I was extremely nervous.
Was my child going to be the one that chucks a tantrum? Was he going to be the child that annoys the person in front of him? Or would he be the child that does not want to sit in his seat and explore?
I had mixed emotions and preconceived ideas taking a two and a half year old on an aeroplane. I spoke to many mums about my concerns. Speaking to other mums was the best thing I had done as I got some great advice that made the plane ride a dream. There is nothing more important than sharing advice, so below I have put together my little survival guide that helped my journey be a stress free one!
Colouring in, stickers, cross words and other puzzles. There will definitely be an activity that your child likes to do. Little activity packs can be purchased from many retailers including Target, Kmart and your local news agency or post office.
iPad filled with movies and games
Although there is on flight movie entertainment with many children movies, I decided to bring Isaac’s iPad. There is nothing more important than your child feeling comfortable and familiar with a product. I felt the iPad was easier for him to use than the remote control and it also guaranteed he would be able to watch movies and play games he enjoyed.
There is no denying many children love sweets. Having a pack or two when your child is getting a little restless will help you have a little relief. I packed a heap of Kinder Surprise chocolates as it was not only a treat but also had a little toy that kept him occupied.
Try to travel at night
On the way to our destination we had a night flight. We had dinner on the plane and then it was time to sleep. This allowed Isaac to rest on the plane, allowing me to also feel less stressed. On the way back from our holiday, we had a morning flight. Isaac was more alert and had more energy. The activities and treats I packed helped but he still wanted to move around and leave his seat. they were two different experiences and I can personally say that the evening flight was a better option. If you have a choice, keep this in mind.
The key to surviving a flight with a child is keeping them occupied. Being prepared with some of their favourites will make the flight more enjoyable. However, you must always remember, kids will be kids and you cannot expect them to be on their best behaviour 100% of the time. There may be times that they feel anxious or uncomfortable (just like adults on a flight) so ensure that you do not panic under pressure. All you can do is do your best and prepare as well as you can.
I hope one or more of these ideas help you have the confidence to travel with your child!