As British families are jetting off for their summer holidays, Emirates’ cabin crew Emily Jones has compiled her top tips on flying with children based on almost a decade of experience with traveller tots.
With Lonely Planet packs for older children, adorable Fly With Me animals for little adventurers featuring Lewis the lion and Ernie the penguin, alongside over 100 special kids TV channels and new movies on ice like Dumbo and old favourites like Toy Story – there’s plenty to keep ‘are we nearly there yet’ questions at bay with Emirates.
Emily Jones’ Top Tips For Flying With Kids:
- Perfecting The Art Of Packing: Preparation is key when you’re responsible for little people as well as yourself. A well-organised carry-on is essential, so a bag with lots of pockets for easy access is a great idea. Make sure that you have their special comfort toy or blanket and carry a spare just in case it gets dirty or it goes missing. Pack warm layers for both you and your kids – something often forgotten when travelling to a warm destination! Make a list and double check it before you leave home.
- Toy Time: Bring a mix of old and new toys with you and make a game of giving the toys out by wrapping them up and asking your children to guess what’s inside. Keep it simple and pack cheap items like notebooks and pens, puzzle books and comics – you will be surprised how long they occupy them! The games can continue throughout the flight by adding items you find along the way such as the Emirates Fly With Me toys and Lonely Planet activity packs which our cabin crew will give to you during your journey.
- Be Snack-Savvy: Onboard meals won’t always be served during your usual routine so small nibbles here and there are a great distraction technique. Snacks that travel well, such as dried or fresh fruit, and anything in a ‘natural packaging’ are your best friend in the air. Skins help with hygiene and freshness, so fruits with peels, oranges, banana, avocado etc. are a great addition to your carry-on. Rice cakes and popcorn are also tasty snacks that won’t take up too much of your valuable weight allowance. For mini travellers, Emirates proudly supplies Ella’s kitchen range of convenient food pouch options that contain natural ingredients with disposable packaging. Kids will also get a snack box filled with treats to enjoy along the journey. If your child has a special diet, tell us when you book and we’ll serve a meal that’s right for them.
- Kitted Out: Don’t overpack the essentials in your onboard bag as Emirates provides infant amenity kits which include nappies and wipes, lotion and baby bottles for the younger members of the family. Please don’t be afraid to ask your cabin crew if there’s anything you have run out of – it’s easy to under-estimate how much you will need especially if connecting on to further destinations (and we can be very resourceful!). Alternatively, we are always happy to heat up any food or drinks that the kids want to bring from home.
- Let Me Entertain You: Emirates award-winning inflight entertainment; ice is the ultimate entertainer for mini travellers with colourful children’s headsets available for all kids. You can kickstart the excitement at home by creating a playlist online before the flight with some new favourites including Dumbo and Wonder Park or old classics like Toy Story and Lion King amongst the 1,500 movies available on board for the whole family. Ask your cabin crew to help synchronise on board and hours of entertainment awaits – Emirates has over 4,500 channels of the most sought-after entertainment in the air, so don’t worry about running out of things to watch.
- Nipper Naptimes: Try to create a comfortable sleep environment by using eye shades for children and covering any light sources (e.g. put a blanket over the handset lights). Take advantage of when the cabin crew turn the lights down for sleeping as this is the optimal time for a nap as there are less distractions. Before settling your kids off to sleep, make sure their seatbelts are on so that the crew don’t have to disturb you.
- Beating The Time Zones: Before you start, have a think about the length of your flight and changing of time zones, as well as how long you will stay at your destination to schedule naps where needed. If possible, try to keep children on as close to their usual sleeping times as you can, as if they need to adjust to a new time zone it is better to make that adjustment once you have reached your destination.
- Life In The Fast-Lane: We know how taxing the airport experience can be for parents that’s why we offer priority boarding to families to help you get onboard and settle in before the rush. If you’re travelling beyond Dubai and your pram is checked in to your final destination, Emirates provides Maclaren strollers just as you enter Dubai airport which are easily identifiable in the signature Emirates red and can be used right up until you board your next flight. I’d recommend using your layover time in the airport to stretch your legs and distract your children with the new environment to tire them out ready for the next leg.
- And Finally… don’t forget your cabin crew are inflight best friends! We love to meet your little ones and are happy to have visitors
- the galley which also keeps us entertained on long flights! Flying with children can be stressful enough, so let the cabin crew help you to have a break. We can even capture special family moments onboard with an instant Polaroid camera which you can keep in a colourful photo frame signed by the whole crew.
To book your next flight with Emirates contact your local travel agent or visit www.emirates.com/UK.