A trip to the supermarket with just one of your toddlers is a situation that could easily turn into a nightmare. Honestly, Amazing Race has nothing on your kids and the hurdles they can throw at you. So an entire plane ride can be pretty scary, but it’s pretty manageable.
There are a few simple things that will help you breeze through your flight and maybe even get a wink of sleep?
1. Plan the entire length of the trip in 10 minute slots.
Toddlers tend to get fussy when they don’t have a particular thing to do, and it can get even worse when they are in an unfamiliar environment. If you know that your flight will take about 3 hours plan out a couple of activities taking not of how long your toddler will likely get tired of it. You could plan out 1o minute activities for a 3 hour plan ride considering bathroom breaks and feeding times.
In case something happens during those activities, this safety net may be something we hope you had beforehand.
2. Check with the airline ahead of time about the fare.
Different airlines have different policies when it comes to toddlers. Some may charge you for an extra seat even if your child is 1 1/2 years old and this extra charge may be at full adult fare rate or 75%. Don’t make assumptions or because policies change frequently so check prior to the trip.
3. Use a bag pack as hand luggage.
You will find that having both hands on deck to handle you toddler is going to be great. Therefore to keep your hands free, have a bag pack with essentials such as wipes (you can never have enough!), diapers and a change of clothes (for both parent and toddler).
4. Mandatory bathroom break before flight.
First of all, limit the amount of liquids you give you toddler before your flight, especially if it’s going to be a long one. Secondly, make sure you take your toddler to the toilet before boarding, even if they say they don’t have to ‘go’. Last, but certainly not least, make sure to have a backup plan, just in case your child has an accident on the plane.
5. Be armed with entertainment
Preparation is key. You can never be too prepared so make sure you carry an alternate source of internet. Don’t rely on the airline to have a screen and shows your toddler can watch. Have a fully charged tablet on hand with kid shows or portable DVD player (not sure they even make those anymore).
6. Do not board early!
The less time you spend on the plane, the better. If you get on early it gives your toddler more time to get tired of that space then when you’re actually in the air they’ll be fussy and irritated.
A great way to ensure you will be okay even if you are delayed, is to ensure you have travel insurance for such situations. They’ll cover you in case of anything.
7. Terminal = playground
Let your toddler run wild in the terminal as long they are within sight and safe. This way they will be tired and worn out by the time you board the plane. Some airports do have playgrounds for kids though, ask around.
8. Have your sweets.
Some people experience an unpleasant sensation during take off and landing. You could ease the discomfort for your toddler by having them suck on a lollipop (ideally sugar free to prevent the sugar high that will ensue). They could also double as rewards for good behaviour every half hour or so.
9. Have a mini emergency kit.
In that bag pack that you so wisely chose as hand luggage, have a zip lock bag labelled EMERGENCY. This will make it easier to locate even for someone else. It should contain medicine such as Calpol, an Actal tum (anything to ease an upset tummy), a painkiller , an inhaler (if child is asthmatic) and any allergy medication. Don’t forget the band aids! Get the ones with cartoons on them, that way if your child gets injured they’ll be more occupied by the cute band aid than the pain of the injury (we can only hope!)
10. Bring along familiar comforts.
Is there that one blanket or teddy bear your toddler just adores? A great idea would be to bring it along to help soothe them or put them to sleep if it becomes a problem. Take extra care not to lose it.
Sometimes unexpected events happen when travelling especially when you have kids in tow. Have a look at ICEA Lion’s travel insurance package that is catered primarily to cover you during any occasion. Have a safe and hopefully eventless flight!
You may also like: