There are many tips that may prove helpful for parents who are planning to fly with children. Among the best tips for flying with children are those that involve ensuring that each traveler is well rested and parents are well prepared with games and activities to stave off boredom during the trip. A parent may also do well to provide the child with plenty of details about what he should expect on the trip. Additionally, booking air travel for times when airports and planes are likely to be less crowded and avoiding trips that involve changing planes may prove helpful as well.
One of the best tips for flying with children involves getting plenty of sleep the night before the trip. This may help ensure that both the parent and the child have enough energy to remain calm and patient, even in the face of delays and challenges. Some people may consider having a child stay up later than usual or skip a nap in preparation for a flight in the hopes that the child will sleep for most of the trip. This is rarely a good idea, however, and an overly tired child may have a much more difficult time behaving during the flight.
Being well prepared with activities that will keep the child busy may also make flying with children easier. Depending on the age of the child, this may involve packing small games, coloring books, craft items, video games, and books for reading. Sketch pads, CD players, and even portable video players may help keep a child occupied as well. In the event that a parent chooses to pack something that includes noisy audio, taking a pair of headphones along may help prevent the child’s game or video from interfering with the other passengers' quiet enjoyment of the flight.
Also among the best tips for flying with children are those that involve explaining to the child what air travel entails. For example, a parent may explain what the interior of the airplane will look like and possibly share pictures of the inside of a similar plane. The parent may also explain what he will expect of the child during the flight, such as when he can walk around, how long he will be expected to remain seated, and what he will be able to do while on board the plane. A parent may also prepare a child for the sensations he may feel when the plane lifts off as well as when it lands.
Taking care with flight scheduling may also help make air travel more pleasant for parents and their children. In general, it is best to avoid booking travel that involves connecting flights. Non-stop flights may allow for less exposure to crowds as well as less confusion and fewer frustrating waits. Traveling during non-peak times may also make the trip more enjoyable for families with children.