Dos and Don’ts for Travelling with Children

29 May 2013



Travelling with young children can be a very frustrating experience that can often add to the stress of moving to another country. However it is an unavoidable fact of life for most expat families. Children can be unpredictable and although you may not be able to be fully prepared for the unexpected, there are some dos and don’ts to help make your flight go as smoothly as possible.





Do book earlier flights – Flying earlier in the day can help get your children in a better, more cooperative mood. Flying later in the day means tiredness sets in and missed naps will make them grumpy and less obliging. Although you may think a night time flight is a good idea so they can sleep through it... keep in mind the new surroundings will keep them awake and over-stimulated.


Do bring entertainment – it is always a good idea to have something to keep your children entertained while on the flight. Bring small books or handheld gadget with a movie or TV shows and a few games, but try to avoid bringing on board too many small or bulky toys.


Do pay attention – Be aware of your surroundings and what your children are doing. The last thing you want is to lose your child in the airport when they go running off to see something that catches their eye.


Do bring lollipops to help with ‘ear pops’ – A lollipop or something else to suck on will help with ear’s popping due to the pressure of taking off and landing, which can be painful and distressing.




Don’t be late – This might be obvious, but the more time you have before your departure the better. Children won’t have the same sense of urgency about catching flights, so factor in some extra time for them to look around the airport, especially if it’s completely new for them.


Don’t lose your temper – This might be easier said than done, especially when you child is having a tantrum on the plane... but losing your cool will usually only escalate the situation. Be patient and try to find a quieter spot to calm them down, like the lavatory.


Don’t pack too much – Carrying around too many bags will weigh you down and means you have fewer hands free for your children. Be prepared but don’t over-pack and for carry-on luggage use a backpack so your hands are free to handle your children.


Don’t annoy other passengers – No one appreciates being bothered during a flight, so keep your children’s behaviour in check. Make sure they aren’t kicking the seat in front of them and don’t let them run up and down the aisles. Also make sure you bring headphones for any gadgets you bring along.