Flying at any time of year can be stressful, but travelling during the holidays when airports are often at their busiest can frustrate even the most seasoned traveller — especially if there are little ones in tow. Here a five pro tips for jet-setters with kids.
- Pack like a pro. No matter what their age, kids will appreciate their own personal suitcase or backpack filled with their favourite blanket, toys, clothes, and a couple of airplane-approved snacks. Ask them to lend a hand in preparing this. If they’re very little, a separate bag with your child’s things will make your life easier, too.
- Give them something to do. This applies when packing, at the airport, and during the flight, as kids always have tons of energy and often want to be helpful. Make sure you have activities they can easily do on-the-go like a book, movie or show on a (fully charged) handheld device, or doodling pad.
- Don’t forget self-care. Little ones look to the grown-ups around them for behavioural cues, so chances are good that if you’re happy, they will be too. So breathe, get enough sleep, arrive at the airport with plenty of time to spare, and enlist help when needed.
- Plan for the worst. Kids, especially first-time flyers, are susceptible to nerves and possibly ear pain when flying. Check with their doctor to make sure you have any medication they may need, including anti-nausea and pain meds. Keeping a positive attitude and explaining what’s happening in kid-friendly terms will go a long way to keeping any anxiety at bay.
- Know where to turn for help. Keep important contact numbers on hand for easy reference. If you experience an air travel problem such as a flight delay or lost baggage, you can file a complaint with the Canadian Transportation Agency. Their job is to help resolve complaints between passengers and airlines. Submitting a complaint is easy to do online at cta.gc.ca/air-travel-complaints, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 1-888-222-2592.