The big departure is approaching, you will soon be flying with your children, perhaps for the first time. They are very excited, you a little less, because you are apprehensive about this trip… Managing a plane trip with young children can be scary, and that’s normal. How to occupy them during the flight? What to pack in your cabin baggage? At thetravelbabies, we love travelling families! Discovering new regions of the USA or new countries is very enriching for a child. The journeys should not be an obstacle to your exploration. We are going to show you in this article that with a minimum of organization, it is quite possible to travel with children by plane and with complete peace of mind!
Properly pack hand luggage when travelling with children by plane
Before departure, make sure that all identity cards (for the European Union) or passports (for destinations more distant) of the whole family are still valid and in your possession.
As soon as your family trip is booked, find out about travel arrangements with children from the airline. For example, if your flight includes one or more meals, remember to book your children’s menus with the company.
Also, check if the company allows your children to have hand luggage with them, it is often the case! If the child is entitled to his carry-on baggage, entrust him with a small suitcase or a wheeled bag that will make him happy. He can store his cuddly toy and toys intended for the flight. Don’t forget to keep a small space in your checked baggage so that you can put your child’s bag in there on arrival.
Finally, check the maximum dimensions authorized by the carrier for your cabin baggage to avoid unpleasant surprises at the airport.
Compose the ideal hand luggage for flying with a child
You must now fill the small luggage that you will take with you to the cabin. Provide yourself and your children with comfortable clothing for the flight, which is not too tight, but also a change of clothes. A small accident (vomit, spilt glass, etc.) can happen quickly, and you won’t regret having taken other clothes with you! If possible, i.e. space in your bags, also take a change of clothes for you, the parents. Indeed, you are not immune to a small accident landing on you… And you will be very happy to be able to change your t-shirt if that happens.
Then, put together a small health and hygiene kit with wipes, basic medications such as painkillers, your usual treatments or those of your children, and a small moisturizer.
It is often cold on planes because of the air conditioning, which can be uncomfortable, especially for young children. Plan what to cover yourself. You can take with you one or more small sleeping pillows, eye masks, blankets and hats. To rest, the comforter or favourite soft toy will be a great help, don’t forget it. Imagine the drama if it got stuck in the hold… No need to add stress to this trip!
In your cabin baggage, slip earphones or helmets suitable for children, especially for a long-haul flight. They will be very useful for watching films and cartoons on the company’s screens or for listening to music. Don’t forget to take something to charge your devices.
Finally, try to anticipate the earache that occurs when the plane takes off. Warn your child of the sensations he is going to feel, play yawning games and fill your bag with snacks or chewing gum. Indeed, chewing allows the unpleasant sensation to pass quickly. Also, take enough snacks to cope with any cravings, especially if the flight is very long.
Vary the activities to occupy a child during the flight
We hope at The Travel Babies that your luggage is not full because we are now going to give you ideas of activities and games to take away to occupy your children! Travelling by plane with your offspring should not scare you. If you have anticipated, the flight will only be a formality.
Manual activities on the plane
You can organize manual activities for your children on the plane. This can be modelling clay, scoubidous, origami to make, stickers to stick on a notebook, etc. They occupy your children for long periods, and being concentrated will soothe them, ideal for the plane!
It is also possible to bring something to draw and colour, provided that you prefer coloured pencils to markers, which can stain. There are small colouring boxes, in travel size, very practical to carry.
If you are short of ideas, The Travel Babies offers you activity kits ready
In addition, some companies offer travel gifts to children. Air the USA, on long-haul flights, distributes game kits to each child between 3 and 8 years old (colouring book, pencils, anti-stress ball, small figurines, etc.) and offers activities suitable for young audiences throughout the flight.
In-flight relaxation activities: reading and movies
Take books and magazines with you, they can keep your children busy for hours. Try to choose some that talk about the destination you are going to reach. For example, The Travel Babies magazine, in each issue, introduces your child to a destination in the USA and a destination abroad. Your children will appreciate knowing more about their vacation spot and will be able to initiate on-site activities (place to visit, etc.), which they will have discovered in their reading.
If your flight is long and the plane has screens, you can also let them watch a children’s movie or a cartoon. Do not hesitate to vary the activities, the time will pass more quickly.
Finally, let your child choose what they want to take on the plane, but save room for surprises, which you will distribute throughout the flight: new books, toys, etc. And stay calm, traveling with young children requires a lot of patience!
Flying as a family: playing together to pass the time
Sitting for long hours on your seat without moving is particularly difficult for a young child. To pass the time, nothing better than a good family game, with parents or brothers and sisters. There are now a large number of games in travel size, which are light and easily slip into a small bag. Card games such as UNO or 7 Families are also very suitable for air travel. You can also take along some of their toys, like dolls, toy cars, action figures, etc. Make sure, however, to take light and quiet toys for the comfort of other travellers.
Use your imagination! To play with your child, use your environment. Organize a guessing game with the clouds cradling the device, try to distinguish animal shapes, and faces, and be creative! Your kids will love it. Otherwise, the great classics like neither yes nor no will also have little effect. Finally, stretch your legs regularly, especially on a flight of several hours. Your child will be happy to leave their seat, even for a few minutes. Take the opportunity to play “tell me 3 things…” that they will have seen during their getaway.
If your flight involves long layovers, organize a small gym and stretching session in the airport, as well as a story-reading session. Are you tired too? Let The Travel Babies podcast take over, we have wonderful stories to tell you, connect quickly to the airport wifi.
You now have all the information and tips for travelling with children by plane, in a peaceful and relaxed way. Anticipation is the key, prepare your luggage, your activities and your little surprises a little in advance, this will avoid any stress. All you have to do is enjoy your destination and your family vacation. With The Travel Babies Magazine, travelling, and discovering the world and nature is child’s play. so you don’t miss a thing subscribe!