Flying with young family: do you think it is really worth the hassle?
I say yes!! Travelling around beautiful cities like Venice or Rome are wonderful experiences that most travellers will cherish for their rest of their lives. Though, flying with young family can make things very stressful especially if you don’t do thorough research beforehand. In my years of traveling I’ve heard so many people complaining about the general behavior of kids on a plane, and I do not ever recall being disturbed by another child.
For stress-free travel, all eventualities should be covered, and the wellbeing of yourself and your young children should be of paramount importance. Thus, the need to thoroughly plan out your itinerary before you leave is extremely important for efficient travel.
One variable that is often overlooked is flying. The whole booking of flights, airports and flying can change a person. Flying with children could be a struggle in itself regardless of whether you’re flying short or long haul, if you are not prepared enough. With the following tips, we hope to make your journey a lot less stressful so you can maximise your holiday to the fullest.
Flying with young family: our top tips
Always look to book a flight at night if you are flying with young family
Especially when flying long haul for those visitors coming from outside Europe, if you travel to somewhere like Venice or Rome, make sure to book a night flight. This won’t interrupt your child’s regular schedule and will mean they will sleep on the plane.
Always research the airline thoroughly if you are flying with young family
Never take baggage allowances, handheld luggage, infant seating, EU taxes, online check-ins, booking fees for granted. UK-based company Parking4Less published a blog post documenting the many costs people incur because they ignored the fine print on their flight tickets. The post entitled ‘Beware of Cheap Flights Extra Costs’ is very relevant to our readership as the airlines mentioned are European operators catering for short haul flyers. These airlines tend to charge little for the actual flights but make their money on the many charges they impose on their customers.
Never, never exceed baggage allowances
The fat cats behind airline companies rub their hands at the prospect of customers exceeding baggage limits. Yes, it’s extremely hard to pack all you need in a couple of suitcases to suffice enough for a small family holiday but please recognise the issues of exceeding the limits. The Economist published an article reporting that airlines made $3.5 billion (3.6 billion Euro) from passengers exceeding baggage limits in 2014 alone.
Pack snacks for the journey
Generally airport food is average at best. But more importantly its extremely expensive. When travelling with a young family make sure to pack healthy snacks for your children to consume while at the airport and things you can take on the plane for them. If you have just visited Italy and you’re ready to come back home, you can buy fresh fruit and sandwiches at the market of the city you’ve been to. Cheaper and healthier!
Always bring toys and pencils in kids’ backpack
Italian airports are about to become more and more family oriented (to our biggest delight). Both at Malpensa and Fiumicino there are areas reserved to families traveling to Italy. In particular passengers in transfer to Milan Malpensa can have fun with their kids at Volandia Flight Museum, a great exhibition about the Italian history of flight. The museum is 15 minutes walk from Terminal 1.
Unfortunately, domestic or smaller airports do not have family facilities, so be sure to provide for kids entertainment with your toys, books and a small drawing set. It could be useful even on board, especially for long haul.
Help their ears on take off and landing
Federico was 7 months old when took his first flight and I was told to help him during take off and landing in order to avoid his delicate ears to hurt. I didn’t know that babies have not yet developed the ability to equalize their eardrums naturally. So guess why so many babies scream during take off and landing? Because of this pressure on their ears! Breastfeeding your baby or having them suck on a dummy could be a brilliant solution for a safe and fun flight!