Air travel with kids doesn't have to be a dreaded part of your family vacation.
With some advance preparation and the flexibility of an “anything goes” approach, both you and your kids can look forward to less stressful, more enjoyable flights.
Hack boring airplanes and terminals
Though I'm normally not an roaring advocate of TV for kids, airplanes are certainly an exception – don't forget the headphones.
Card games, activity books and even mini-versions of board games can keep kids entertained during flights. Try wrapping small, age-appropriate entertaining gifts like new crayons, puzzles, and other non-noisy toys to create some magic around flying and possibly keep kids entertained a bit longer.
Prepare your child for flying by telling her what to expect up to a week before hand. For older kids, a special trip to the bookstore or library to choose new books for the journey is a great way to prepare to enjoy a flight.
Prevent ouchy ears
Help your child manage air pressure changes during take-offs and landings. Breast or bottle-feeding will help infants and young children. Providing older children with gum, a small sweet they can suck on, or a drink from a straw or spout can help with pressure changes.
If your child has an ear infection, consider delaying your travel plans as air pressure changes can make the pain severe.
Encourage your child to drink plenty of water during the flight to prevent dehydration and keep them from feeling discomfort due to extra thirst.
Also, airplane food lacks in frequency, nutrition, and flavor. Make time to pack some healthy treats like sliced fruit and veggies with hummus which will keep tummies happy while fending off dehydration.
Fight jet lag blues
Homeopathic remedies are available to help both kids and parents adjust to time change. No-Jet-Lag is a homeopathic remedy that's safe for children of all ages, and Calm Forte by Hyland's can help soothe the nervous system and gently promote sleep.
Kids may have trouble adjusting to a new sleep schedule during travel, so go with the flow when it comes to children unusual bed times and schedules. Melatonin can be used short-term for kids and adults to re-calibrate to the new flow of day and night. Try adding some lavender or chamomile essential oils at bath time to promote calming.
Battle flying germs
It's impossible to avoid being exposed to germs when on board an airplane, but you can take steps to boost your own and your child's immune system.
To boost your child's immunity prior to and during travel, read this post.
Keep cool with impatient passengers
When your child is throwing a temper tantrum on a plane, your main concern should be your child – not the other passengers. Unfortunately, it's not always easy to avoid having to deal with impatient travelers.
Bach Kids Rescue® Remedy is a safe, alcohol-free formula that can be used to help calm children under stress. Rescue Remedy is not only great for kids, but it can also help parents to soothe the panic of traveling with youngsters.
The best approach is to focus on your child first and let the flight attendants deal with the other passengers since they're trained and paid to do so. If you've tried it all and your child is still the one screaming, take a deep breath and surrender! Remind yourself that the plane will land, and you will probably never see your fellow passengers again.
What are your top tips for traveling with youngsters?