Parents biking children in amsterdam

Travel Tip #21: How to keep your children happy during a trip

Friday, July 25, 2014

School vacation has begun and many families will be travelling abroad. Unfortunately, travelling can also mean longer waiting periods, whether at the airport or in traffic. Travelling with small children can be quite tiresome, but with the right preparation a trip with the little ones can be a lot more bearable and peaceful. Something not only you but also your fellow travellers will appreciate. Your Flight-Delayed team has prepared a list of tips and tricks to entertain your children, keeping them happy and ensuring that the trip goes as smoothly as possible.

Before departure

  • Toys: Make sure that you bring plenty of toys with which the kids can entertain themselves. Colouring books, stuffed toys, video games, you name it. Download some child friendly apps / games for your smartphone or portable game console for in the plane or in the car.
  • Food and drinks: Make sure to bring enough snachs and drinks to ensure your kids don’t become hungry. Nothing distracts like food does. Make it as fun and colourful as possible.
  • Cardigan / sweater within reach: Planes tend to be quite chilly, a potential reason for the little ones to be cranky. Make sure to always have a sweater handy
  • Prepare your child: Tell your children in advance that you are going on a longer journey, so that the sudden change in scenery doesn’t startle them. Make it into a fun adventure, they will enjoy.
  • Get to the airport in time: Travelling with children also increases the risk of unexpected incidents occurring. Our tip: allow yourself enough time at the airport, better to arrive sooner than later. Stressed out parents also means stressed children.
  • Bring a pillow: Small children can sit on the pillow to have a better view out of the window. For older children an extra pillow may help them to sleep better, as most kids can fall asleep anytime and anywhere. Additionally you can bring an extra blanket for more comfort as well. Moreover, it is more exciting for your children if they have their own backpack or trolley.

At the Airport

  • Let your child know what to do when you lose one another: In case of emergency, make sure your children know where to get help.
  • Give your child some pocket money to buy something at the airport: It might be a good idea to let your children explore the airport stores and eventually get a nice souvenir. This is certainly a fun way to pass some time and this will keep them busy for a while.
  • Look out for the 'plane police': Tell your child in advance that the plane police are looking for children who misbehave during the trip. Of course it is not the intention to scare your children but it works the same as with Santa. Implement an additional reward for those who do not get caught by the plane police.
  • Photo Contest: Especially if you have to wait at an airport with several children, a photo contest is just the thing. Give each child a camera or phone and tell them that the one with the best photo of an aircraft or other item wins a prize.

During the flight/car ride

  • Special earplugs for children: during takeoff or landing, children might experience pressure or ear pain. Special earplugs designed for children can bring relief. Swallowing or chewing often helps to relieve the earache. Make sure to bring gum or candies.
  • Wait until the child asks for its toys, otherwise they will soon get bored.
  • Earning pocket money with good behaviour: Bring along a checklist for your children. Implement a reward system for good behaviour such as eating neatly on the plane/car, sitting still during the takeoff and landing etc. Each good deed earns a sticker. Think of a reward for good behaviour.