Traveling with kids is difficult and stressful, is an understatement. It can either go really well or really bad, there is just no in between. I recently traveled with my two kids from Cape Town to Durban. A mere one hour and 45 minute flight. It. Was. Stressful! For one, I was anxious and trying to calm my anxious toddler and I was concerned about the other passengers. Inside the airplane is a confined space and many toddlers don’t take well to that, especially for long periods of time. In this article, you will find 10 tips for flying with children by Travelstart. It’s travel season again so it’s come at just the right time. But, before I tell you about my flying experience and share their tips, I just want to quickly share a great link for those of you that are planning a trip to Cape Town: Travelstart
My personal experience traveling with children
Liam is 8 and Cole is 1. I had our flights all planned out. Well, I thought I did! I had Cole in my baby carrier and Liam helped with our luggage. We were on our way to board our flight and the kids were happy and content. The weather was bad though. It was storming in Cape Town that evening, which mean’t our flight was delayed. This mean’t we had to spend more time on the plane than I anticipated. Cole cried and wanted to get out of the carrier. And because I didn’t want his soft cry to turn into a tantrum, I took him out thinking he would be happier.
I haven’t flown overseas or for longer than 2 hours with either of my kids yet. I honestly cannot imagine being in such a confined space for several hours with a toddler. Liam is perfectly fine during a flight. He either reads a magazine, watches a movie or plays a game on his tablet. Cole on the other hand, he just wouldn’t sit in his seat, and refused to stay in our section.
I didn’t have anything to keep him busy and entertained. All he wanted to do was run up and down the aisle and he made quite alot of noise. It’s almost as if he was on edge because nothing satisfied him. All I wanted to do was just sit back in my seat, enjoy the flight and dream about the getting into Durbans warm water beaches that I haven’t swam in for many years. But, I felt stressed, tensed, anxious, and to make matters worse, I had a migraine. I was exhausted and I felt like being anywhere but in that plane. The excitement of arriving in Durbs had left me. My entire evening was ruined.
After that flight, I felt like I didn’t even want to fly with my kids ever again. Our flight back home though was the total opposite. Cole slept throughout the entire flight. I was still quite anxious though. This was because of the stressful flight I had earlier, and also, it wasn’t the first time I had experienced this. I once flew with my eldest son Liam, when he was about a year old. He cried for two hours. I pretty much had a plane full of people staring at me the whole way!
10 Tips for flying with children by Travelstart
If you too have flown with children, you can most likely relate to my experience. Or perhaps you had a good experience, but there is no guarantee the next one will be the same. Below is an amazing info graphic specifically and thoughtfully put together for us parents, by Travelstart. Furthermore, they’ve put together a gem of an article on the Travelstart website about flying with children. It has everything you need to know. From what documents to take with, what medicines are allowed on board, what ages of kids pay, which kind of birth certificates are required etc. If you’re planning on flying with your children, I highly recommend you read the article.
In my personal experience, mentally preparing yourself before the trip, is key. Be ready for your flights, don’t rush, plan well, and forget about your surroundings in the plane. Make sure you’ve got everything you need at hand. I love Travelstarts tip on giving the children a few gifts. And not extravagant and expensive gifts. Because it’s not the gift that creates the joy, it’s the unwrapping process that gets them all excited and happy. So I’ll definitely be doing something like that on my next flight. What were your experiences like. Have you traveled overseas for long periods of time with children? How did it go? I would love to hear your stories (in the comments section below)
This post was done in collaboration with Travelstart, however the views expressed in this article are that of my own, unless otherwise specified.
PS, read more of my travel, shopping and lifestyle articles here.