Travelling with young children can be daunting, but travelling by plane with a toddler can be an absolute nightmare, as we can all imagine.
Children can get bored easily, and you can’t ask them to sit still for hours to avoid disturbing the other passengers.
And when trapped in a plane with a screaming child, there are the sympathising and understanding looks from others, but we also know the other types of looks!
But not to worry! We have some great tips for you on how to survive the trip and keep your child entertained.
1. Bag of tricks:
As we suggested for a restaurant visit, prepare a little bag with items such as small toys, little puzzles, memory card games, etc., which he/she enjoys playing with.
2. Little presents:
Small toys, like little dolls or cars can keep them busy for longer periods.
3. Arts and Crafts:
Bring crayons, papers and a colouring book with you or print out drawings of some favourite character from the web. All children love to colour, and mostly they enjoy colouring with Mam or Dad.
This is one of my secret weapons. My daughter enjoys stickers, so before trips I buy her sticker books with tons of stickers.
5. Finger puppets:
You can make a show with your little one. In particular, 2-4 year old children love it.
It doesn’t sound like the most entertaining thing, but getting a book about an airplane, airport or the destination city you are going to, can be big fun for the children.
7. Get a ride-on suitcase for your child
It is not the cheapest thing, but if you travel a lot by plan it is worth buying one. Brands like Trunki, Molto and others make them.
Your child can also sit on it while waiting in long queues. And with the strap you can pull your child if there is a long way to go to the departure gate.
8. Bubble wrap
Sounds silly but who doesn’t like it? So if there is a little peace of bubble wrap, it can keep your little one busy for a while…J
9. Emergency tantrum kit:
This is the last reserve solution, if the situation turns very bad. Pack your child’s favourite sweets or treats, lollipops, chocolates or whatever helps to keep them busy and avoid a full tantrum. Of course, the goal is to keep this bag untouched.
I wouldn’t suggest rewarding bad behaviour and I don’t like giving sweets to children, but the desire to avoid possible public humiliation can be stronger in certain situations.
And here are some extra tips and pieces of advice:
Beside the comfortable cloth and the extra spare clothes, grab some extra pacifier and favourite blankets, just in case one gets dirty or lost.
– Take a pillow:
Small children can sit on it, so they can see out of the window better, and sleeping is more comfortable with a pillow.
– Sugary treats are the enemy
This statement contradicts the ‘Emergency tantrum kit’ tip. But that tip is only recommended in case of emergency, and emergency only. Normally try to avoid giving sugary snacks to your little one to avoid a sugar-rush, as this produces a more energetic child.
So, try to pack fruit, crackers or other things that don’t contain sugar.
– Drink helps ears during take off and landing:
Taking off and landing can be hard on adults too, as our ears can pop and hurt too, but it is even harder for children. To avoid such an inconvenience, give them something to drink or eat during take off and landing. The sucking motion stops their ears from popping and they will feel much better soon.
– Bring a big amount of hand sanitiser:
You will feel better for having it with you, if nothing else. But you will probably end up using it too.
So if you use some of the tips above, we are sure your child will enjoy the flight much better, and you will feel much better too.
But don’t be too relaxed until your child turns 6-8 years; you still don’t need to buy any magazines yet J.