In vacation with babies – tips for air travel

Ways to improve family travel experience

Sleeping baby in a plane

Anyone who wants to fly on vacation with a baby will surely wonder how they can have a stress-free flight for both parents and child? And what kind of service can they expect from the airline? We have seven tips for you here.

When George Clooney took an airplane trip with his twins a while back, he was well prepared. As a US gossip magazine reported, the actor and his wife distributed noise protection headphones to the other first-class passengers. Clooney had written a note about this, apologizing in advance. Fortunately for him, none of the fellow passengers had to protect their hearing; the Clooney family’s babies probably slept through the flight.

More relaxed flights when traveling with babies

When even super-rich celebrities like Clooney worry about flying with babies, it becomes clear: it is not easy for ordinary people with babies and toddlers on board. It is not just the stress of getting to the airport on time, but also a question about how the little ones survive the flight to the destination. We have a few tips here on how you can have a relaxed flight with your baby.

Tip #1 – Choose flight time cleverly

If possible, choose the times for the outward and return flights according to your baby’s sleeping times. It is best to take a long-haul flight at night when the child is likely to have the longest sleep period. You may not know some hidden features on a plane. Many airlines offer a special baby bassinet for families, placed in the partition between economy and business class. Children under two years of age can sleep peacefully and safely in this basket. However, only a few such sleeping baskets are available on each flight; they can be reserved in advance with the airline.

Tip #2 – Book your own seat for the child

Seat belt for toddlers
Toddler on his own seat

When traveling with babies under the age of two, travelers may have the option of taking their baby on their lap using a belt extension (“loop belt”). However, this is not recommended, especially for longer flights. A separate seat for babies could lead to better and longer sleep.

Tip #3: Use baggage clearance

Even small passengers are entitled to a free baggage allowance, so you don’t have to restrict yourself when packing your suitcase for your baby. Strollers and buggies are also allowed on board; they are usually checked in at the gate.

Tip #4 – Take advantage of family benefits

Many airlines offer some preferential treatment to passengers traveling with young children. If you want to fly with a baby, you don’t have to worry about standing in line at the back of the queue. Sometimes, if there is no dedicated priority check-in for families, there might be a specially assigned counter, just for mum, dad and baby. The same applies to passport control and security checks. If you can’t spot the aforementioned services, ask the airline staff.

Holding baby in airplane
Entertain your baby. Or else!

Tip #5 – Take care of your ears

Babies and small children, in particular, often have problems with equalizing pressure at high altitudes. It is important here that the child swallows frequently. Babies can have a baby feeder, a bottle, or a pacifier. With small children, a lollipop helps to distract from flying and to create the necessary pressure compensation. Older children can get some candies or chew gum.

Tip #6 – Take baby food with you

Don’t be afraid of the security check! You can safely take baby food with you, such as milk powder, baby food jars, water, or drinking bottles. But it’s best to pack your own bag, which you can show at the check-in. If you did not book a suitable onboard menu for your toddler, you should carry various small snacks, so you will always be able to offer him a little surprise.

Tip #7 – Prepare an entertainment program

It is difficult to predict how your baby or toddler will behave when flying. Some children fall asleep at take-off. Others want to be entertained during the entire flight. So that flying doesn’t get too boring for your baby, you should remember to take suitable toys with you. It may be a new toy or some interesting book that the child has not yet looked at. Some airlines often hand out surprise bags with coloring materials or toys for their little passengers.

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