If you’ve accumulated some airline miles with your credit card, you might be considering cashing in those miles for the family vacation of your dreams. What, though, can you do with rambunctious children on a long flight? Here are some tips on flying with kids and making the journey as stress free as possible.
Prepare Activity Packs to Keep Kids Entertained
Packing an activity pack for your children will keep them entertained during a long and tedious flight. Coloring books, MP3 devices, portable movie players, and portable video games are great ways to keep children quiet and occupied.
Bring Chewing Gum
It may sound strange, but bringing a pack of chewing gum is a necessity for parents who are flying with young children. The change in cabin pressure that occurs during an airplane flight can cause a child’s ears to “pop” painfully. A bubble of air is created in the ear canal, and this can be uncomfortable or confusing to a child. Chewing gum can help to relieve the pressure in the ears.
Never Medicate Your Children
While some parents give their children sedatives to help them sleep through a plane journey, this is a dangerous and ill-advised decision. Medicating children who are not sick can be quite dangerous, and there are plenty of other ways to relax when flying with kids.
Be Courteous to Other Passengers
While parents may encounter airplane passengers who are easily frustrated or irritable regarding you flying with kids on a plane, most airline passengers are quite understanding when it comes to child passengers. A simple apology, a smile, and a word of gratitude for the patience of your fellow travelers will go a long way. There is a story of one couple traveling with an infant who courteously handed out ear plugs to their fellow airplane passengers because they knew, in advance, that the child would likely cry on the journey. You don’t have to hand out party favors to your passengers, but you should be polite and gracious when traveling with children.
Taking a vacation with your kids is a great way to expose them to new places and ideas at a very young age. Studies have shown that children who see the world are well-rounded and even possess greater intelligence and better social skills. Don’t let the fear of a confined airplane discourage you from traveling with children. A little preparation can make the flight mostly stress free.