Top tips for flying with children
If you’re travelling by plane with children, planning ahead can really help the journey to go well. Here are our top tips for flying with children.
When you book a flight, check that your passports are up to date. It can take longer to renew a child’s passport than an adult’s, so allow plenty of time to do this.
Before the trip
In the lead-up to your trip, talk to your children about the journey and involve them in your travel plans so that they know what to expect and are looking forward to it.
When your children are small, it’s best to use a backpack for your hand luggage so that your hands are free. If your kids have their own hand luggage, make sure that they can actually carry or drag it, or be ready and able to carry it yourself – along with your own hand luggage, and possibly your children!
At the airport
Before you travel, find out what’s on offer for kids at the airport. Many airports offer services such as free or reduced price children’s meals, dedicated family security lanes, children’s play areas in the departure lounge and pushchairs to use in the terminal.
Load up a tablet or phone with films, stories and music to keep your child entertained on the flight – and remember to pack some headphones for them. Charge your gadgets before you set off on your journey, and pack your chargers and adapters in an accessible place.
Toys and games
Take a few light, portable toys and games for the journey, but avoid anything with tiny pieces which may get lost. Colouring things, magazines and card games such as Snap and Uno work well. If your child is packing a precious toy, such as a teddy, label it with your mobile phone number in case it gets lost – pet ID disks are good for this.
Food and drink
Pack empty water bottles in your hand luggage which you can fill up once you’re through security. Buy non-sticky snacks for the journey, such as breadsticks and fruit, as well as treats. Take along a pack of wet wipes to use when you can’t get to a washbasin, as well as a few plastic bags for wet or dirty clothes – or in case anyone is sick.
If you’re travelling with young children, it’s good to have a change of clothes for them in your hand luggage, because you never know when they may need to change!
Babies and young children often suffer from ear pain on flights due to the change in air pressure. Swallowing can help to equalise the pressure in the ear and reduce the pain, so be prepared with drinks and things to suck or chew, such as sweets. Pack some sachets of infant paracetamol and ibuprofen which you can give to your child if they’re in pain.
Do you have any tips to add on flying with children? Whenever you travel, be sure to have adequate travel insurance, just in case!