Trying to keep your kids entertained is a herculean task. They’ll lose interest at the first sign of an activity that seems vaguely better, like dogs distracted by tin foil. Instead of sitting still and quiet, they’ll shout and scream and kick and moan – and it’s partly why we love them so much.
But when you’re travelling, the natural rapscallion in your child can become almost unbearable. They’ll still shout and scream and get easily distracted, but to the agitated brows of everyone in a departure lounge.
Indeed, the terrible twos are at their worst when you’re in an airport. Even adults grow tired and anxious at the endless security checks and lengthy queues. So just imagine how you’d feel when you were seven years’ old. As a parent, the horror of waiting with a child at an airport makes hearing “are we there yet?” a million times on a car journey seem like a luxurious dream.
They’ve got every right to be agitated. No one likes the airport. And the people who do enjoy them are usually plane-spotters, replete with their long green duffel coats and their facts about the Concorde.
So what can you do to stop your kids flying off into a tantrum? For a start, try a few of these suggestions.
Get the right parking
Finding a parking spot is tricky at the best of times, but at the airport it’s about as easy as keeping your kids distracted for the afternoon. In some cases you’ll be left stranded searching for a space for upwards of an hour.
But it doesn’t all have to be an endless fuss. Some larger airports will, for instance, allow third-party parking providers to give customers a helping hand. Airport parking Edinburgh is a great example, allowing you to park straight away before being shuttled directly to your terminal.
Not only will this shorten your journey, but it’ll leave your kids feeling less stressed in the long run.
Teach them about planes
Ignore those spoddy pane-spotters in their anoraks and awkwardness – planes are interesting, and you don’t have to be a geek to get a kick out of knowing about them.
Before you head to the airport, keep a few facts and figures about airplanes in your back pocket, and get ready to unleash a fact sandwich on your kids when they’re looking bored.
Children grow unruly whenever their lacking in stimulus. Keep them engaged with their surroundings and they’ll enjoy their trip all the more.