Do you find flying with children a hassle? It doesn’t have to be, especially if you prepare well. The following tips may help.
1. Do you travel alone with your child?
And do you have no parental authority or joint parental authority? Then always make sure you have permission from the other parent. Here you can download the form that must be signed by the other parent. Do you have single parental authority or is the other parent deceased? Then make sure you carry additional documents. In this way, you avoid delays at the security check.
2. Take your time
Children generally don’t like to rush. Moreover, something unexpected could always happen when travelling with children, which could lead to delays. For this reason, plan well. And take your time, also when boarding and exiting the aircraft. You don’t have to be the first to leave the plane.
3. Snacks and drinks
Sometimes waiting can be long. You wait for boarding, for your suitcases or for transportation to your hotel. This is especially true for children. And delays simply happen. Be prepared and make sure you have something to eat or drink for your little one. Often the availability of snacks and drinks at the baggage belt in the arrivals hall, for example, is limited.
4. Nname and Phone number
Do you worry about losing your child in the crowd? Then give your child a bracelet with your name and phone number. Should you unexpectedly lose sight of each other, this is the quickest way to be reunited.
5. Hand luggage
Try to think beforehand what you will need on the plane and pack wisely. Also take unforeseen situations into account, such as delays or small mishaps. Don’t forget to bring an extra set of clothes, enough baby wipes and extra food. Bring an empty bottle with you as well. You can always fill it with drinking water at one of the toilet facilities. Also bring something for children to suck on. Sucking can help reduce earache. Babies are often given a bottle to be able to swallow.
6. Baby food
At many airports, you are allowed to bring baby milk and baby food in containers of more than 100 ml through security. Security staff will open these containers to check the contents, but this usually does not take long. Make sure you check how your airport handles this.
7. Pram or buggy
You are often allowed to bring a pram or buggy for free during a flight. This item is placed in the hold of the aircraft with other luggage. You can usually take the buggy up to the plane and you will get it back as soon as you exit. Please check this with your airline and the airports you use.
It may seem obvious, but allow your child to pack its own bag with toys for the journey. Distraction is still the best answer to long waiting times. And if your child has fun, you do as well.
9. Night-time or daytime travel
If you can choose when to travel, choose with care. Some children prefer to travel in the evening so they can sleep for a lot of the time. Others prefer to travel during the day, because they cannot easily sleep while travelling. You know your child best.
10. Reduce waiting times
Is it possible for you to check in online? When travelling with children this is a good idea. In this way, you can avoid queueing up with your child for check-in.
11. Own chair or on your lap?
In general, you can take children up to 2 years of age on your lap. If you do so, there is a special seatbelt you must use. The cabin crew will provide you with this seatbelt. They will also explain how to use it.
12. Watch the safety instructions
Although you have probably watched the safety instructions many times, different procedures apply when travelling with children. Watch the instructions carefully. Should you find yourself in an emergency situation, you will know what to do.
13. Extra drink
The air on the plane is dry. This means that children, especially babies, need more liquid than usual. If you breastfeed, it is also a good idea to have an extra drink yourself during the flight.
14. Prepare your child
Explain to your child beforehand what you expect your trip to be like. Online you can find various videos that can help you do so. Your child will recognise this during the trip, and together you can compare your trip with the video.
15. Stay calm
Does something unexpected happen? Or does your child not react as you had hoped? Stay calm. No matter how well you prepare your child, it is still exciting for him or her. So just stay calm and try to provide your child with a feeling of safety. If necessary, ask for help or information.