Tips for travelling with kids
As airlines increase flight options and the New Zealand dollar continues to stretch further overseas, Kiwis are packing up their kids and taking to the skies more than ever before. We spoke to Wotif to find out the tips and tricks that Kiwi families are using to make travelling with kids easier.
Keep the flight ‘short and sweet’
A short flight is a happy flight.
Almost one in two Kiwi families surveyed by Wotif* revealed they seek out the shortest flight when travelling with children, while 17% try to coordinate the flight departure or arrival times with nap times. Access to special food or entertainment for kiddies in the air is also important for more than one in ten Kiwi families.
Wotif offers a way to search for direct flights, as well as the shortest flight duration, on its New Zealand online travel site wotif.co.nz.
Interestingly, North Island families are keener for shorter flights than the South Islanders. Something to do with Mainlanders being used to travelling long distances perhaps?
So, where are Kiwi families heading?
Well, Fiji and Australia continue to be the hot spots overseas. According to Wotif** the top five most popular direct flight routes within New Zealand are:
- Auckland to Queenstown
- Auckland to Wellington
- Wellington to Auckland
- Christchurch to Auckland
- Christchurch to Wellington
The top five most popular direct international flight routes according to Wotif** are:
- Auckland to Nadi
- Auckland to Gold Coast
- Auckland to Sydney
- Auckland to Melbourne
- Auckland to Brisbane
Flying in peace is all about the tech, toys and treats you take with you:
Calming your restless, noisy child on a flight can be one of the most stressful things you’ll have to do as a parent.
More than 1000 Kiwi families told Wotif* their secrets for keeping noisy, restless kids relaxed and quiet during a flight. Here they are:
- Have your tablets and smartphones packed and loaded with kid-friendly apps and content. And/or switch on inflight entertainment: it’s what 44% of Kiwi parents do.
- Take a toy, book or game: 45% of Kiwi families have these at the ready on a plane.
- Pack special treats or familiar food from home: this does the trick for almost one in three Kiwis (28%).
- Walk the aisles to soothe a little one: which works for 23% of Kiwi parents.
- And, if all else fails, 28% of respondents say that noisy kids are part and parcel of travel, and just being themselves. Grin and bear it!
Interestingly, Dads are more likely to reach for the tech solution for noisy little people (Male 46% vs Female 43%) on planes, while women favour books and toys (Female 54% vs Male 44%). Overall, Aucklanders are keenest to embrace a tech solution to a restless or noisy child (52%), and Canterbury and Otago residents are least likely to turn to tech (36%).
The Wotif research also revealed that men are more accepting of noisy kids on planes, with 30% saying ‘that’s just what kids are like’. Only 27% of women agreed with this.
Planning ahead for long drives, airport waits and long-haul flights with plenty of kid-friendly activities makes the trip easier on everyone, including other passengers.”
“Honestly, cargo pants have saved me on many flights with my kids, as it’s easy to have everything from an iPhone to dummies, food, toys, tech and tissues within easy reach said Wotif travel expert and Mum of two, Kim Stockham.
“If tech is your preferred solution to keeping the flight calm, stretch the battery life of your device by taking a portable mobile phone charger with you: it’s an ideal way to make sure your kids have the battery power they need to get them through the flight, while still ensuring you have enough power to make a call when you get to your destination.
“My tip is to always pack your own child-size headset, as airplane headsets can fall off or out of little ears easily. And don’t forget to pack a cuddly toy – that can also serve as a pillow for those times kids, parents (and tech) batteries run low.”
Hot spots for your ‘fridge list’
If this article has got you thinking of lovely warm places to take your family, then take a look at Wotif.co.nz. They have literally millions of rooms, hundreds of airlines and thousands of destinations to choose from. With so much choice on offer, not to mention great value packages, let your mind wander with these family friendly destinations:
*Based on a February 2016 independent survey of more than 1,000+ New Zealand respondents.
**According to the most popular flight routes booked on Wotif.co.nz in 2015.