Ben is back with a second installment of our travelling with kids series, flying with a toddler. Ben Wolfson has a lot of experience travelling with his young children and, as a result, has a lot of travel wisdom to impart to other parents.
Flying with a Toddler
Flying with a toddler is a very different experience than flying with a baby.
On the plus side, there’s no more milk or formula to worry about, and toddlers are also a bit better at letting you know what the problem is rather than screaming the plane down as you search for the solution.
On the negative side, they have a plethora of new demands, a desire to be fully on the go all the time, and an internal body clock that gets messed around by jet-lag.
Making the Flight Easier
Here are some tips to make your flight with a toddler as easy as possible:
Packing to Entertain
The biggest threat to your trip is boredom, and frustratingly, international flights are some of the least kid friendly activities you can do.
By packing plenty of play options, you’ll reduce the risk of your child getting bored and throwing a tantrum.
Be sure to pack activities that appeal to different interests, such as books, artistic work, construction toys, playing toys and puzzles.
Most importantly, make sure that you parcel these out slowly, allowing your child to fully explore each activity before releasing the next.
Create Play Spaces
This may sound tough on a plane, but with some creative space management, you can create some interesting play spaces (providing the seat-belt sign isn’t on).
The best is to have both adults stand and use the chair seat and the space underneath.
Use Meals & Snacks to Reset their Clock
Jet lag as an adult can be miserable but at least you’re aware of what’s going to happen. With a kid, the most important advice is to use food as a way to set their internal clock.
This means from the minute you step on that plane, change your clock to your destination’s time and feed your child appropriate food stuffs at the right time. This will trick their brain into being on the new time zone and they will catch up quicker.