How nice it is to travel with children! And how much it has become increasingly common to travel with them on board an airplane. That’s why Meridiana decided to create a complete guide on how to fly with children, full of practical information and curious news for those who are going to undertake the first (but also the second and third) flight with their children. We have read it and we have obtained 5 useful tips that you absolutely must know!
1. The necessary documents: from the identity card or passport to the accompanying declaration
If you travel to countries of the European Community your children must have a valid identity card for expatriation. From 2012 it is also compulsory for newborns, for whom it is valid up to 3 years of age. From 3 to 18 years old you will need a new document.
How do I apply? Just go to the registry offices of your municipality with a personal identity document and two passport photos of the child.
If you travel outside Europe, of course, the identity card is no longer valid, but you must have an individual passport, to be applied for at the Police Headquarters, with the consent of both parents or the permission of the judge protector.
It may happen that a child under the age of 14 is travelling alone. In this case, an accompanying declaration must be added to the identity card: this sort of «authorisation» must be signed by the parents of the person who decides to accompany the child, whether it is a third party, an institution or a transport company. Remember that the accompanying declaration, which is valid for a single return journey, must be attached to the card and presented at the border.
Many airlines accept unaccompanied minor flights on board: with Meridiana, for example, it is possible to request this additional service at a cost of 40 euros.
2. Which place to choose?
The choice of place is certainly an important factor, which we cannot underestimate. If you are flying with a child between 2 and 12 years of age, you can book a seat for them near the window, so that the little ones do not miss the two most important moments of the flight.
If you are travelling with an infant from 0 to 2 years of age, you can choose a comfortable seat for yourself, depending on your needs. Remember that babies do not pay for airfare and must be held in their arms throughout the trip: the companion will be given a special belt for the phases of takeoff and landing. Please note that in intercontinental travel (long distance) some airlines, including Meridiana, offer the possibility to request a cradle on board.
3. Waiting for boarding
In our list on how to «fly with children: useful tips» we can not help but talk about what to do while waiting for boarding. We avoid making our children drink exciting drinks, which could cause restlessness during the flight. It’s good to take them to the bathroom just before boarding and use this time that separates us from the trip to buy some snacks to eat during the flight.
Of course the wait is not pleasant for anyone, especially for them: to distract children we can involve them in some game or take them to the baby friendly areas in some airports.
4. What to do during the flight.
First of all, we draw children’s attention to the phases of take-off and landing: if this is their first time, they will be thrilled and will experience a unique emotion.
To avoid earaches during the trip, the most traditional methods are used: from candy to chewing gum, or milk or dummies for babies.
Then organize your child’s entertainment with coloring books, fairy tales to read and games to play sitting down: this will avoid boredom and consequent whims.
5. A few more tips.
Don’t forget to bring any medicines that may be useful for the well-being of your child and that may be useful during the trip. It is necessary to choose comfortable, layered clothing for the little ones, to avoid nervousness and excessive temperature changes.
If you fly with babies, remember that you have the possibility to bring an unlimited amount of milk, which may be needed several times during the flight. In general, even for adults, it is advisable to hydrate frequently, so as to overcome the discomforts caused by the dryness of the air caused by high pressure.