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Travel

Flying The Kid-Friendly Skies: Travel Experts Offer Advice For Parents

September 22, 2023

Turkish airline Corendon Airlines announced they will soon sell adults-only sections of its airplanes on flights from Amsterdam to Curacao. That means travelers under the age of 16 will not be permitted to sit in these designated areas.

Many adults are now rethinking how they prefer to travel. According to Newsweek, 60% of travelers 18 and older agree that implementing child-free sections of planes is an idea worth looking into.

Air travel triggers a sense of dread for many flyers. This feeling only worsens for some passengers when they see young children boarding the plane. Most scorned travelers can recall at least one story of a baby crying from take-off to landing or kids making a mess of their entire row.

It’s not from a lack of parents wanting things to run smoothly. Flying with children is a unique challenge for anyone, complicated by cramped quarters and having normally energetic children sit still for hours. However, traveling with little ones does not need to be an impossible task.

Much of the apprehension felt by flyers most likely to purchase a ticket in an adults-only section can be quelled by parents preparing their families for travel. While some hiccups are bound to happen, total disaster can be avoided by keeping a few tips in mind from travel experts.

Keep Them Engaged

Flying to any vacation destination can be a stressful experience, especially for those who travel less frequently and are less comfortable with airplanes. Things like taking off, landing, and even minor turbulence will compound that stress for kids. Keeping their minds off the flight makes a difference in creating a calm travel experience.

Alicia Richards, founder of Travels With the Crew, advises parents to keep kids busy and engaged with activities that draw their focus away from the flight. “My best tip for flying with kids is to bring a bag of dollar store games or activities. Pull a new one out every 30 min to an hour, and your kids will be quiet the whole trip!”

The novelty of a new game will only add to the appeal, and parents need not break the bank to make travel days hassle-free.

Stick To Their Schedule

Kids often thrive on a predictable schedule, especially younger children who need daily naps. Even the most carefully planned vacations will throw that schedule out the window, opening the door to potentially fussy behavior or a full-blown meltdown. Anticipating an upset or frustrated child causes some parents to question the decision to fly altogether.

The Insiders co-founder Adam Beigel notes that families often have no alternative: “Some of the benefits of air travel are it’s a lot less travel time than in the car and gets you to the destination faster.”

On the other hand, Beigel sympathizes with the situation, adding, “I understand why some parents are anxious to fly with kids; it’s a long time sitting still in the air, and many parents are worried about bothering other passengers on the plane.”

One way to combat an overstimulated child while traveling is to book flights around their usual sleep schedule and avoid typically crowded times. That way, parents minimize any disruption to the normal flow of what is otherwise a typical day.

Beigel notes that as a child, “we always flew on red-eyes because we would be super tired and sleep the entire flight and wake up in our new location.”

Embrace The Adventure

A change in environment can be difficult for some younger travelers. Experts advise parents to embrace the spirit of adventure and turn flying with kids into something to look forward to rather than something to worry over.

If anxious behavior is anticipated from the child, treating travel days like stressful, tumultuous events will not make anything better. Instead, allow kids to enjoy the day by making flying a part of the vacation itself rather than a mode of transportation meant to bring the family to the final destination.

Scott McConkey, founder of Miles With McConkey, reminds parents that flying pulls kids out of their usual environment: “Kids can get bored and cranky when cooped up in a car for a long time. Riding in a car is a common experience for them, whereas flying feels like an adventure. Our kids loved the excitement of flying. With so many people and sights in the airport and plane, they had fun and bonded.”

Frequent flyers take for granted just how exciting flying on an airplane can be, and approaching travel with a fresh set of eyes could help families navigate busy travel days.

Beigel echoes this sentiment that adding the feeling of adventure to a family trip eases the minds of parents and kids alike: “Traveling by plane gives a sense of adventure and is a new, fun experience for many kids, and they will probably end up enjoying it!”

Eduardo Silva, a writer for MickeyVisit.com, suggests also that parents “plan in advance for how they are going to get to their hotel or accommodations when they land. Having the Lyft or shuttle service to the hotel selected already reduces stress for the entire group, and your kids will notice that.”

If parents approach flying with a positive mindset, the kids will pick up on that, making travel as enjoyable as the actual vacation.

This article was produced by Media Decision and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

 

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