Five ways to make travel with kids easy

Flying with kids can test the patience of even the calmest parent. With strict flight times, limited resources and lots of time spent hanging around, it’s hard to keep the family happy. So here are five ways to make travel with kids easy…

Any parent knows that flying with kids can be tricky, challenging and fun all at the same time. But like in almost every aspect of life, with tons of preparation and plenty of patience anyone, including you, can make a family trip – long haul or otherwise – trouble-free. Here are five ways to make travel with kids easy…

Take note of flight details
It can be quite stressful, in fact – borderline impossible to schedule your kids’ naps and bedtime during long trips. Say you’re travelling across the globe, from the United Kingdom to somewhere in Asia, one way to get around this, according Meraki Lane, is to book your flight for first thing in the morning. That way, you can just put your kids to bed a little earlier than usual the night before, ensuring they’ll be well rested for the long haul travel.

Consider an airport hotel
Another option – especially if you’ve booked an early morning or late night flight – would be to stay at an airport hotel. Let’s take the above example, once again. If you’re flying from a major London airport such as Gatwick, know that – aside from the road and car parking congestion – there are a handful of accommodation options nearby. Parking4Less, a website that operates out of the Crawley, West Sussex aviation hub, lists some great choices on its Gatwick Airport Hotels page. You’ll be killing two birds with one stone, as these hotels also offer suitable parking spaces, saving you all the trouble of finding one at the airport.

Travel with the right type of luggage 
Families who travel a lot usually place a significant importance on the type of luggage they have. One key takeaway from this is to get a hard cased travel bag that can double as a ride-on toy. Your kid or kids can simply hop on the luggage, as you weave your way around the airport. Just make sure the bag is sturdy. Usually, these kinds of luggage can work with children aged three to six, however for kids below that age, you might want to invest in a car seat and stroller combination.

Role play inside the airport
We all know how airport security measures and queues are taken extra seriously. It can be quite scary for some kids to go through all the personnel, inspections and lines. As a solution, inform and educate them in advance on what is expected of them at the airport. You can even practice by role-playing beforehand so they won’t get overwhelmed with all the pre-boarding requirements. Organise their personal belongings, making sure they’re not wearing any belts and don’t have other metal objects with them. If you need more information about airport security process, its guidelines and requirements, Jeff Tyson and Ed Grabianowski wrote a detailed article on How Stuff Works.

Pack snacks and gadgets
Before leaving your home, make sure to bring ample snacks for the whole family. Pack food items such as cookies and crackers, as well as a couple of granola bars and sweets. Also bring an empty water bottle or sippy cup so that after you board the plane, you can just ask the flight attendant for a refill. Lastly, aside from including your kids’ favourite handheld gadgets inside your carry-ons, you might want to throw in toddler-sized earphones or headphones. It’ll be helpful if they want to enjoy the in-flight movies and/or television shows, as airline headsets typically aren’t form fitting and can easily slip off.

This content was contributed by Leslie Nixon