A vacation is very much rewarding to yourself after the days of hard work. It is a great opportunity to finally spend quality time with your family.
But then, upon planning your trip, the TV replayed the classic “Home Alone” movie. And then you ask yourself, how do I even relax when traveling with my kids? After all flying with kids is the biggest single cause of stress for traveling parents.
Traveling with little kids presents a unique set of challenges especially on long-haul flights.
So should you not push thru? Nonsense. You just have to be prepared.
Here are some helpful tips that might be of help once you will go travel with your little kids.
Arrange ALL Your Travel Documents Beforehand
Bring the necessary documents needed especially when you are traveling overseas. This may be common sense. But it will save you a lot of trouble when you have this ironed out a few days before the trip.
There are a number of instances when you might need to carry extra documentation when traveling with little kids.
For example, if you have an adopted child you must take with you his adoption papers, and if you are the only parent traveling regardless of your marital status, you might be asked a proof of consent from the other parent for your child be allowed to travel.
This is more likely to happen in countries where overseas adoption and child trafficking is common. The standard requirement for authorization to travel is your child’s birth certificate, your marriage contract (if you are married), and a signed written consent from the other parent confirming you can travel with the child. If the other parent is no longer alive, you may need a death certificate as proof.
Arrive at the Airport Early
You have to be at the airport early. You don’t want to feel like you are in the amazing race, especially with a kid.
It is best to be at the airport 3 hours before your scheduled flight. If this is too early for you, some airlines allow you to check-in online to lessen your waiting time.
Some airlines even have an option to check-in luggage in advance (Sometimes even a full day before your flight). If you have time before the flight, this will give you more freedom to take care of your kid while in the airport.
Communicate With Your Kids Before the Trip
Most problems can be prevented by a dialogue. More so with kids.
If it’s your kids’ first time to fly, you need to talk to them before, during, and after the flight so that they know exactly what to expect. Get them really excited about the whole experience. Let them know that it is a big adventure. A “pep talk” beforehand does wonders for comforting anxious kids.
Prepare for their Outbursts
Even with the above preparations, you can’t avoid every emergency.
There are instances that little kids will be irritated, cranky, restless. They might just scream out of nowhere because they are hungry, tired or bored.
Pack enough food for snacks, bring new toys and books. Bring something that they have never seen and played before. This will hold their attention more and provide them an opportunity to rest on the plane.
If your kid has special needs, getting an identity bracelet that has details of your kid’s medical condition, treatment, doctor’s name, and contact number is very useful in case of emergencies.
You can also consider to add your personal details like your name, address, contact numbers, flight details, and your destination just in case you.
If you are well prepared and well informed before you leave home, flying with your kids can be an extremely rewarding experience. You will create family memories together that will surely last a lifetime.