Aside from our early summer camping in Woolacombe, I wanted to take N away for a few days at the end of the summer holidays as well. He was bursting to go on a plane for the first time, but with me not having an in-date passport and he not having one at all, I was pretty limited on where to take him.
Because it was summer, I wanted to go somewhere with beaches rather than a city break somewhere like Scotland – maybe I’ll take him there in the Spring. I couldn’t get flights for the days I wanted for the Isle of Man and The Scilly Isles was a pain because I’d have to drive for 4+ hours to get to Exeter or Lands End to fly out. So the Channel Islands were perfect, and with several friends recommending Jersey, that was where I decided on.
A first flight
I booked through Ebooker which worked out cheaper than going direct, especially going via Topcashback. Flying from Birmingham for us is easy even though the costs do add up. I booked drop and go car parking (which wasn’t quite as easy on the pick-up with a 45 minute wait after phoning them – not quite the 15 minutes they claim if you ring up earlier than your original booking), booked our seats, paid for 1 item of hold luggage and shuttle bus transfer to and from the hotel. I was horrified at the overall cost, but when I looked at similar costs for going to Brighton for the same 5 days, it would have come to the same cost just by adding on hotel car parking costs each day. So relatively, hotel and flight costs together weren’t too bad.
N was absolutely beside himself when he heard we were going to fly. I wasn’t too sure how happy he’d be with the airport wait, but the excitement of security, plus the Skyzone interactive play areas was enough to keep him happy until the delayed opening of our gate. It did mean we were queuing then straight on the plane and taking off without sitting at the gate for ages as well.
N loved the plane. We flew with Flybe, and he watched the clouds, tried to spot the farm as we flew over, and asked lots of questions about what was what in the plane. He was a happy flyer with no problems – and had the bonus of a fruit pastille to suck as we arrived in to land in St Helier. We didn’t even have to wait long for our luggage either – helped by Jersey only having a small airport compared to the huge ones in England.
One happy child and one first flight ticked off.
5 top tips for flying with a 5 year old (on a first flight):
- Keep bags to a minimum, but share the load. If you’re travelling with limited hold luggage, you can each usually have a hand luggage bag, plus a smaller one like a handbag. Give your child a few bits and pieces, enough that they can carry but not just loads of toys.
Stick with simple colouring kits or activity books. N was excited to just be looking out of the window and having a drink in a plane, but small colouring books and pens that both fit in a sandwich bag keep everything together. I bought him a little colouring book from Tiger
Give them a sweet to suck as you’re starting to descend. Fruit pastilles worked well here.
Take a lighter top layer in case they get cold. N was fine in a t shirt but hand luggage had a jumper in case he needed it.
If they’re worried about the flight, talk them through all the leaflets in the seat. N was just interested in what was going on so wanted a commentary throughout the flight.
How old were your children when they first flew and where to? What are your tips for flying with kids?
Why not take a look at these similar posts.
*contains affiliate links