It's not easy to travel on a plane especially when you have a toddler with you on a long flight. Usually, toddlers can't sit still for more than ten hours and they easily become so impatient at this stage of their life.
If they get tired and bored on a plane, they can give you temper tantrums. Most international flights can last longer, for example, from 22-30 hours of flight time especially if you include the layovers. As a parent or guardian, it's important that in planning for the flight, young children are also included in the series of actions so that you'll achieve positive results.
- Moderately Challenging
Choose an airline that is kid friendly and offers good services especially for young passengers. One example is AirFrance since their crew are ever-ready to provide you assistance by giving you any stuff like a booster seat, kid's meal, toys, coloring books and among other things that can make you relax as a parent.
There are many airline services out there that can also offer good services and all you need to do is research and read up-to-date reviews from passengers who were able to travel successfully with their tantrum-prone toddlers.
Buy or just bring your toddler a comfortable and FAA-approved car seat. If it's new, you need to use it for awhile where you can see him or her always sleep well on it inside the car. International flights could take more than 10 hours straight and it's important that your toddler is really comfortable on his or her car seat. Most car seats are compatible with airplane seats.
If you're planning to buy a new car seat for your upcoming trip, look for one that could turn into a stroller or can easily be attached to a rolling luggage or suitcase. The added height of your toddler's car seat will also make him or her easily glance the wonderful view of the window. Even if your toddler is seated near the aisle, he or she can still enjoy the scenery.
Avoid seats fronting the plane because it may be less convenient with toddlers due to the absence of under-seat space and side pockets. Take note that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recommends a child well-buckled to a car seat during an air flight.
Fly with your toddler during off-peak times. In this way, you'll be able to avoid busy Monday mornings and Friday afternoons, when business people and students do most of their flying. Many parents like to book red-eye flights so that their young children will be able to sleep almost all through the flight peacefully.
You also need to sleep by the time that they are asleep so that you'll also be well-rested and vigorous just like your young kids. They will be happy to see you energetic as well and ready to answer any of their questions. It's also important that you'll sleep when they do. Night or nap time for long flights may be the best option for your young children to travel.
Request for an aisle seat so that your young child can get up several times during the flight without disturbing fellow travelers seated close to him or her. Even if airlines will allow a toddler up to two years old to sit on a parent's lap, both of you will be truly comfortable if you have separate seats.
If you still want to decide to only sit him or her on your lap then don't forget to bring a document as a proof of his or her age. Take note that your little one will be a lot safer and comfortable when he or she is sitting on a car seat. A small child can easily get injured in case if there is turbulence during the flight.
Make your toddler familiarize with the airport and airplane setting. If you can't take your child to the airport on a day prior to your flight then you can just show some airline websites and tell him or her about it. Inform your little one of the things that he or she needs to know during the day that you'll travel with him or her on a plane.
By the time you'll fly with your toddler then he or she will already know what to expect such as the passengers shall stand in lines then go through that loud, noisy and beeping metal doorway security. Sometimes young kids have temper tantrums on planes when they're confused, astonished and scared as a result of being unfamiliar with the big airport including the airplane setting.
Let your little one help pack. If you're headed to a country that has a humid kind of weather then try to ask your toddler what he or she might want to wear. Your young child may say shorts, shirts or thin type of clothing and he or she may even place them inside the luggage.
Allow your young child to pull his or her own carry-on bag. This can provide you a additional space to pack your child's extra training pants or pull-ups, change of clothes, and other things that doesn't need an extra bag since your little one has his or her own seat. It will also give your toddler responsibility during the pre-flight process. Don't forget to appreciate your little one's efforts in doing his or her part.
For most young kids, doing something what their parents love could make them happy too. A young child who knows how to get his or her own carry-on bag to the airplane will be more excited and focused during the entire trip.
Pack little backpacks inside your carry-on bag filled with toys like his or her favorite doodle, color wonder markers, magnetic puzzles, sticker books, coloring book, new surprise toys or old favorites including reading books. If you'll bring toys for travel distractions, only take items that have few or no extra pieces that are not securely attached to the game. You don't want to spend a lot of time picking all those things off the airplane floor.
New toys are not familiar to your young children so it may take more time for them to learn and explore these things for the first time on the flight. You may also take away some of their used toys at home for a certain period of time and have them reappear during the plane flight.
Play dough may not be allowed on airplanes so avoid taking one even if your toddler loves to play with it. Never forget to bring your toddler's favorite comfort object like a teddy bear or blanket. Pack lightly and only bring the things that are reusable for the return flight that will hold attention to your toddler. Take note that traveling with toddlers can be very enjoyable if you know how to handle them well.
Tips & Warnings:
Allow young children to move around while waiting inside the terminal especially if you'll experience long lines at the check-in security. Take a walk and check out the terminal displays and let him or her look out through those large windows to view some airplanes.
If your toddler is socially active and is used to sitting in a car at lengthy hours during long trips without complaint, then he or she will likely do just fine on the plane.
Bring an antibacterial gel since it's handy for cleaning purposes. Take extra wipes including some zip-top plastic bags for collecting the used wipes and other small things that you need to keep during the trip.