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How to fly with kids during the Covid-19 pandemic

Boy looking out of a plane window and waving

 

Many families are having to face the scary scenario of flying with their children, baby or toddlers during the coming months for necessary travel. So we’ve put together a list of things to keep in mind when you're flying with your family during the pandemic.

Small children don’t understand social distancing or pandemic-style hygiene. And remember the whole flying experience is very exciting for little humans who will be keen to discover their new environment.

Here are some tips to consider if you are flying with a child:

Practice wearing a mask before your flight

Many airlines now require children over 2 years to wear masks during flights. So a cute, comfy mask, that fits your child properly is key - they’ll need to wear it for a long time, so think of it as an investment! Choose one with prints that your child can’t resist such as Paw Patrol or Disney Princesses. You could even take it one step further and help your child identify with other mask-wearing characters like Ninjago.

If your child hasn’t worn a mask much before, you’ll want to practice mask-wearing before you leave. And, if your flight is long, have your child wear a mask around the house for longer and longer periods of time to increase the odds of the mask comfortably staying on for the whole flight.

Pack duplicates of your child’s favorite items

I usually suggest packing duplicates of favorite blankets, stuffed animals, toys, and pacifiers any time you travel—you’d hate to lose your child’s beloved sleep buddy the day you leave! In COVID times, however, this is even more important. In reality, the odds of catching COVID or any other infection from a pacifier or toy that’s been dropped on the floor are really quite low. Still, it’ll give most parents peace of mind to be able to offer a clean duplicate instead of the one that just fell on the floor.

Sit at the back of the plane

If you’re traveling on an airline that allows you to pick your own seats when you check in online, try to select seats at the back of the plane. As families can generally board early, take advantage of this to get to your seats ASAP.

The advantages of snagging seats at the back of the plane are that you won’t have any passengers walking past you, and you can depart the plane at your leisure avoiding the “crunch” of passengers hurrying to get off as quickly as possible.

Don’t go too far back though, the last two rows could get congested with people hoping to use the lavatories. For extra distancing, grab a window seat. The window seat will offer nearly the recommended six feet of distance from people walking through the aisle.

Pack sanitizing wipes

While airplanes have never been cleaner than they are now, you never know who was sitting in that seat just 20 mins prior. It’s easy to quickly wipe down your seats and tray table with sanitizing wipes to clean your area before you take your seats.

In-flight snacks

Bring snacks, and lots of them as there aren’t many food options on flights and many airport shops are closed.

In-flight essentials

Keeping kids relaxed, comfortable and entertained during long flights is a huge challenge for many families. So make sure you bring plenty of small toys and activity books with you in your carry on luggage to supplement screen time.

Now here’s where Flyaway Kids Bed saves the day! This product is a fantastic new device that creates a space for your toddler to stretch-out so they can sleep and play. It stops their toys and books from falling on the floor, and can be wiped clean after each flight with a sanitizing wipe.

 

Child sleeping on Flyaway Kids Bed

 Flyaway Kids Bed helps children sleep and play on planes!

And here are some tips for when you arrive at your destination:

Restroom locations

Look for a bathroom in a less travelled area, away from the gate and baggage terminal which most travellers flock to. We then washed hands very well and put on fresh masks. 

Clear customs quickly

Ask for help locating the family lanes at customs. Even if they don’t have one, customs staff will often lead you aside and take your family right to the front of the line. It doesn’t work 100% of the time but it never hurts to ask! There are few things worse than a long customs line after an exhausting flight with children, especially if you’re trying to maintain a safe distance from others. 

Well that sums it up!

Flying with kids just became a whole lot more complicated! We hope this information will help you look forward to your next trip and wish you and your family a safe and relaxing flight. Especially as we move into a busy travel and holiday season.

 

mother with child sleeping on the plane

Author: Debra Pally is the Swiss/Australian CEO of Flyaway Designs and inventor of Flyaway Kids Bed – an award-winning travel bed that helps children sleep and play on planes. She has 2 young boys and lives in Zurich, Switzerland.