HAVE A CHILD TAKING THE FRIENDLY SKIES ALONE?
Mom, Travel Expert And MyBuckleMate Founder
Meghan Khaitan Is Here with Some Tips To Ease Your Worries
Summer is a popular time for children to travel – alone. It’s understandably a nerve-wracking experience for parents to have children take to the friendly skies by themselves and they find themselves with many worries on their mind. Will they know what to do? Will they make it to the gate? Will they be scared on the plane? Will they get through their destination without getting lost? Will they find who is meeting them? What if a stranger is unkind?
It’s all completely natural and to help guide you through this experience, mom and MyBuckleMate founder Meghan Khaitan has provided the below article with some helpful advice. The below article is available to share with the appropriate credit and link to www.mybucklemate.com.
Tips For Unaccompanied Minor Travel
For various reasons, such as a parent or extended family living out-of-state, there may come a time you’ll be faced with putting your child on a plane for the first time unaccompanied. Like most parents, you’ll most likely be very nervous and wondering how to fully prepare your child for the trip. Travel Expert and MyBuckleMate founder Meghan Khaitan shares her top tips for preparing your child to travel solo:
- Clearly Explain the Flight Details—plan to talk with your child over several conversations (don’t give them too much information at one time to digest) about what the flight will entail. You’ll need to fully prepare them for the whole experience from your drop-off to pick-up on the other side. Your goal should be to have them know what they’ll experience, what to do in an emergency, where they should go if they need something, and who can help. It’s a good idea to also prepare them for things that could possibly go wrong and how to handle it.
- Consider Your Child’s Maturity—most airlines allow children 5 years and up to travel without an adult, but just because it’s allowed doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the best idea. There are some situations where it’s unavoidable, but for other scenarios take a serious look at your child’s maturity before agreeing to allow them to travel alone. If your child takes public transportation alone, already travels to school alone by walking or biking, and is able to handle being away from you in an organized overnight setting (different from a friend sleepover), then your child is most likely going to just fine traveling unaccompanied. Choosing a direct, non-stop flight is always a good idea if one is available.
- Discuss Appropriate Behavior While Traveling—in a perfect world, all our kids would be perfectly behaved and overflowing with manners whenever they left the house. However, it’s not a perfect world and since we can’t be there to travel with our kids, it’s a good idea to go over travel manners ahead of the flight. Discuss things such as appropriate behavior with other passengers and airline staff—no kicking seats, volume control or headphone use, how to ask for something they need, restroom guidelines, etc. Don’t assume they’ll know how to handle a situation. Also, make sure that your child understands they should not share any of their personal information with anyone but airline staff.
- Prep Your Child with Things to do While Waiting/on Flight—make sure your child is armed with plenty to do while they wait for the flight to take off and during the flight. It’s never a good idea to assume an iPad will “babysit” the entire trip. Arm them with real books, crossword puzzles and other games, music, and anything else they would enjoy doing while passing the time. Also make sure they have enough cash on them to purchase something they might need like water, snacks, or other essentials. It’s also a smart idea to pack plenty of snacks in their carry-on or backpack.
- Request Appropriate Seating—when booking the flight, make sure you request good seating for your child right away. Do not wait until the day of the flight to find a seat for your child. Look for seats close to the restrooms, near flight attendant stations, aisle seats, or the bulk head (more leg room, no seats in front of them).
- Coordinate with Pick-up Person on the Other End—the person on the other side should have all your child’s relevant information such as flight details and also have proper identification that matches what you provided the airline. Have the pick-up person contact either you or the airline to confirm the arrival time of the flight and request they arrive early in the event the flight arrives early.
MyBuckleMate founder Meghan Khaitan invented MyBuckleMate to make buckling up a snap. It’s perfect for carpooling and fitting three kids in the backseat. MyBuckleMate is an award-winning product that’s the first of its kind. It promotes safety and independence for kids booster seat age and up. MyBuckleMate makes it easy to buckle up every time, every ride. Available in black, tan, gray, beige and red. Retails for $14.99.