This was the part that made me nervous. A part of our trip I felt I should be fully prepared for. Or else. Five hours in an aeroplane with a four-year old could have been chaotic but luckily all the tips and advice I read up on before our holiday worked like a charm. While kids cannot be expected to sit still or sleep on demand, there are ways to keep them entertained and preoccupied and most importantly, somewhat quiet. Here are my favourite tips for flying with young ones:
1. Flight time: Here lies my big mistake and we were forced to learn the hard way. For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to book a night flight. Georgie napped in the afternoon for about an hour and was ready and happy to board the plane at 19.30. However, a slight delay and no sleep on board meant that once we were out of the airport and in the cab, he was out like a light. We ended up lugging two suitcases, a buggy and a sleeping baby (not in the buggy) through Central London at midnight. With very little sleep during the night, he was grumpy and disoriented. We solved that problem by taking him back to the hotel for a nap. Consider your child’s schedule before booking your flight.
2. Laptop/tablet/iPad: Whatever device you own, make sure to stock it with loads for your little ones to watch. I included Peppa Pig, which is an absolute favourite and a new never-before-seen movie for extra excitement. Night at the Museum proved the winner as did How to Train your Dragon; both were re-watched on a long train ride to and from Liverpool. Remember to pack a pair of headphones suitable for little ears. Most times, I’ve noticed the ones provided on board do not work on these devices.
3. Activity packs: I was surprised to discover these at Alpha Mega supermarkets and the airport. The packs include a notebook, colouring book, pencils and stickers. I bought two and didn’t show them to Georgie until we were on board. New surprises are very welcoming. Try window stickers, little toys, a new book that you can talk loads about and those water wow books that are all the rage.
4. Snacks: An absolute must. Georgie wasn’t impressed with the food served on board so it’s a good thing his backpack was stocked with crackers, cheese, an apple, popcorn and an oat bar or two. Water bottles can be filled after you’ve passed security. Also make sure you pack something they can chew on during take-off and landing because the pressure can be quite painful for little ears. I packed organic jelly beans and a few lollipops, much to Georgie’s delight.
5. Take them to the toilet before boarding: Flying out of Larnaca I completely forgot to ask Georgie if he needed to go to the toilet and….yes, you guessed it. Right at the moment we were buckled in and set to go, he really wanted to go! I managed to distract him long enough for the seat belt sign to turn off but it was a close call.
6. A change of clothes: The above point is exactly why you need a change of clothes in your bag or their backpack. Anything can happen, as you very well know, so be prepared.
Today, since I’m blogging about flying with young ones, it seems like a good time to tell you about an exciting Emirates drawing competition.
Emirates has teamed up with Mums In Cyprus to give children the chance to take part in their ‘Fly With Me Monster’ drawing competition and win one of 30 cuddly monsters! Georgie and I are huge fans of monsters (in fact he has a growing group of three-eyed, one-legged and peculiar stuffed toys on his bed) so fingers crossed he draws an awesome and original picture of an Emirates aircraft to send through.
In fact that is all your child or children have to do; just tell them to imagine they are going on holiday with an Emirates airplane, which, actually, I would love to do judging from their fantastic approach to kids on planes. If you fly with Emirates, kids get a free monster that also comes with a fleece blanket, there is an extensive in-flight entertainment system available and even a special kiddie on-board menu! If you need more reasons to consider Emirates the next time you plan on traveling, check out this link. There’s talk of interactive games and brightly coloured headsets! Forget the kids! I want in.
Your children can participate by sending their drawing with name, age and full address to:
Mums in Cyprus/ PO Box 56811/ 3310, Limassol or
as a scan to firstname.lastname@example.org
End date: Saturday, May 30, 2015.
Emirates image was taken from Google Images