12 travel hacks to make flying with your family an enjoyable experience

If you’ve ever flown near a baby or small child, you’ll know why this is considered to be one of the worst flight experiences for many passengers. Few people are excited to find that they’ll be seated next to a toddler or baby, and this can cause anxiety in a lot of parents when they need to travel with their family.

Luckily, Schofields have put together a list of excellent tips to make flying with kids a positive experience for all involved.

Get your seats sorted

Ideally, it makes sense to fly with an airline that will allow you to pre-book your seats. There are a number of websites that will give you the low down about the best seats on the plane for your situation- whether you need extra legroom, want to be seated near the bathrooms, or plan to be first off as soon as the plane lands.

While kids under 2 can sit on your lap, this will soon get old if you’re on a long-haul flight. If you have the budget, purchase a seat for them to give everyone a little more space.

Pack well

Smart parents will be planning ahead for food spills, sickness, and accidents on the flight. That means extra clothes, medication, plastic bags, and baby wipes are key. You’ll also want to take their favourite toys or blankets, and a small travel pillow can allow them to get some rest during the flight.

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Fast track security

If you want to avoid yet another long queue while flying, pre-book the security fast track. This will allow you to avoid the long queues and get straight through to the other side where you can grab snacks, go to the bathroom, and let the kids stretch their legs before the flight. If you don’t want to pay for the fast track, head for the left lane since most right-handed travellers naturally choose the right lane.

Check your luggage

Don’t put your name and address on your luggage tag. Instead, use a luggage tracker so you’ll always know where it is.

Choose the right line

When you’re checking in, head for the line next to the business class desk as they’ll often take other passengers when they’re not busy.

Download the app

Most airlines will have an app so you can keep up to date on your flight and store your boarding pass.

Remember your park

If you’re leaving your car at the airport, take a photo so you can quickly find it when you get back.

Priority boarding

One of the biggest issues with flying is how may people pack extra and put their jackets, handbags, and other things in the overhead compartments. That can mean that there is sometimes not enough space for your bag, and you may be asked to check it. That would mean that you wouldn’t have access to all of the essentials you’ve packed and may not have a great flight.

Some airlines will ask families to board early, so if this is the case be sure to take advantage of it. Otherwise, pay for priority boarding and have one partner store the bags while you let the kids run around before boarding.

Time Feedings

One of the reasons babies and small children cry on planes is the change in air pressure which can hurt their ears. Feed your baby during take off and landing as the sucking and swallowing helps relieve the pressure. Older kids can be given a lollypop and encouraged to suck on it while the plane is taking off.

Stay entertained

Sure, you may be screen-free parents most of the time, but flights are the ultimate exception. There are plenty of educational shows and apps for the kids, and your fellow passengers will thank you.

Remember the passengers

Most passengers won’t be truly upset if they can see you’re doing everything you can to keep your little one quiet. It’s when it looks like you’re not trying to contain the situation that people get upset.

Relax

When you’re stressed, it’s likely that your child will get stressed as well. Try to relax and the whole situation will be better for everyone.

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