1. Travel Preparation
Where should you fly to? Get your children involved in planning the holiday. What is there to discover in the country? What language is spoken? What currency is used? Books and films can work well for inspiration. The destination should offer something for the whole family; the accommodation should be suitable for children and be equipped with a high chair, cot, and washing machine.
2. Booking flights
If it is going to be a child’s first flight, then it is best to choose a short distance and let them gather some experience in flying. Avoid particularly early and late take-offs. Night flights are recommended when flying long-distance with smaller children. Children younger than two are not entitled to a seat of their own and travel on a parent’s lap. Some airlines offer cots when flying long-distance. After their second birthday, children need their own seat and ticket. Child seats (child restraint systems) may be used for children up to seven years. You can pre-order meals for children in advance of long-distance flights.
5. Hand luggage
It is also important to ask your airline beforehand for their policies on hand luggage. When flying with children, most airlines let you carry an additional piece of hand luggage. A small backpack is ideal, containing things like the child’s favourite teddy, toys, and crayons. Baby food, snacks, a change of clothes, socks, possibly a blanket, baby wipes, and diapers should all be packed inside the parent’s hand luggage. Baby food is allowed in hand luggage and is checked at security. Otherwise, only liquids up to max. 100ml and inside a sealable one litre plastic bag may be carried.
As a family, you can use the separate security checkpoint in Terminal 1 in the middle of level E1. Some airlines allow you to check in your baggage the evening before if you are departing early.
9. On board
Some airlines offer priority boarding for families. You should choose carefully here whether boarding early is a sensible option. Once on board, some airlines give out small surprise bags containing puzzles, crayons, and drawing pads. On long-distance flights, there is often a special video and audio entertainment programme for children. Otherwise, a toy, book, or (if need be) tablet are recommended to be at the ready in your hand luggage. Due to the effect of changing air pressure on the ears, children should chew on something during take-off and landing. Chewing gum is suitable for bigger children, whereas toddlers and babies can be breastfed, given food, or calmed with a dummy. While on board, make sure that your child drinks enough water and occasionally gets some movement.