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Flying With Young Children - tips on how to cope

As half term fast approaches, some of you lucky people will be jetting off to sunnier climes. But if it’s your first time flying with your young family, the chances are you’ll be a little apprehensive and concerned about how to cope with your children on a flight.

So take a moment and check out these helpful tips  for flying with children.

Reserve And/Or Book Your Seats Wisely
You can usually check-in online and reserve your seating around 24 hours before a flight. When you do, look carefully at what seats are available.

Try to book those with a little more leg room – if you’ve got older children you can take the emergency exit seats – not however, if you have infants or toddlers. Think about booking an aisle seat so you can get your little one up for a little stroll up and down the aircraft, but most importantly, get out to the toilet, and quick!

Whilst many of us automatically think that the window seat is the best, actually, there’s not much to see after take-off and landing and young children can feel a bit penned in.

Hand Luggage
If your child is over two years old, they’ll have their own seat, and their own hand luggage allowance. Bear in mind though, that although they have their own bag, you’ll be the one carrying it.

Use your child’s hand luggage to pack a number of things to keep them entertained – colouring, pencils, sticker books are always a big hit, comics, books, wipes etc. Or, if they don’t have their own seat, look at your own bag and think about a co-share option, half for them and half for you. Also, try to squeeze in a little blanket or cardigan for them as it can get rather chilly on flights, especially at night.

Top Tip – don’t pack anything noisy, not only will this drive you mad after a while but you will not be a hit with your fellow passengers.

Snacks
Not all parents are aware that you can take food on a plane, so pack a plane picnic. Don’t include any ‘liquid’ foods – such as yoghurts, squeezy fruit pouches and drinks for example –  as these need to follow the liquids in handluggage rules, so quantities no greater than 100ml and in a separate resealable bag. Otherwise, crisps, sandwiches, cake, raisins etc. are all good to go. What’s more, it will also save you a small fortune buying snacks from the airplane refreshment trolley.

Sucky Sweets
Travellers young and old suffer from ear popping during take-off and landing, and it can be painful, so a good thing to do is take a pack of sweets. Swallowing while sucking on a sweet will help reduce this problem. If you have really young children, and sucking sweets is dangerous,  buy a carton of drink in one of the Departure Lounge shops or cafes and get your child to drink slowly whilst the air pressure changes. Failing that, take an empty drinks bottle with you and fill it with water once in the Departure Lounge. For babies, try to time their bottle feed for take off and landing.

Electrical Devices
A must for a flight – download your child’s favourite TV shows or films to your phone or tablet, invest in a pair of child headphones and you’ll be guaranteed some peace and quiet on the plane.

Allow Plenty of Time
Everything takes much longer when children are involved, so allow plenty of time to get ready, travel to the airport and for pass through the airport. Get online and check out where the children’s facilities – play areas and changing facilities – are at the airport before you leave home.

Book Meet and Greet Parking
The last thing you need when driving to the airport is to worry about getting your children on and off the shuttle bus from the car park to the airport, and then back again when they’re tired from a long flight.

Book our Gatwick meet and greet parking and we’ll collect and return your car to you right outside the airport on the terminal forecourt. You can’t get closer.

Don’t think about it, book our parking today!