I’m petrified of flying. I know a lot of people say that, and I believe them. But, I have to put it out there that I’ve never seen anyone perform as much as I do. My lips tingle, I get tunnel vision, my hands sweat, I can’t seem to get enough air, I get dizzy, my heart races, and the tears are given full reign. I yell out and gasp at the slightest turbulence. And, by turbulence, I mean when the plane takes off, lands, levels out, turns, or someone kicks my chair. And these are just hour-long flights to Cape Town. So, the thought of flying with children is even less appealing to me. What if they ask me a question? Like, “Mom, why are you green? What does $%^&* mean? Why are the people around you staring? Is that uncle taking a video of you with his phone?” These are all things that have actually happened. I could probably get that video for you.
I’m not sure what to do about the drama that surrounds flying with me, but TravelStart has a very handy infographic with some advice on flying with children. And what kind of blogging mama would I be if I didn’t share it?
I especially love the part about getting books and apps ready in advance so that there’s plenty to keep your little one entertained, particularly on long flights. My daughter LOVES MineCraft (I’ll never understand why – the graphics look like those ones we used to have on the green computer monitors of the early 90’s). We also encourage reading and problem-solving apps. Xander is a fantastic resource for these, and the kids have too much fun to notice that they’re learning at the same time.
I also think that it’s important to make sure that your child feels as comfortable as possible. Bring along a favourite pillow, blanket, or stuffed toy. If there’s a bedtime ritual, try to incorporate it as far as possible (maybe you read them a story or say a prayer with them). By doing this, they aren’t too far away from their comfort zone.
When TravelStart first approached me to do this guest blog, I was hesitant. I’ve never flown with my daughter, and I tend to avoid being more than three metres off the ground. That having been said, I was prepared to get on board when there was the promise of a Mauritian honeymoon or a visit to my family in the UK. I know it’s do-able. So, the next time I need to book cheap flights from Johannesburg to Cape Town or anywhere else in the world (hint hint), I’ll give them a shot. I’m fairly sure the chances are minimal that I’ll plummet out of the sky with smoke and flames trailing.
Maybe, like, 50% sure.
Here are some other parents that share my confidence: