How to survive long airport layovers with children’s

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For those who like to travel, there is nothing better than to get a direct flight to
our destination and land on your detination.
However, this is not often possible, and as the travel the world, the
greater is our desire to explore new and different destinations, which often
increases the number of airport layovers.

And, if there are layovers that are short, 2, 3 hours, and we almost have to run to arrive on time to the next plane, others are that can last
for hours, many hours, which can make the wait huge.

And if waiting hours at an airport, often already tired from the
previous trip can be hard for adults, for children it may be even more.  And
when the children’s are tired and bored, 
this usually means problems for parents.

 

In order to avoid these difficult moments for the family, we have always
tried to create the maximum of strategies to make these moments so possitive as possible.

What we propose in this article is to share our strategies, with the hope that it may help
you to plan your family trip, especially when your trip includes long layovers
at airports with kids.

The airports are all different, some are wonderful and modern, others old, some are near cities, others are far away, others are quick to check in,
others take a long time … If we know that we will spend many hours at an
airport, our first goal must go through study the airport well and, fortunately
today we have internet, were there is a huge variety of information that can help you
to know your airport in detail. 

You can see, for example, our article about
Changi Airport, one of the best airports in the world, and one of the easiest to do a
long layover.
LEAVE THE AIRPORT AND EXPLORE
Whenever possible, we like to explore the nearest city, or any other
point of interest. For example, on a recent trip we spent 9 hours at Heatrow
Airport, and we were able to take advantage of the hours to take a terrific
ride through the city of Windsor, which only made our trip even more wonderful.

 

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING DIFFERENT: HOW ABOUT INCREASING YOUR LAYOVER HOURS?

It may be weird but, this can also be a strategy to make a layover more
interesting. I explain with a situation that occurred to us when our son was 4
years old, and he was crazy about dinosaurs. On our trip to Iceland (you can see here by clicking this link), we also had to do a layover in London for a few hours.

 

Although we knew London, our son had never been there and one of his
main wishes was to visit the Natural History Museum in London. So when we
organized our trip, we managed to have a Layover of about 24 hours, which
allowed us to arrive in London in the morning, to visit the Museum of Natural
History that so much joy gave our son, we still managed to walk a lot around
the city and, we reserved one night at a hotel next to the airport, and the
next day we headed to Iceland. It was a phenomenal day, instead of a boring
Layover. Click here to see our one day itinerary in the city of London

If the number of hours is not too big and, of course, there is a fear
of venturing into the city on their own and loose your next fly, it may be a cool opportunity: airports or private companies often offer Tours, some even for free, exiting from the airport. The advantages of these tours are that, as they do
this daily, it is possible to be sure of the time it will take and when we will
be back to the airport, so that we do not risk losing our plane. 

Do your
research online and this could be a good option to explore a little the city
where you do your layover.
TURN ALL THE SITUATION INTO AN ADVENTURE

When we know that we are going to spend many hours at an airport, we
rarely see it as good news, and our facial expressions as well as our comments
often go along with those feelings. Now we are going to share a little
“secret” of psychology, since we are both psychologists: when
children are faced with new situations with their parents and are not sure how
to evaluate them, they will turn to their parents to evaluate how they react.

This works, for example, with fear: when a child is faced with a
situation that causes him / her some fear, discomfort, and is close to his parents, the child will look at them and when parents can transmit safety, they
will be able to overcome this fear more easely. In the opposite whay, when parents transmit
them also fear, they will increase this feeling in children, and it is more
difficult to overcome such fears.

Although not exactly the same, there are many similarities in the whau of how
parents face the situation of spending several hours at an airport. Those parent’s expressions and verbalizations can play a key role in how children deal with this
situations.
Although isn’t a desirable situation, when faced with a positive spirit,
it may be easier and even pleasurable. And this is what we should try to transmit to the child. Talking to her about what is going to happen is essential, talking about thee xploring that they are going to do, what they will look for, where
they can eat and, doing it with a positive feeling will certainly help a lot
in the way they will deal with these hours in the airport.

