Family vacations are special times of the year, but they can be very challenging for parents get through. Air travel is especially difficult and can be the cause of significant levels of stress for the entire family. Unfortunately for many types of vacation there is no way around going through an airport and flying by private jet is beyond most of our wildest dreams.
However, there are a couple of things that you can do to make the airport experience less stressful and not be a cause of arguments. The following points are very simple to plan for and will not result in significant increases in costs. Ultimately the trade-off will be a much happier day of travelling.
1) Book Your Seats In Advance
To avoid being separated in different rows and even parts of the plane you should always pre-book your seats. While young babies up to the age of 2 usually are seated on a parents lap, this is not the case with children over 2. If you are delayed in any way on your way to the airport you will not be guaranteed seats together, so make sure you plan for this in advance.
2) Allow For Extra Time
Whether you are traveling with a baby or trying to deal with teenagers you will have to allow for additional time at the airport. Passing through security will take longer the more people you are travelling with and with heightened security procedures this can take several hours. The last thing you want to happen is to end up running to your departure gate only to be told that you have missed a flight.
3) Book Into An Airport Lounge
Especially when travelling with small children it is a lot easier to deal with an airport in one of the lounges. Most people do not know that you do not have to be travelling business class to get access to a lounge. The advantages are that for a relatively small fee you will have a closed off, quiet environment. Snacks and refreshments are also available, and many lounges have small play areas and other kids entertainment.
4) Have Small Surprises For The Flight
No matter how old your kids are, they will enjoy receiving a small gift. For a young child this can be as simple as a new book or pens to do some drawing. Dependent on the age the attention span will differ, so you may need to bring along a few small surprises. For older children you may need to spend a little more, e.g. on new games for a portable console or download some new music tracks ahead of time to listen to.
5) Do Not Rush Off The Plane
When is the last time you got to the luggage belt to find that you suitcase is already there? For most people this will never have happened, so when the airplane arrives at the gate, just stay seated and wait for everyone else to push and shove their way off. Especially with young children it is not necessary to be part of that hassle of being first off the plane.