Holidays bring some of the most memorable experiences you’ll ever have. Planning and organising your family’s travel can make the difference between having a trying, tiring flight or a calm, restful one. I certainly know which one I would prefer with my family.
With a little forward planning, it is possible to have strategies in place to help your family to make the most of the travelling part of the holiday and hopefully they’ll even enjoy themselves at the same time.
Try our 7 suggestions for a peaceful and enjoyable flight:
1. Get your kids interested and excited about the trip
Obtain information in advance about your travel destination and share this information and any travel guides with your children to prepare them for the trip.
Plan an activity each day that the children will like. Discuss these activities with your children in advance so they’ll have something to look forward to.
2. Read and talk about flying
If your children are seven years old or younger, look for books about flying that are written for their age range. Preparing children through stories and pictures can go a long way in quelling any fears they might have about riding an airplane.
Make the story time fun and add in some of your own flying experiences for discussions with your little ones. For children who’ve flown before, talk about the prior trip to help refresh their memories.
For toddlers and babies, preparation is key to help you have a successful flight. Have a look at the toddler travelling tips suggested by What to Expect for more ideas.
3. Take a favourite object or comforter
Take a familiar item along for the ride to serve as a calming object for your child.
Help your kids select a favorite small toy or belonging to provide a sense of security during the flight. Instead of a new toy, choose a well-loved item. This might be a stuffed animal or blanket that your child sleeps with or carries with him throughout the day.
4. Include simple, inexpensive toys and games your children enjoy
Purchase some of these items to pack in your carry-on bag. Then, pull out surprises every hour or so during the plane ride.
Plan to have enough surprise items for the trip home as well. For example, if your son enjoys crossword puzzles, buy a new crossword puzzle magazine and pack it with a pencil.
Maybe your daughter enjoys reading and has a favourite author. You might surprise her with a new book to read on the plane.
5. Remember to pack their gadgets
Let’s not forget the incredible benefit of technological gadgets to keep the kids occupied during the flight. If your kids are old enough to have their own gadgets, whether to play games, listen to music or watch movies, ensure they’re packed in the carry-on.
If it’s possible, give your kids a new game or new music for the trip. This could keep them quiet, calm and occupied for the duration of the plane ride.
6. Think of the flight as quality time
Engage the kids in discussions of subjects you want to talk about with them. Listen to each of your kids talk about school, their favorite subjects, and their current interests.
When the kids wind down from this discussion, shift gears and bring out some of those little surprises mentioned earlier.
7. Plan the seating arrangement carefully
If your two children bicker frequently, it may be wise to have them sit on either side of you to keep a little distance between them during the flight.
Another option is to seat the children side by side to see if being together helps keep them occupied with positive interactions. If need be, you can switch the children’s seats later to separate them.
Planning ahead for your family’s flight increases your chances of having a peaceful travel experience. Follow the above suggestions to help ensure that your family will arrive at your holiday destination relaxed, calm and ready to enjoy a memorable family holiday.