Teens can be hard work, especially when you go on holiday. The thought of spending many hours in an airplane together may not fill you with joy, but there are many ways that you can make even long-haul flights more bearable for everyone to get your holiday off to a great start.
Entertainment Is Essential
Teenagers love tablets and smartphones, and there is no way you will want to ask them to leave their favorite gadgets at home. Instead, set a few rules about using them on holiday when you arrive because you don’t want your teenager to spend all the time on their phone. But for the flight, let them watch as much as they want to.
Most long-haul flights have personal entertainment systems, but at the risk of there being nothing on that your teenager wants to watch, pay for a few films and TV programmers that they can download to their tablets.
You might also want to give them some money at the airport to buy a magazine or book, and they will appreciate the gesture. Staying on the right side of them is always a good idea before boarding the flight.
Take Lots of Snacks
Stock up on their favorite snacks so they can enjoy them while on the flight. They will get hungry, and if they cannot eat what they want to, there is a greater risk of arguments starting up. Keep them happy by always having something on hand for them to enjoy, and give them some money to buy food and drink at the airport.
Treat Them Like an Adult
At the airport, let them go off on their own, and let them check-in by themselves as well. Encourage them to be responsible for their own luggage, and they will enjoy being given independence. You could even ask them to help you out with a task so that they can take on a more active role in the holiday.
Remind Them to Pack Certain Items
If your teen forgets their headphones or their phone charger, you are going to pay the price in the form of sulking. So gently remind them to pack a few essential items that you know they will appreciate having on the flight and on holiday so they don’t forget to take them.
Make Sure They Know the Rules
When it comes to packing, you don’t want to get held up because your teen thought it would be a good idea to pack their penknife in their hand luggage. There are many items that cannot be packed in hand luggage, so make sure they know what these are.
You don’t need to go over their bag before you board, and not many teens would appreciate that, but just get them to promise you that they are not going to take anything they shouldn’t do.
Make Useful Suggestions About Clothing
It’s important to be comfortable on a long flight. Your teenager may not be aware of this, and they may want to use it as an opportunity to dress up in something unsuitable. There is only so much you can do to encourage them to wear something sensible, but make sure they are at least aware of the issue.
Take Responsibility for Checking Their Passport
They may want to carry their own passport, and that’s fine because it will give them some responsibility. Just make sure they keep it somewhere safe and to hand when you need to produce it. But always check their passport yourself a few months before the trip if possible to make sure it is valid. If it is not, order a new one for them. Passports can be arranged via online agencies or through the government website, and the earlier you sort it out, the better.
Pack Any Medications They Need
If they take any medications, make sure you pack these for them because they are too important to be forgotten. Alternatively, give them the responsibility of taking them, and then pack some spares just in case. Also make sure you have all the basics like plasters, painkillers and antihistamines – your teen will appreciate it when they need them.
Make Sure You All Travel in Comfort
Travelling by air with teens need not be a nightmare experience. As long as you all prepare properly and you keep the above issues in mind, you will stand a better chance of enjoying a comfortable flight free of arguments, helping to get you in the right mood for your holiday.
Louise Jenkins is one of those helpful people you sometimes need at an airport if your travel plans are not going according to plan. She also enjoys the chance to share her tips and insights for stress-free travel with an online audience and is a regular writer for a number of travel-related websites.