Flying with kids is always stressful. Even more so when enduring long hauls. First they are excited, but before too long the boredom sets in as reality of a long flight comes to a realisation.
Soon enough the excitement turns to being fidgety, then the whinging along with the comments “I’m bored,” and if you are truly unlucky then comes the embarrassing tantrum (we have all seen them on flights whether it’s your kid’s or others). Before you know it you are getting evil stares from those around you who obviously don’t have kids, “to shut them up.”
Now a lot of your problems are solved if you are flying with the major airlines like Emirates, Qantas and Singapore airlines to name a few. But what about those budget airlines like Air Asia and Tiger Airlines that don’t come with the frills offered by the major liners.
Sounds like a little conundrum doesn’t. Save hundreds but have a more stressful flight. It doesn’t have to be. Budget airlines take away the frills but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring your own on board.
Now I don’t pretend to have all the answers. Every family is different and have their own ways working through life’s first world problems. So why not share a little of my wisdom on what works for me when flying with kids on a budget airline, while also saving a little cash.
- Bring the tablet: In this modern world every family has a Samsung tablet or iPad. Bring it aboard, download a couple of movies and some games and you’re set. Be sure when downloading any games that internet access is not needed to play the game, there are plenty out there.
Side note, bring some headphones and plug them in. Those sitting around you don’t need to listen to the games or the movie your kids are watching.
- Eat before you fly: Budget airlines will not feed you unless prepaid for. Have a big feed before flying and get your kids full. Of course bring some snack on board, keeping in mind that most airlines forbid outside food being brought on the plane, even though I have never had an issue. So don’t let fear hold you back.
- Know your kids: As I said, every kid is different. I know what my kids want and you know what your kids want. Do they like to drawer, or do they prefer a book? Bring some pencils or a book and keep your kids entertained.
- After 10pm, everything is off: Boarding a night owl flight or you are halfway through a flight that will run into the night. Turn off all electrical items off. That means no tablets, no phones, no distractions. The kids need to sleep and the parents need to at least try to sleep. So after ten, turn everything off.
- Bring a stress ball: Not for the kids but for you, the parent. It is better than losing mind on a flight.
So now it is over to you. I have given my two cents worth and now it is up to you to work out what works best for your family. Don’t stress, however, you will soon arrive at your destinations where your holiday awaits. Good luck and happy travels.
Do you have kids? What works for you? Reply in the comments below and let me know.