Friendly Skies

March Break's finally here, and it's the trip of a lifetime... the one you saved up for all year! The hitch? You're flying with your kids! Here are a few tips and fun things to do to make the skies friendlier and to trouble-proof your trip!

- Try to book your flight during non-peak times! Fewer crowds mean less stress.

- Direct or Layover? There are 2 schools of thought. Some parents like non-stop flights and feel that the fewer trips, the easier. Some feel that a break in an airport in the middle of a long journey can actually be a good idea. See what scenario works best for your family.

- Make sure you get a flight with a movie - kids will love it and it will help pass the time.

- Invest in headsets or kid-size earphones so kids can plug into music during the flight.

- Order a kid-friendly meal at least 24 hours prior to the flight. Check your airline's policies. If meals are not available, make sure you pack some well-liked healthy snacks. This isn't the time to introduce new foods - midair allergies are just plain ugly. You’ll also keep kids happy with their favourite treats.

- Ask for blankets and pillows as soon as you board to make the kids comfortable.

- Bring some gum for the kids to chew (if they are old enough). This will help unblock ears. For infants and toddlers, have them take a bottle, a sippie cup, or give them a pacifier. This will help little ears when the air pressure in the airplane is at its worst.

- Have your kids bring a small backpack with their favourite books, comics, toys, stuffed animal, sticker activity books, and colouring gear. Bring comics and activity books (Sudoku, crosswords), and electronics for older children.

- Toys that are a no-no on the plane consist of things that makes noise, playdoh, or anything sticky, balls, LEGO, or toys that include very tiny pieces, and Frisbees (too many small pieces and no room to play). Try travel-size board games.

- Bring a fun loot bag for each child with some new surprises. Use it as a reward if they behave during the flight.

The important thing is to plan ahead and try to anticipate problems that may occur. When in doubt, communicate with your airline.

Happy travels!

Pick your carrier wisely! The following are links to Canada's top airlines' services and policies when flying with children and infants:

Air Canada

Air Transat

CanJet Airlines

Porter Airlines


What tips have you used to make air travel more fun with your kids?

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