Planning to take your kids with you on a 12-hour flight? Brace yourself because kids stuck in a cramped seat will easily get bored, hungry, and cranky. To lessen your kids’ chances of throwing a tantrum out of boredom, keep them occupied with plenty of treats, activities, and toys. Here are some ideas to help keep your sanity intact and prepare your kids for a long flight.
BEFORE THE FLIGHT
Ask about family-friendly boarding options
Many airlines nowadays offer additional boarding options for families with small children. This option usually allows you to board earlier than the rest of the passengers to give you lots of time to get your kids settled down and set up a bassinet if needed.
Pre-order kids’ meals
If your airline offers this option, don’t hesitate to place an order for your kids’ meals before the flight. This way, you can get your food served quickly if your tiny tots are starting to get cranky because they’re hungry. Because kids usually get hungry even before mealtime and are picky eaters, children’s meals are served earlier than regular meals and usually include cookies and other easy-to-eat snacks.
Let your kids get plenty of exercise
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Before boarding the plane, let your kids run around the lounge area to let off excess energy. Some airlines now offer play areas at the lounge to keep kids busy while waiting to board the plane. By the time they get inside the plane, they’re too tired and sleepy to cause any trouble.
DURING THE FLIGHT
Keep them comfy
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It can get chilly inside the plane, so make sure your kids are wearing jackets or sweaters. Don’t forget to bring their favourite stuffed toy or blanket to keep them comfortable. Holding a familiar object will also make them sleep easier at night and during naptime.
Keep them busy with toys
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Magnetic board games (for older kids), colouring books, puzzles, and gadgets (such as tablets and portable DVD players) are sure to keep your tots busy. Pack several toys but don’t bring them all out at once. If the board game is starting to bore the kids, it’s time to bring out that small tub of clay. The key here is to keep them curious and surprise them with different toys to play with.
Serve plenty of snacks
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Aside from toys, snacks are sure to keep your kids occupied. When packing snacks, make sure you include sweet treats such as candies, cookies, and chocolates, as well as healthier options like sandwiches, dried fruits, and crackers.
Flying with kids in tow can be challenging, especially if one of your little ones starts to throw a tantrum. With enough preparation, however, you’ll be able to handle tricky situations like a pro, and make the trip more manageable for you, your children, and the other passengers.
If you opted for the kid-friendly boarding option, you need to be at the airport several hours before your flight. This can get tricky if you still need to look for an airport parking facility in Brisbane, Gold Coast, and Melbourne. Fortunately, there are off-site parking depots that provide more space, cheaper rates, and a free shuttle ride to and from the airport.