Traveling via Airplane with a Toddler- 5 Tips to Make it an Easy Trip
|My son seeing an airplane for the first time.|
Davao International Airport
Photo by: The Tired Mama-ph
All in all, our trip went OK amidst the usual hassle and struggle my son gives me. It was just a pain to wait at the airport before boarding and keep my son occupied so he wouldn't get bored and stray away. I did research on our trip to figure out what to bring and what to expect because it was going to be his first trip on an airplane. Good thing, during that time my son was enamored with airplanes and finally he was going to see one up close. In my case, I was worried about his outbursts- my toddler can give everyone a headache. I needed to be prepared.
Here are 5 tips I can give parents to make your trip easy when traveling on a plane with a toddler in tow:
1. When booking for your flight, make sure you reserve seats so the whole family can sit together, opt for a time that coincides with napping or sleeping, and make sure what are the regulations flights give regarding items you may need to bring for your children. Also, if you are bringing a lot of luggage, pay for the extra baggage allowance when you purchase your tickets because it will be a hassle and more expensive if you purchase it at the airport. If you weren't able to reserve seats online, I suggest you head to the airport early so you can be the first to line up when check-in counters open for better seating accommodations. Also, wear something comfortable for your flight, with slip-on shoes, and no metal accessories. Hassle free when you go through the scanners so, your attention doesn't wander away from your child. Our flight to Manila via Air Asia wasn't full although it was peak season. We had a whole aisle to ourselves. This extra space was great when my son decided it was time to take a nap. He really wanted to play with the children who were running up and down the aisle, but I was able to get him to sit down when I showed him the tray table. Good thing there wasn't anyone seated in front of him.
If you are traveling with children with special needs or disabilities, alert the airline/s so they are aware of the needed preparations to make your trip with them as smooth as possible.
2. Make sure you bring his favorite toys and activities with him on the trip. Even his favorite pillow if you can-my brother when he was young never parted with his favorite pillow and my mom used to bring it wherever we went. Most parents bring new movies or cartoons even new toys. Word of the wise, let them bring a part of home with them and that means bringing items that are familiar- their favorite toys, programs on their tablet, and favorite activities they usually enjoy doing at home. I brought boxes of modeling clay (he was into forming the planets with clay), crayons and coloring books, his favorite toy cars, his plastic balls and his alphabet magnets. I wished I could've brought Lego with me, but I knew those things usually get lost so I decided against it. At least, he was good with the clay. He was so happy that he had globs and globs of that stuff with him.
3. Bring a change of clothing, not only for your children but, for you as well. Also, bring extra barf bags. I was surprised to read a post on a mommy blog that her daughter uses vomit as her main defense mechanism because I had a distinct impression that my son was the only kid that did that. It's nice to know that I'm not alone. He vomits when he's really mad- I guess it's his way to get back at the world, meaning me and his papa, his parents. Airplanes are equipped with barf bags for each passenger but, just to make sure, bring more. Also wet wipes, tissue, and small towels just in case you need to clean up. You never know when the little one is going to blow. Make sure you come prepared. Smelling like vomited milk the whole trip on the plane isn't pleasant - not only for you but for everyone else on the plane. That smell cannot be covered up with perfume, I tell you.
4. Bring as many snacks as possible, and make sure you follow regulations regarding formula and any needed medication. According to flight regulations, we are allowed to bring at least 3 baby bottles with 100 mL of distilled water each. Just purchase extra water on the flight or if you are allowed, before boarding. I brought my son's antihistamine medication just in case he broke into hives. I was happy to be able to purchase my son's favorite chocolate milk drink and mango juice on the flight because I wasn't able to find it at the airport before boarding our flight to Manila. For Manila to Davao, the airport was like a mall so, it wasn't a problem. Never forget to bring your children's favorite snacks. Food always helps a child to calm down.
5. In the event of an outburst because kids are built like that, don't mind the other people. I don't understand why adults don't want to understand- they were children once upon a time. As adults, we have the capacity and knowledge to understand that these things happen. Other adults argue that they paid for a quiet and hassle-free flight... Mind you, we parents paid for our children's flights as well. Again, whatever courtesy airlines bestow adults should be every courtesy they bestow little children (should be even more). Don't give parents those dirty looks when their child throws a fit- he/she needs something and crying is the only way he/she can release his frustration. Don't worry, they'll calm down when they feel comfortable. It happened when we were headed home. Didn't last long because as the plane took off, he fell asleep. I guess he was just hot and tired. Our flight was at night and it was raining. I'm happy that we arrived home safe. Tired but, safe.
When I wasn't a parent yet, traveling by plane was an easy task and it was a time when I could sip coffee at an airport cafe, read the paper or just people watch. With a kid, it's a whole new ball game because most of the time I'm fidgeting to make my child as comfortable as I can or I'm running all over the place trying to chase after him. But, overall it was an experience... which I'll do again when he's a bit older. ☺️
(Originally published 12/13/17)
(Originally published 12/13/17)
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