Flying with your child for the first time can be a very daunting and challenging experience, so it is no surprise that many parents put off their first family holiday abroad until their children a bit older. However, some of the best family memories you will make will be created on your first family holiday so you shouldn’t let the thought of the flight with your child put you off going away. By simply being prepared and organised ahead of your trip, you will easily become an expert in travelling with your child. Here are some helpful tips to get you started.
Know Your Rights
It is important that you are aware of your rights before you travel and know what you are entitled to in the event of flight cancellations and delays. Experiencing issues with your flight when you are travelling can be frustrating, but this can end up being very disrupting and challenging if you are travelling with children. So, before you travel, make sure that you use the information on Flightright for your flight.
Flightright is a market leader when it comes to compensation claims based on flight delays and cancellations. With their online compensation claim checker, you can find out if you are entitled to up to €600 per person. Flightright are the number one provider of air passenger rights and hold an impressive 99 percent success rate in court. They have previously dealt with compensation claims from popular airlines such as Ryanair and British Airways.
Pick Your Flights Carefully
When it comes to travelling with your child it is important that you think carefully about what flights you should travel on. Ideally, you should try and focus on travelling on flights that disturb your little one’s routine and schedule as little as possible. For example, an evening flight may be a good way to travel with young children as they are likely to be used to sleeping around that time and may spend the majority of the journey asleep. It is advisable to try and avoid the middle of the night flight times as this could result in you comforting a screaming baby the whole way to your destination.
Review Baggage Policies
It is important that you review the baggage policies before you fly and are aware of what you can carry on to the plane with you. For example, most airlines allow you to check a car seat and pram for free, but this may vary depending on what airline you are travelling with. You may also be able to check your pram in at the gate so that you can use it in the departure lounge and then it will be waiting for you when you get off the plane at the other end. Most airlines are generous with their weight allowances when they know young children are travelling as part of your group, but if you are worried about your luggage weight then you may want to purchase some additional kilos.
Pack Carry-On Essentials
It is essential that you have everything you and your child could possibly need while on the plane as if you don’t already have it then there isn’t anywhere to panic buy from at 30,000 feet. You should write a list of everything you might need during the flight, such as wipes and nappies and a spare change of clothes. But you should also be sure to remember the less obvious things like a blanket and bottles of water. Having everything you need close to hand will make the experience a lot less anxiety-provoking. Remember, it is better to have something and not use it than to not have it and to have a screaming baby that is crying for it.
Choose Your Seats Wisely
You should also consider carefully which seats to book for your flight if you have that opportunity available to you. You may want to avoid sitting at the beginning of the seats as this means you will not have additional storage underneath the seat in front of you. You may also want to check the airline policies when it comes to car seats as while many airlines allow you to use a car seat for your child during the flight, this will limit which seats you will able to book.
Plan Activities for the Journey
One of the hardest things about travelling with small children is keeping them entertained during the journey. Therefore, you need to ensure that you are fully prepared with a number of activities to stop them from getting bored. As we all know, bored children soon start acting up, so limit this by having a bag of their favourite toys to hand.
By following these helpful tips, you will be able to start off your holiday with a smooth and calm flight.