When choosing flights, unless we are flying long haul, we tend to pick early morning flights so we can make the most of the destination we are flying to.
Flying early, however, can bring up some challenges, especially when flying with children.
Top Tips to surviving an early flight with kids
Get everything ready and packed the day before you are due to travel, that way you are not stressed in the morning, which the kids will sense and cause them to play up.
We also ensure the car is packed up the night before, so, with the exception of important documents and handbags, we can jump straight in the car and go.
Depending how close you live to the airport, you could choose to stay overnight the night before your flight so you get slightly longer in bed and have a shorter journey to the airport.
Many hotels offer combined rooms and airport parking offers to help you save money.
On our latest holiday we stayed in Travelodge, Gatwick and was surprised by how quiet and comfortable it was.
Take a bag for spare clothing and leave in the car so you don’t have to take it with you on holiday and get showered and dressed before waking the kids.
Use off-site Airport Parking
We use off-site parking such a Cophall or Purple Parking which allows you to park your car safely and then drives you on a minibus directly to the terminal.
Use the Family Lanes
Many airports have family lanes in security if you’re travelling with children or need additional assistance. These dedicated lanes give you extra time and help to get through security.
Make sure you have boarding passes and your passports ready and to hand in a plastic folder.
Going through airport security is probably one of the most stressful parts of travelling, so warn children that their possessions will have to be scanned and there is absolutely nothing to worry about. Apparently toys enjoy their x-ray adventures.
Once upon a time we would have loved perusing all things duty free, these days it is all about finding the Kid Zone with soft play and TV to entertain the kids!!
If you must shop, leave them with your OH and enjoy a few minutes of peace!
Drinks and Snacks
Drinks and snacks are a brilliant way of distracting children. Remember that you are not allowed to take drinks through airport security, so bring an empty reusable bottle and fill up at one of the water stations on the other side.
Try to avoid sugary treats before a flight, pack cereal bars and savoury treats before you go.
Games and Toys
Pack your child’s rucksacks with interesting things to do: travel size games, crayons, colouring books, a favourite book or toy are the best.
Keep them with you, so they can be used both on and off the plane and during any transfers.
Get to your gate early
We always head to our gate as soon as it is announced, so we can check-in and be ready as soon as they start boarding.
Enjoy your flight
An early flight, also means an early start for the kids, so they very often fall asleep once you are in the air.
We also take iPads and ensure that they have items downloaded on BBC iPlayer and Netflix to watch during the flight.
Extra’s to take
I am really lucky that my kids enjoy flying, however turbulence can make them feel ill. Take a change of clothing, just in case, especially if they are very little!!
What time of day do you prefer to fly?