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6 tips for flying with kids, from when to fly to booking flights

Travelling with children comes with its own set of difficulties. Picture: Gustavo Fring / Pexels

Travelling with children comes with its own set of difficulties. Picture: Gustavo Fring / Pexels

Published Mar 2, 2022


Planning a family holiday should be a thrilling adventure so don’t let the stress of flying get to you.

Travelling with children comes with its own set of difficulties. From the rushing to fussing and the worry of forgetting something important, it can truly be chaos. However, don’t let this spoil your next family holiday, there are things you can do to ensure everything runs smoothly and everyone has a good time on their flight.

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FlySafair tips to make your next family flight a little easier:

Book early

If you’re looking to save on your next family holiday, book in advance to take advantage of the early bird specials. Flights are cheaper long before the departure date, but as your boarding time draws closer and fellow passengers book their seats, the price starts to increase. So have the kids’ school calendar at hand and get planning.

When to fly

If your travel plans allow for it, book your flight after the morning rush and before the evening flights. Departure times between 11am and 4pm mean you can skip the traffic to the airport and the kids won’t arrive too late for their bedtime. The airport is usually quieter during these times, making check-in and security a breeze. A handy tip: these flights are also usually cheaper than the early morning and evening slots.

Prepare first-time flyers

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Is it your child’s first time on a plane? To avoid those new-passenger jitters, prepare kids for the exciting journey ahead. Sit them down a couple of days before and explain what’s going to happen at the airport, on the aircraft and when they land. A YouTube video might be a helpful tool to familiarise them with the airport.

If you and your family need special assistance, safety regulations require you to inform the airline when you book.

Arrive with time to spare

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Between unexpected bathroom breaks and a forgotten backpack at the check-in counter, we don’t always know what to expect when travelling with children. Take the pressure off by arriving at the airport a little earlier than needed to make it through check-in and security before boarding. Once all the admin is done, you can relax near the boarding gate.

Pack a Sick Kit

Much like car or sea sickness, you never know it’s a problem until it happens. Be prepared with a bag of tricks to get you and your family through any unexpected air sickness. A Sick Kit includes medication for sensitive fliers as well as some wet wipes and a bag. Packing a second set of clothes in your carry-on luggage is also a good idea.

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Be prepared

Activities can help time fly. A favourite toy, colouring book and pens, or a puzzle can keep little ones distracted. Just be mindful of any toys with small and finicky parts that could get lost or forgotten at the end of the flight – no need to start or end the holiday on a bad note.