Flying with Children: 10 Secrets for Stress-free Travel Guest Post ft. Olivia W Jones

Travelling with kids (infants, toddlers, or teens, it doesn’t matter) can be a stressful adventure filled with uncertainty, fear, and a whole lot of noise. On the other hand, if you prep all your essentials well in advance and stick to a solid battle plan once you’re on board the giant flying tin can, you just might avoid ending up in someone’s disgruntled Instagram story during the flight. Here’s your quick-and-easy guide to stress-free flying with kids.

Bring plenty of silent entertainment

Oh, how quickly they grow restless and antsy when confined to such close quarters. And then you tell them to keep quiet and calm – the torture! If you don’t pack all of their favourite toys and entertainment doohickeys into your on board carry-on, then you won’t stand a chance of ensuring a peaceful flight. Remember, everything they ask for, you bring aboard.

A picture of a child playing on an airplane tray table

Make flying seem exciting

Oftentimes, children will try to express a deeper, underlying problem by acting out and simply being completely unable to calm down. In reality, and especially when flying, this can often be the result of their fear of planes. This is why it’s imperative that you discover these fears well in advance of the travel date so that you can have enough time to communicate with your child and relax them. Sometimes, professional assistance will be required, and that’s perfectly fine.

A picture of a young girl under chairs in an airport lounge

The sooner you start, the better

Much like anything in life, we learn to not fear flying through trial and error. Sure, some people simply don’t experience that petrifying feeling taking over as soon as they strap in, but children often have a difficult time coping with this type of stress. A powerful tactic is to simply start flying with your child early on – remember, practice makes perfect.

Talk to your children throughout

Cognitive stimulation, interaction, deflection. These should be the keywords guiding your actions when you’re trying to help our child regain their sense of calm. Children thrive on mental stimulation in every aspect of life, and when faced with the stress and boredom of long flights, your best bet will be to talk to them, and deflect the negative feelings as they occur.

A picture of a dad and child looking out an airplane window

Make it as comfy as possible

One of the most important elements of a peaceful, enjoyable flight is making sure your child is comfortable and snug as a bug in their seat. So make sure you bring a comfy kids’ pillow such as Go Travel with you along with their favorite blanket. The soothing, familiar aromas and soft bodies of the pillow and the blanket will make sure your munchkin spends most of the time napping quietly.

Get organized as soon as you board

As soon as you board the plane, you want to get organized and establish a command centre around your seat. This means having all of the travel essentials close at hand, making sure you fill out the spaces underneath the chairs, that you fill out your side pockets, and that the kids are strapped in their seats. This is the moment you want to be a bit more authoritative to allow them to fully understand that this is the time to be calm and quiet.

A picture of a mum with a toddler on her lap on an airplane

Bring a bag of goodies as a reward

Naturally, you can’t go all drill sergeant on their adorable behinds without giving something in return. And a bag of their favourite goodies as a reward for good behaviour always does the trick. Don’t give in too fast though, but rather wait until they fully deserve their treat.

A picture of a boy having some snacks on an airplane

Take a walk through the plane

A great way to keep your toddler entertained is to take a walk once in a while, letting them communicate with strangers who are willing share a friendly “hello” in their own way. This will further calm them down and help put a smile on their face.

Keep them occupied with movies

In the modern world, parents have it way easier. Not to say that parenthood is easy in any way, but the simple fact that you can always distract your kid with a shiny computer screen playing their favourite cartoons or movies surely takes a bit of pressure off the entire endeavour. So make sure a movie or two makes it into your battle plan.

Don’t forget your hygiene essentials

When you’re travelling with kids, suddenly your carry-on is no longer big enough. Suddenly, it feels like you’re packing up the entire house. Alas, such is the life of a freshly baked parent, and if you want to keep your kid happy and satisfied for the duration of the flight, you need to have all of your hygiene essentials with you as well. God forbid your munchkin has an “accident” mid-flight and you find yourself out of fresh underwear, diapers, or wet wipes.

A picture of a girl on a Jet Kids bedbox in an airport departure lounge

Travelling with your kids is no walk in the park (even that can be an arduous task sometimes) by any stretch of the imagination, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make your flight as enjoyable as possible with a bit of meticulous planning and preparation. In fact, combining preparation with a strict in-flight routine will ensure you have a great time traversing the skies.

A picture of two kids pulling their hand luggage cases behind them in an airport

Olivia is psychologist, traveller and entrepreneur from Brisbane. Mother of two beautiful children and proud owner of two silly boxer dogs, Teo and Mia. She is passionate about writing and always inspiring her readers to be clever in their lives. Her motto is “Be the change you want to see in the world”. Olivia is a regular contributor to High Style Life. You can also follow on both Twitter and Facebook.

And if you are looking for some additional tips for making travelling with kids as stress-free as possible, why not check out this great article from Kristie at Mamma Prada.

* unless stated, the pictures have been provided by the writer for use in this post.

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11 thoughts on “Flying with Children: 10 Secrets for Stress-free Travel Guest Post ft. Olivia W Jones”

  1. We’ve found the boys have become better at flying the more we travel. We always buy a little toy or new book in the airport and that really helps to keep them occupied during the flight.

  2. Great tips here, I remember forgetting to nappies in my travel bag and someone had a poo mid flight……I have never made that mistake again

  3. Such a great post – I think sometimes we can expect kids to behave perfectly without explaining stuff very well! I love how all the different aspects of travel are talked about, even that they might be scared.

  4. Great tips here, we travelled for the first time with ours last August but we only did a short flight first time, they were really good but I learnt lots from it for next time! I will use some of these tips next time


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