All mothers and fathers who are used to travelling before becoming parents will certainly not want to deprive themselves of the joy of exploring the world even after the arrival of the children and in their company.
Even those who have never been used to travel, may want a new experience in the company of young travelers.
However, taking a long-haul flight when the children are still very young can be a stressful experience, unless you put a few small things into practice.
At Blueberry, even before we are the organizers of your extraordinary travel experiences, we are parents travelers with children in tow, so here are our tips on the subject, with one premise:
Difference between Infant and Child
The difference is obvious to all of us, but airlines usually make this distinction in terms of fares. That’s why it’s good to specify carefully what is meant by Infants and Children when buying an airline ticket:
Infants (INF) are all children from 0 months up to two years (not yet completed), and do not pay the plane ticket if they travel in the arms of a parent. They are not entitled to a meal or baggage (however, almost all airlines have baby food, baby food or juice for very young children on board).
Children (CNN) are all young travellers from the age of 2 to the age of 12. Children occupy a seat (just like adults) and are entitled to a small reduction in the air fare. They have one piece of checked baggage at their disposal as well as the right to a meal (the special meal can also be requested at the time of booking).
Here are 5 tips for traveling without too much stress on long-haul flights with Infants and Children
1. Request a cot:
If you are travelling with an Infant, take care to request the Cot when booking, that is, a basket that is attached to the wall of the plane, where the child can travel safely during the flight, having space to sleep and above all leaving a little ‘freedom to parents. It is a good idea to ask for the cradle when booking; each flight has a limited number of cradles at its disposal, so you may not be able to have them.
2. Helping with compensation:
Very young children cannot understand what happens during take-off and landing, so they cannot compensate. A precious help can come from the pacifier or from the feeding bottle with milk, water or fruit juice; anything that can help the little traveller to swallow is undoubtedly welcome. For older children it is a good idea to use candies, perhaps gummy ones that require chewing and swallowing.
3. Entertain the child:
This is undoubtedly the most difficult part and the part that most worries parents during long-haul flights, flying for more than 9 hours with a bored and nervous child can prove to be a nightmare for parents and all passengers.
Airplane entertainment systems also offer programmes and cartoons for children, but the choice is very limited. That’s why if you have a tablet you can load it with all the programs preferred by your little traveler to allow him to watch something (without internet connection, prohibited in flight), that can entertain him at best. An application like Amerigo (for tablets) could make the difference, because it allows you to download to your tablet hours and hours of your child’s favorite entertainment, and view it all without an internet connection.
So take with you also one (or more) loaded power bank, to be able to provide power to the tablet in case it should download. For older children it may be useful to bring a notebook with colors, and ask the little traveler to draw the plane, the hostesses and what he sees from the flight window. Always bring at least one of your child’s toys (or a puppet) that can help them entertain themselves, although the little ones are usually given some gadgets by the crew;
4. Be ready with a change:
This advice is superfluous because every mother travels with some change for her baby in her bag, but our suggestion is not only about the attention to be paid during the flight. We recommend that you always carry a few extra changes in your carry-on baggage, to be always well prepared in the unfortunate event that your checked baggage is lost. It is therefore good to be well prepared for this possibility;
5. Aiutare l’orologio biologico:
il jet lag ha solitamente degli effetti fastidiosi e ci preoccupiamo di come possano reagire i più piccoli a questi adattamenti di fuso orario. L’assunzione di melatonina, concordata con il proprio pediatra, può aiutare a regolare il ciclo sonno-veglia e consentire quindi al piccolo non solo di riposare durante il volo (facendo riposare anche mamma e papà), ma può aiutare anche a sopportare meglio il cambiamento di orario una volta giunti a destinazione.
Diventando genitori cambia il modo di viaggiare, ma non per questo si deve rinunciare a vedere il mondo con la propria famiglia, è un arricchimento che regalerà una straordinaria esperienza ai genitori ed aiuterà il bimbo a crescere cittadino del mondo e viaggiatore.