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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Tips for kids flying alone

The thought of your child flying all alone can wreck your mental condition, and that too with good reason. However, there are times when things are simply unavoidable and you just have to deal with the fact that your child has to fly alone from one destination to the other. You might not be able to be there on air to hold your child’s hand, but you can definitely ensure that their trips are smoother. You can also ensure that you overcome the risks of your children flying alone by taking a few simple precautions. Here are a few tips for kids flying alone. These tips should help parents tackle their fears and prepare their children for the journey ahead.

Tip No. 1 – Make sure that all documents are in place

You need to ensure that you personally take care of all the documents that your child is expected to require on his/ her journey. If your child needs to fly to a foreign land, make sure that the passports and visas are in order and ensure that you arrange for everything well in advance. It is also important to ensure that you meet all requirements that a specific country might have for kids travelling alone and follow them to the dot. If your child is travelling within the national boundaries, make sure that you prepare all documents such as id proofs, print outs of the travel itinerary and any other document that your child may need during their journey.

Tip No. 2 – Complete all travel arrangements well in advance

Make sure that you pre-book the travel itineraries and flight tickets and also perform web check ins (if possible) for your child at least 48 hours prior to the time of departure. If the airline offers an unaccompanied minor service, don’t think about the costs and get this service for your child. By choosing this service, you entrust an air hostess with your child’s responsibility and this makes travel much simpler for your children as they have someone to take care of them while on air. Also ensure that you arrive at the airport at least 3 hours prior to departure to make things less stressful for your kids.

Tip No. 3. – Arrange for a guardian to pick your child up at the destination airport and provide the airline with their details

Make sure that you have someone reliable to pick your child up at the airport. It always helps if your child knows and relates to this guardian. If not, make sure that you show your child a photo of the person expected to pick him/ her up from the airport. It is also important to ensure that your kid feels comfortable with the person expected to pick him/ her up. This can easily be arranged with the help of Skype or video calls.

Tip No. 4 – Stay within the airport premises until the flight departs

Any child who has to fly all alone is more than likely to be extremely anxious about the entire ordeal. This can become even worse if there are any flight cancellations or delays. As a parent, you need to ensure that you hang around the airport until the flight departs. You should also check out the flight status before you leave your home for the airport so that you can adjust your timings accordingly. The idea is to ensure that your child spends as little time at the airport as possible.

Tip No. 5 – Make sure that the guardian picking up your child has seen your child recently. If not, make sure that you give them a recent photo of your child.

Unless the guardian picking up your child is a close family member or a close friend who has seen your child in recent times, make sure that you empower them with a recent photograph of your child. This will help them identify your child and make things a lot simpler for them while picking your kid up from the airport.

Tip No. 6 – Other things you need to send with your kids

Make sure that your kids have a list of all emergency contacts they can get in touch with at the destination that they plan to visit. This list should include the name and number of the local guardians expected to pick them up from the airport as well as the contact details of at least one more person. If your child needs to take any prescribed medications, make sure that you pack a sufficient supply of the medicines in their original bottles to last your child for the entire journey. If your kid suffers from any sort of allergy, it is also important to provide them with the necessary medication as well as a letter which describes the allergy and the effects that it has on your child. Make sure that your kid has a cell phone with him/ her. Having a phone makes things a lot less stressful for you as well as your kid. You also need to ensure that your child has enough cash to be able to call someone or take care of any unforeseen emergencies. Finally, it is important for you to pack one copy of all the documents that your child is carrying in the main suitcase. It is also important to keep a copy of the document with you.

Tip No. 7 – The more the merrier

If you have more than one child, it always helps to send your kids together. Remember that your kids are more likely to feel a lot safer with their siblings rather than flying out all alone. Having them travel together also allows them to get over their fears by talking things out with each other and providing each other with emotional support along the way.

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