Holidays create long-lasting family memories (hopefully good ones!). The journey to get there can be an adventure in itself. Being organised and planning for the journey can make all the difference between a stressful flight or a peaceful one.
Our 7 top tips to make your holiday flight a calm and happy experience:
1. Prepare your children for the trip
Tell them where you are going and what it is like there. Show photos of some of the places you may see on your holiday. Look at activities you can do there and plan activities you would all like to do together. Talking about it beforehand is an important part of building excitement and enthusiasm for the holiday.
2. Share some books about going on holiday on an aeroplane
For younger children especially, looking at books and stories about going on holiday can prepare them for what it might be like in real life. Sharing a book is a good opener to a discussion to calm any worries your child may have bout flying.
Why not talk about your own experiences of flying and describe what it was like?
If your children have already been on a plane, it is still useful to talk about it and remind them what it will be like.
3. Take a comforting toy
Take one of your child’s well-loved toys with you on the flight. A familiar toy can be a calming and reassuring thing for your child. Talk to your child about what they might like to take with them, it could be a cuddly toy that your child sleeps with or plays within the day.
4. Pack some activities for your child to do on the flight
Pack activities, toys and games for your child to enjoy on the flight. Put these activities in your carry-on bag. Give your child one thing out of the bag at a time to do. Every so often on the journey change the activities over.
Add an element of surprise and wrap the activity up before you give it to your child. For all children, unwrapping a ‘present’ adds a bit of excitement.
Pack some surprise activities for the journey home too and don’t be tempted to use them beforehand.
You might include a sticker book, a puzzle book and a pencil or a storybook.
5. Make the most of gadgets
For older children especially, don’t forget the power of technology to give them something to do while you’re in the air. It could be they use their devices to play games, listen to music or watch films or TV shows. Most importantly pack their devices in the carry-on and make sure they are easily accessible.
Consider investing in a new game or film for the journey, maybe one they have been wanting to get for a while. This could hold their interest for a longer period.
6. Make the most of the quality time together
Family life is so busy, embrace the time to sit next to each other and just talk.
Talk about their likes and dislikes, school, their favourite lessons, what they are interested in, etc. As the discussion naturally slows down, introduce an activity as mentioned above.
7. Plan the seating arrangements in advance
You know your children very well. If they tend to argue, it could be sensible to split them up and sit them on either side of you. No one wants to hear arguing non-stop on a long flight.
If your children play well together, you could sit them next to each other and they may entertain each other. Remember you can if needed move your child later on.
A little bit of planning for your flight can really help you have a more enjoyable journey. Trying the tips above will help to ensure the flight is calm and peaceful and that you arrive at your holiday destination raring to go and ready to make the most of every moment.