’t be bothered by incessant pinging, chiming or music. 2: My kids think it’s awesome to be wearing headphones, makes everything a bit different and special. Just be ready for a loud ROOOOOAAAARRRRRR if they’re asked to record a dinosaur roar on the Cbeebies Playtime app… NJ’s was one of the loudest I’ve ever heard from him! For the record we have two pairs of these great JVC headphones. They look cool, can be customised with some fun stickers and, more importantly, have a volume limiter so can’t damage your kids ears with too loud volume.
4: Extra comfy clothing
There’s always potential for little accidents when you’re somewhere confined like on a plane, so it’s a good idea to have something to change in to if need be, no one’s going to be well behaved if they’re sitting around in wet clothes. Another consideration though is that sometimes Aeroplanes can get a bit chilly, so if you want your children to settle down then it might be worth packing a nice comfy jumper or blanket in your carry-on.
5: A bottle
Whether you bring one with you, or utilise one that you buy from the drinks trolley, we’ve found that having an empty bottle is essential for those times when your little one (to be fair this is probably just boys), REALLY needs to go but the toilets are shut and the seatbelt signs on are on. We’ve had to use an emergency bottle on a couple of occasions now but it’s the perfect solution.
Bonus: Fast Track
If you can at the airport you’re travelling from, invest the few quid in purchasing Fast Track access through security. We’ve done this now the last few times we’ve travelled from Leeds/Bradford airport and it’s a godsend. Queuing in the long security lines is a pain in the proverbial without two boys under the age of 5 never mind with them. It was something like £4 per adult and completely worth it.
What works for you, what keeps you sane on those flights? Let me know in the comments below.