10 steps to survive a trip with children
The holidays arrive and the luckiest you will be preparing for a getaway with your children. Although a car trip with the little ones is not an easy task, traveling by plane can kill you or, at least, your sanity.
10 essential tips to survive a trip with children
No matter how well you usually wear your children, being locked in a space twelve thousand meters high for hours puts anyone in a bad mood. But do not fear, to survive the trip you just have to apply the following tips:
1. Prepare them mentally
Keep in mind that young children face new situations very differently from ours. If they are not prepared, this new experience can have two equally frightening consequences: provoke rejection or too much excitement. So that they are familiar with the scenario they are going to face, tell them about the trip when you start to plan it (eye with the tone of voice, be happy but calm so that it does not generate nervousness) and explain carefully the control of the airport.
2. Strategically plan the flight
Although some believe that it is never a good time to travel with small children (especially if they are under four), there are times of the day that are much less risky. Avoid night flights, many people are optimistic enough to believe that they will sleep in them but your children are likely to fail. And since, after the movies, a plane is the worst place to hear the cry of a baby, these optimists will ask your head at the first sign of a tantrum.
If your flight leaves first thing in the morning, make sure you sleep a lot and well during the night before. If you were flying in the afternoon, exhausting your child during the day with lots of sun and physical activity is a good idea. At the airport, let them run in the nursery of the terminal (there is one on the first floor of T2 and another one on the T4 in Barajas). Avoid stopovers, having to be aware that they do not get lost at the airport of departure and at the arrival airport is enough stress. If possible, choose the sites in advance and try to sit in the tail of the plane. You will be closer to the bathrooms and you can get more help from the hostesses.
3. Have all the documentation at hand and in order
Do not forget that children's passports expire every five years and that some countries require specific documentation when traveling with children. If your children are adopted, some countries require adoption papers; and if they travel with only one parent, they may need authorization from the other. It is not uncommon if you need a visa that your children also need and that cost you the same.
And, although you can print it at the airport, it is better to take the printed boarding pass from home to skip queues and have your children desperate waiting. And if you can download them on your mobile better, scanners do not always work with the screens, but just in case you lose the printed ones, it's good for you to have a "backup copy".
4. Do not miss out on the airport
The main objective is to leave the airport with the same number of children you entered. Today there are a thousand gadgets to prevent children from getting lost (backpacks with leashes, GPS locators adapted for children, etc.), but the more traditional methods of pointing the parents' mobile on a card hooked with a safety pin to their clothes they are still effective. If your child is a special case and you seriously fear for their safety, check out those locators.
Considering how full the airports can be and how easy it is to lose sight of them, if your child has any serious medical condition it is especially important that they carry a card with their problem (illness, allergy, etc.), its seriousness and what to do about it But these are only precautions that it is advisable to take, the best thing is that you get to always have your child in your sights until you reach your destination.
5. Be the king of control
Maybe you've ever met the typical executive with his small carry-on suitcase and who goes through control like a champion. He moves around the airport as if it were his second home because "practice makes perfect" and he most likely has had more practice than you will ever have. But if you think about everything you are going to need and plan ahead, you can usurp the throne and be the "king of control".
Explain several times to your children the process of control and remind the older ones that if they joke that their father is carrying a bomb, they can get scared. Be well informed of the prohibitions of control and have everything ready by the time your turn arrives. If your children can walk, it is not uncommon to ask them to remove their shoes and coats, so choose shoes without laces and coats without many buttons.
6. Minimize your discomfort during the trip
The changes of pressures are annoying for adults, but the smallest ones can seem unbearable. If they are older give chewing gum for landing and takeoff (or jellybeans if they do not take gum) and the smallest milk or juice. If they are especially sensitive, there are special tampons that can relieve them a lot. So that you do not dry your nose a lot, it is important to keep them well hydrated throughout the trip.
7. Expect the worst
Although we do not want to think about it, an explosion in the diaper, a good vomit or an attack of anger are more than likely scenarios when you fly with children. Do not forget to put in your luggage a change (for the baby and for you), wipes, diapers, baby bottles, pacifiers, snacks and everything you may need, and in abundance. And watch what they eat, a child with a high sugar can be a real danger if you are locked in a plane.
8. Keep them entertained
To avoid numbers, it is important that the little ones are not bored at any time. Have books with stickers, toys of few pieces, crayons (of triangular so they do not roll around the cabin), tablets with games that do not need internet connection and any other form of entertainment that comes to mind. Do not bring toys with sound and all passengers will thank you. Do not forget to wear helmets that are comfortable for you if you can put a movie.
9. Teach them how to behave on the plane.
It is never too early to teach good manners. If you think it's too small for a conversation to take effect, try the "plane game" The goal is to get two hundred points and who gets them will get a prize (make sure it is something that motivates them). Not moving from the seat unless you have permission is worth 10 points. Play quietly, 10 points. Ask things with education to the stewardess, to dad or mom, 10 points. Speak low, 20 points. Do not discuss with the brothers, 50 points. And finally, do not kick the front seat (which seems to be something instinctive in all children), 100 points!
10. Ignore the idiots (and do not be one of them)
If you travel with children it is difficult that you do not take a good dose of "murderous looks" for the mere fact of getting on the plane. There are those who have had bad experiences and there are those who simply do not like children. Avoid unnecessary dislikes and turn a deaf ear if you hear any poisoned comment; you and your children have the same right as the rest of being on that plane. But do not be among those who use your children's age as an excuse and try to bother them as little as possible.