The thought of flying with young children strikes fear into the heart of most parents. But it doesn’t have to be that bad. This fun infographic from Schofields Insurance (via The Travel Magazine) provides supportive and creative tips to turn travel hell into, well… if not travel heaven, then definitely a lot, lot better.
1. See to the Seats
Pre-booking seats ensures you can all sit together and your child can benefit from the excitement and wonder of the window seat. If you only need two seats in total, then a handy tip is to book a window and aisle, leaving a gap in the middle. This ingenious tactic offers a win-win situation – if the flight’s not fully-booked, you can relish the glory of an empty seat; if it’s full, you can just offer the aisle to the other passenger and sit together anyway.
2. Queues? What Queues?
Because the majority of people are right-handed, they naturally incline towards queues on the right-hand side. By beating biology, however, you can head to the shorter queues at the left. Shorter queues can also be found next to priority lines for business class passengers.
When it comes to boarding, if you’re travelling with a partner then go for a two-pronged attack: one of you nips to the front of the queue and gets the bags stowed away in good time, while the other stays in the airport until the last minute, giving your child space and freedom for as long as possible.
3. Pack Like A Pro
Parents don’t need reminding of the importance of packing all but the kitchen sink when embarking on any trip. But there are handy secrets for airline packing. It’s a good idea, for example, to include a new toy, book or treat, which can be used to reward and surprise your child if they’re well-behaved. Variety is also crucial: don’t let your little one get bored, even in the event of unexpected delays.
4. Withstand the Pressure
Particularly at take-off and landing, increased air pressure can be unpleasant even for adult travellers. As we know, however, a sucking motion can work to reduce the pressure. So time your feeds to the beginning and end of the flight, if you can, and give older children suckable sweets.
When it comes to emotional pressure, just keep calm! Don’t worry about it too much – the cabin crew will be on your side and most passengers understand the difficulties of travelling with a child. If warranted, then apologise, but don’t pay heed to those who are unreasonably annoyed.
Take another stress off your mind by pre-booking an airport transfer when you arrive at your destination. Shuttle Direct provides a family-friendly transfer service, saving an enormous amount of time and hassle once you land. Booster seats can be arranged in advance, and your driver will be waiting to whizz you away to your holiday in peace, security and comfort.