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Airplanes and travel with small children. Your hassle-free guide

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In the latest of our posts designed to help you to travel hassle-free, we look at getting on the plane and out of the airport. The mums and dads at Budget Direct Insurance have come up with some practical tips to travel with small children and babies.

On the plane

  1. Almost all parents agree that some kind of techie device helps. Put your doubts about screen time aside and relax, you can pick up the rules once you’re on holiday and there's more to do. A portable DVD with some favourite movies or some kind of tablet or phone will while away the time and allow you to take a breather.
  2. An irritable child is often simply a hungry one, and little ones aren’t able to time their hunger to the food trolley. Always have filling snacks at hand, preferably ones that take time to eat like raisins or cheese strings. Try to avoid sweets, no sugar rush! Always have a bottle of water to hand.
  3. Take extra wipes, nappies and plastic bags, especially on a long haul trip. If you are delayed or have a sick child, they will be invaluable. Don’t forget medicine, antiseptic wipes, plasters, sting treatment, a thermometer, sterilised bottles and formula milk.
  4. Pack their pajamas or sleepwear and change them on the flight at the usual time for bed, it will give your child indicators that it is time for sleep.
  5. Bring spare clothing for you and your child, if there’s a vomiting incident you don’t want to smell it all trip, making yourself even more unpopular with fellow travellers!
  6. On a day flight, pack some toys or activities they didn’t know were coming on the trip. When you get them out they will feel new and novel and may keep them amused for longer.
  7. If you’re out of the baby stage, try the seats against the bulkhead. They are near the toilets but this works in your favour as you can watch when the queue goes down or time your visit before the crowds. You can also watch your older child go in the cubicle on their own without having to get up. It also means you can have your seat reclined even when the people in front are eating.
  8. Stay calm if your child loses it on a flight and learn to ignore stares and comments from other passengers who can be very unsympathetic. Remember you will probably never see your fellow travellers again! If your child is crying or having a tantrum for a long period, you may want to try and take them to another area of the plane as a temporary measure.

On arrival

  1. Always make sure you have pre-booked a place to stay. Call or email ahead and find out what beds and special equipment you have in your room.
  2. If your small child has to sleep in a full-sized bed, roll up some towels and tuck them under the sheet so they act as a barrier and your child won’t fall out of bed.
  3. Consider taking your own travel cot and car seat. These can be cumbersome but worth their weight in gold.

And remember…

You will get through the pain barrier when you travel with small children! Every trip means a chance to learn what works best. Take it from us, you can look forward to the day when you actually get to sleep on the plane along with your blissfully sleeping child.


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