How to Prepare Your Child for Their First Flight
Last Updated on December 4, 2016 by Jody Halsted
One of the best ways to prepare your child for a flight is by teaching them as much as possible about the experience. This is not always easy to do, but there are many resources that you can use to help you with the preparation.
There are many books that have deal directly with airplanes and flying. Go to your local library or get online to find some more books that will help to tell your child exactly what will take place when they visit the airport and during the flight. A few great books and a website are:
Airplane Flight!: A Lift-the-Flap Adventure by Susanna Leonard Hill is a book that was created to help very young children better understand airplanes and flight. The book has great verse to it, and children will love to lift the 10 flaps of fun. This book is not well-suited for children over the age of seven.
The “Eyewitness Books” had author Andrew Nahum write a great book titled Flight. This book provides in-depth wordage and scientific information about flying. There is also a brief history about flight. This is definitely one of the most well-written books about flight for children of any age.
NASA has a website designed to the fit the needs of young flyers. This provides some detailed information about flying and the parts that make up the planes.
These books and magazines really help to open up the communication as well, so your child may even ask you more detailed questions about the experience. The range of questions will vary based upon the age of your child.
Ask your child if they have any questions about the flying process. You can go online to a variety of different websites to get detailed information about all parts of the plane, the people that are involved in the flight and what the expectations are for passengers. These sites bring the airport to life in your own home, and they will help to familiarize your child with what they will see.
You should also look ahead to see if the specific airline or airports have any additional help for your child's first flight. Some of the better airlines provide special things for first-time flyers, and this is a great way to help your child deal with the first flight. Do whatever you can at home to make sure that you are totally prepared for as much as you can be. Of course, there will be something that happens that you could not plan for. When this happens, simply get through the situation the best that you can.
When we were planning to go to Barcelona, I decided it would be a great idea to teach my girls how to book an online flight. I let my 9 year old do an online search for flights to Barcelona. The main results were from popular travel companies, so we checked through most of those looking for the best flight and fastest arrival time. We talked about whether or not it was worth spending the extra money to get there faster, and we decided that we wanted to get there fast, so we spent the extra money. We ended up buying our flight tickets to Barcelona from Cheapflights which offered the best deals at the time.
Then we looked at some specific airline websites to see if we could find anything better, but we did not. My younger daughter, who was 5 at the time, helped out by putting in the dates. At the time, we were not sure of the exact dates, so we looked around to find the best prices.
Both of my girls loved booking the flight. We talked about everything involved with the process, and we even picked our own seats. This gave them some control of the situation, and it made our flight enjoyable and pretty stress-free.
It is a good idea to purchase or make a small little animal or keepsake that is special for flying. This animal is only allowed to leave the home to go on flights, and that makes it very special. The keepsake can be used to help comfort your child during any waiting times or unique situations that occur.
If you live near an airport, you may want to go and visit it before you actually have to get on the plane. You should be able to get a good look at a plane that is similar to the one that you will be on for your flight. It is important to give your child as much experience as possible, and seeing an actual airplane is a great way to make the experience more meaningful and less frightening. The children will be amazed at the sheer size of the airplane.
You should also prepare your children for the security check points. According to the TSA website, children under 12 years will not have to remove their shoes. This site provides additional information regarding children and security. Explain to them that the metal detectors are just like x-rays that you get at the doctor or the dentist. They are used to make sure that everyone is safe during the flight.
You must prepare your carry-on bags for the flight, and this is a great way to involve your child in the process. Allow them to put some special ribbons or other cool things on their bag when flying. The more you involve your children, the better your chances are of having a smooth flight. Be sure to pack things for your child to do during the flight, and you should also have things to do in case your flight gets delayed. Keep some cool activities hidden in your carry-on bag to give them something new to do during immense amounts of downtime.
If you prepare your child for as much as you can before even getting to the airport, then you will have the best possible flight. It is impossible to predict and plan for everything that can or will happen, but you should show your child as much as possible beforehand. This makes your flight more exciting and less stressful for everyone involved.
Mike Burge is a teacher who loves to travel with his children. This is how he and his wife prepared their children for their first flight. This post was provided by Cheapflights.