 

As we mentioned, it is important to be able to meet the airport so we
can talk and prepare the children for the hours we will be there. Of course it
depends a lot on the airports that you will be staying but many of them have
children’s zones and are increasingly prepared to receive children and entertain
them for hours. We’ve had fabulous experiences, from free movie theaters,
wonderful playgrounds, playstations, tablets and internet available,
butterfly’s to visit, gyms, fabulous terraces to see planes flying and landing,
scheduled activities for kids …
Find out what is at the airport, and what captivates your children, so
you do not waste time and be able to go straight to those activities.
The same in relation to what to eat, we are all happier when we have a
full belly, especially with something we like. Find out what the offers and
location of them at the airport and, at this time, nothing like a treat for
children and let them choose what they want to eat.
Any plane trip with children refers to the need for preparation and, as
we said in our article Tips for traveling with kids,
there is nothing like having the Fun Bag to travel with the child. Besides the
Fun Bag being important for the flight, it can also be during the layover at
the airport.
Some small games and easy to carry, drawing and painting
materials, children’s books… Although we are not the biggest fans, the new
technologies can also be a good aid in these adventures. Try to bring some
movies that kids like, some game …
Sometimes the tiredness is so great that there is nothing better than
trying to rest a little. A free strategy is to look for the “Silence Zones”, which exist in some airports and are suitable to lie down and
rest a little. Something what can also be done is to look for a boarding area
that is more isolated and not being used, that may be the ideal place to rest a
little more.
Spending a few hours in an airport lounge is a great way to enjoy those
waiting hours. However, this is an activity that is usually expensive. There
are a few tricks to lowering the price or, even being free, so it does not cost
anything to try.

 

One of the tips we leave is to try to find out if your credit card does
not entitle you to free entry into the airport lounge where you will be
staying. This is one of the advantages of some credit card brands and it does
not cost anything to do this research online before starting your trip.

For those
who travel frequently, we advise you to explore LoungeBuddy, the Priority Pass
and the Lounge Pass online, so you can discover good opportunities for
yourself. Something you may also be able to find is through ebay, maybe you can buy a Lounge Pass from someone who will not use it and,
by approaching the expiration date, decides to sell.
Regarding the idea of ​​some rest, one last but more expensive suggestion
could be to book a hotel room next to or even at the airport. For large
layovers, this may be the best chance they can all rest, relax and prepare for
the next stage of your adventure.

 

We live in the 21st century and the internet is part of our lives. Many
airports have free WI-FI available, but not all. Something we consider very
useful for those who spend a lot of time in airports around the world is WiFox app.
Although it is wonderful to travel with children and, in our opinion
very recommendable, one must always be careful in airports. Because they are
places with many people, full of movement and new to children, there is always
a greater risk of being lost.

 

Zero risk is always impossible to achieve but we can always be super
careful and help the child to know how to react in these situations.
Something we always like to give our child under these circumstances is
an identifying bracelet, in which, in addition to the child’s name, are the
contacts of the parents. It is now possible to buy very attractive wristbands
online, which children love and, it is always an extra security.
What we also bought recently was a GPS alarm that, when connected to the
adult’s cell phone, begins to signal in the case of the child goes a little further from us.

A fundamental thing to do is to explain to our children where we are
going to be and how they should behave, namely to not to leave their parents
without authorization, not to run wildly, not to talk to strangers and, in case
of being lost, to contact always a police officer or an airport clerk, who will
be able to contact their parents. 
Nowadays, it is even possible to do an online survey and show pictures of the local police to our children, to familiarize them with this presence and always offers safety to our children.
Although we have left some security advice to the end, we do not want you to
get scared and stop traveling. Traveling as a family is a wonderful way to
increase the bonds that unite a family, and is always an extraordinary way to
stimulate learning and curiosity in our children, as well as being fun.
The long layovers at airports are not usually wanted and we also try
hard to avoid them. However, this is not always possible, and instead of being
miserable hours waiting for the next plane, with some care we can turn
those moments into good experiences and memories.
We hope this article helps you plan your next family trip, be sure to
give us your feedback, as well as other strategies that have helped you by
using our comments box. Thanks for your visit to our Non Stop Family blog, we
hope you continue to visit us.



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