Listen Live

Jane Linley-Thomas’ top tips for flying with children

Here’s a look at how Jane ensures smooth travel while flying with her children.

Children travelling plane
iStock

There’s just one week left of the school holidays, which means many families will either be returning home after a relaxing vacation or packing up for one last adventure before schools re-open.

Travelling with small children, whether by land, air, or sea, can be a nerve-racking experience for parents.

It’s not only their kids’ safety that has mom and dad worried but also how their little ones will behave during a long trip.

Flying with children is an experience in itself.

While travelling by car means you only have to worry about your children annoying each other, flying means you have a plane full of people to consider.

Passengers on a flight from Germany to New York recently recalled how a toddler screamed for eight-hours straight during the long-haul flight.

In this case, the little boy had a disability that affects his behaviour. But that didn’t stop passengers from describing his behaviour as “demonic” and joking that an exorcist was needed.  

The toddler’s desperate mother told a flight attendant to 'get the WiFi going so we can get the iPad going.'

East Coast Radio presenter Jane Linley-Thomas, who is a mom of three, knows all too well how difficult it is to fly with children.  

The mommy blogger recalled how her son Cooper had a “mini” accident on a passenger’s iPhone.

“While boarding a plane, I had tiny cooper on my shoulder as I squeezed through the aisle. As we passed a chap sitting in the aisle seat, Cooper was sick all over his iPhone, which he was busy on as we passed,” she says.

Jane says as a parent “the last thing we want is for our child to cause a scene in a confined space where sense of humour and tolerance is nil.”

“I have often wonder if there isn't a market for child-free planes, as a mom I would love a plane full of moms and dads dealing with the same issues, I mean if that isn't hard enough within the added pressure of onlookers.”

Jane has a few tricks up her sleeve to keep her children busy during a flight.

“We go the iPad and headphone route, but that's once we have exhausted all other options namely colouring in books, I spy, and a good session of Lego construction,” she says.

Packing your children’s favourite snacks is also a good idea while travelling.

“When we go on radio trips I pack a little cooler box for the kids with carrot sticks, apples, peanut butter sandwiches, marmite and cheese rolls, also biltong, fruit sticks and a packet of chips. Beware of food that is a choking hazard, also go easy on sugar snacks,” says Jane.

No matter how prepared you are, it is normal for children to have a tantrum or two.

Jane says there are two things you can pack for that as well.

“Travelling with small kids can be intense after five hours or so, so be ready for squabbles about space, and everything else. Pack patience and a sense of humour.”

ALSO READ: How to teach your child to read fluently from a young age

Show's Stories