Having recently published my Travelling with Children Ultimate Travel Guide, I have decided to write a post on keeping your children calm at the airport for the Around The World Blog, for more great tips for travelling with kids check out my ultimate guide on the link above.
Waiting in an airport isn’t fun for anybody. Finding the right check-in area, going through security and keeping an eye on the gate is stressful enough; and if you have rowdy kids in tow, it will only get worse. However, with a little pre-planning, there’s no reason why your children can’t actually relieve some of your stress. These tips will help you keep your kids under control.
Bring travel games
Your kids probably won’t be interested in the perfume counter. Having a few games packed in your hand luggage to keep them entertained in the departure lounge is always a good idea. If you have a tablet, download a few new applications or let them browse the airport Internet. Otherwise, take the classics â€“ travel scrabble and connect four.
Manage their expectations
Always over-anticipate the waiting period. Tell your children well in advance that the plane will probably be late. Get them to expect a long waiting time and they won’t be as frustrated if there actually is a delay.
Get them involved
Give your children a few responsibilities. Getting them to feel more involved with everything will make them feel more adult, which will calm them down during long periods of waiting. Tell them to keep an eye on the departure times to see when the gate opens. Obviously, you shouldn’t rely on their word; it’ll just good to make them feel like they’re helping out.
Let them play
A lot of airports will have play areas and crèche facilities. If they do, let your children play for as long as possible. Knowing they are in one place means that you don’t need to constantly worry about them wondering off. Letting your kids engage in a little physical activity will also tire them out before they board the plane, which is especially beneficial if you’re taking a long haul flight.
Play mind games
Airports are great places for little mind games such as eye spy. Try giving your kids specific tasks. For example, tell one of them to count everyone they see who’s wearing a red coat, and the other to count everyone who has a blue coat, and see who wins after ten minutes. Or get them to guess how long it’ll take to get through security. Use your imagination. There are literally thousands of options out there that will keep your kids entertained. Make some up, or better still, get your kids to make some up!
Getting through the airport is the first hurdle when you’re travelling with children. If they make it through without causing too much trouble, there’s nothing your holiday will throw at you that you won’t be able to handle. Before you start packing, make sure you take these tips into consideration and get yourself prepared. Charge your tablet and phone; pack some travel games; and before you leave, make sure you tell your kids frequently that there’ll probably be some long waiting times at the airport.