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Tips from a flight attendant: It's fun to travel with kids

21.4.2015 at 12:02
It isn't difficult to fly with children if you bear in mind a few basic tips. My own three-point list is as follows: a spare set of clothes, something to eat, and something to do during the flight.

Most airlines no longer give children activity packs, especially on shorter flights. It is a good idea to bring something interesting for the kids to do, also because it isn't always easy for them to sleep in a strange place.

Various types of hand-held game consoles are easy to carry with you, but don't forget the great classic: paper and coloured pencils. As a flight attendant, I'm sometimes given works of art my small passengers have created during the flight. We usually hang them on a wall for all crew members to admire. 

Children are rarely afraid of flying because they don't have preconceived ideas about it. That's one worry less!

Effortless take-off from Helsinki

Helsinki Airport has paid special attention to the needs of its youngest passengers. Families with children can use a dedicated security check point in Terminal 2. That's a big relief, as it allows you to avoid the long, tedious queues.

The airport has many play areas and good baby care facilities. Children will also be delighted to hear birds chirping in the toilets, which is a pretty unique treat in a public area.

Personally, I think the best thing about Helsinki Airport is that it offers such great views of the runways. My lively kids never get tired of gazing at the goings-on and vehicles on runways.

Stress-free flights

Children may suffer from ear discomfort, particularly during landings. Chewing gum may help them pop their ears, or yawning could work even better. It could be good to teach them to yawn already before the flight. You can help small babies by giving them a milk bottle during landing, as swallowing eases ear discomfort.

In fact, if you notice passengers yawning more than normal, they may not be suffering from boring travel company but from aching ears!

Some find relief by covering their ears with plastic cups that have warm tissues at the bottom. Sometimes even adults are given these 'Mickey Mouse' ears that they may remember from their childhood.

Even though it's no longer possible to visit the cockpit, children are always welcome to the flight attendants' kitchen, equipped with many gadgets that home kitchens don't have.

You can ask the flight attendants to warm up jars of baby food, but they are not allowed to store anything in the aeroplane's fridges. I discovered that it was easier to travel with small children when I had accustomed them to eating room-temperature food.

Aeroplane toilets have handy folding tables for changing nappies.

Wishing you a nice trip with the little ones!