Many parents are apprehensive at the thought of travelling with their tiny ones even on family holidays, especially when planning long flight or a first trip abroad with the children. We’ve all been on flights with a crying baby when other passengers are trying to sleep, and have felt the discomfort it causes, which is one of the reasons why people shy away from taking small children on flights. Don’t be discouraged by busy airports and overseas travel, however. Instead, read these tips on how to help your tiny toddlers behave and have a stress-free and relaxing holiday.

Get Your Kids Excited

Most children are thrilled at the prospect of being in an airplane, on a train, or on a ferry. For them, it’s a new and exciting experience that lets their imagination run wild and soak in the experience. Before going on your trip, talk to your kids about where you’ll be going (the country, language, show them the location on a map, etc.) and what mode of transportation you’ll be using. Be sure to show them pictures, videos, and even read books about your holiday and travel and they’ll be excited and captivated once it’s time to board your flight.

Make Sure Your Family Is Well Rested

Last minute packing and staying up late isn’t recommended the night before you travel, and it’s especially counter-productive if you’re travelling with the kids. Start packing your things a few days early and make a list as you go along to ensure you have all the chargers, electronics, documents, and toiletries that you need. Ensure that you and your family get a good night’s sleep before you fly, even if that means booking an airport hotel before that early morning flight.

Drive To The Airport

Avoid carrying heavy luggage from the station to the terminal by driving and parking at the airport. This will save you the hassle of using busy buses and trains and allow you comfort in the car. Check the traffic reports before you head out and give yourself ample time on the road, in case you should face some minor delays. No one likes stressing out before their flight and it will negatively impact on the kids if you are in a rush to get to the terminal.

Pack Games, Toys, Sweets

This point should come as no surprise, although in the frenzy of packing, it’s often difficult to remember those extra items to ensure your kids have enough activities to keep them busy. Ask them what toys they’d like to bring (special teddies, dolls, cars) that will preoccupy them on the flight and bring some small games and books too. In order to reward your children for good behaviour, or pacify them when they start getting cranky, also bring some of their favourite sweets and juice drinks to keep them happy.

For more tips on how to travel with kids, check out Essential Travel’s list and our Family Travel insurance guide..