Taking Your Kids on Their First Small Airplane Ride: A Guide for Fathers

Taking Your Kids on Their First Small Airplane Ride: A Guide for Fathers

Taking your kids on their first airplane ride can be an exciting and memorable experience. As a father, you have the opportunity to introduce your children to the wonders of air travel and create lasting memories together. Here’s a comprehensive guide in 2024 to help you plan and execute a fantastic first airplane ride for your kids.

Types of Flights Available

When planning your child’s first airplane ride, consider the various types of flights available:

1. Standard Commercial Flights

  • Description: These are standard flights operated by airlines that travel to domestic and local destinations.
  • Benefits: They offer the full airport experience, from check-in to security checks, and provide amenities such as in-flight entertainment and meals.
  • Ideal For: Families looking to travel to local or in state destinations or for those who want to experience a traditional air travel journey.

2. Scenic Flights

  • Description: These are short flights that offer scenic views of local landscapes and landmarks.
  • Benefits: They typically last from 30 minutes to a couple of hours, making them perfect for a brief and enjoyable experience without the long travel time.
  • Ideal For: Families wanting to experience flying without committing to a long trip. Great for kids who might be nervous about flying.

3. Private Charter Flights

  • Description: These flights can be arranged through private charter companies and offer a more personalized flying experience.
  • Benefits: They provide flexibility in scheduling, destinations, and a more private setting. You can often interact with the pilot and see the cockpit.
  • Ideal For: Families looking for a more intimate and customizable experience.

How to Get in Touch with a Local Flight Provider

Finding a suitable flight provider is the next step. Here’s how to get started:

  1. Research Online: Use search engines to look for local flight providers, scenic flight companies, or private charter services. Websites like TripAdvisor, Yelp, or Google Reviews can provide insights into customer experiences. Google search "discovery flight in _____ (your city)"

  2. Visit Airports: Local airports often have information desks or brochures about flight providers offering scenic or charter flights. You can also speak directly with airline or FBO (fixed base operator) representatives.

  3. Contact Flying Clubs and Schools: Many cities have flying clubs or aviation schools that offer introductory flights or scenic tours. They can provide a wealth of information and may even offer special rates.

  4. Ask for Recommendations: Speak with friends, family, or colleagues who have taken similar flights. Personal recommendations can lead you to reliable and enjoyable services.

  5. Social Media and Forums: Platforms like Facebook, Reddit, and aviation forums can be great places to ask for advice and get recommendations from experienced travelers.

What to Expect

1. Booking the Flight

  • Once you’ve chosen a provider, book your flight in advance, especially if it’s a popular scenic route or during peak travel seasons.
  • Confirm details such as the duration of the flight, what you’ll see, and any age or weight restrictions for children.

2. Preparing for the Flight

  • Explain the Experience: Talk to your kids about what to expect, from boarding the plane to what it will feel like during takeoff and landing.
  • Pack Essentials: Bring snacks, water, entertainment (books, tablets, toys), and any comfort items your child might need.
  • Dress Comfortably: Ensure everyone is dressed in comfortable clothing and bring a light jacket as airplane cabins can be cool.
  • Simulator: With the wide range of technology available in 2024, consider downloading a PC or mobile app simulator, learn how to use it and show your kids what it might be like in the airplane.

3. At the Airport

  • Arrive Early: Give yourself plenty of time to go through security or find the flight operator. This can also help reduce stress and give your kids time to acclimate to the new environment.
  • Explore the Airport: Many airports have viewing areas, play zones, and interesting shops to explore while you wait.

4. During the Flight

  • Stay Calm and Positive: Your demeanor will set the tone for your kids. Stay calm, positive, and reassuring throughout the flight.
  • Interactive Experience: Point out interesting sights from the window, explain the sounds and sensations, and answer any questions they might have.
  • Ear Popping: Bring chewing gum for older kids and sippy cups for toddlers. Chewing and drinking will help their ears adjust to the pressure changes with altitude changes.

5. Post-Flight

  • Discuss the Experience: Talk about what they enjoyed, any concerns they had, and what they learned.
  • Celebrate the Milestone: Consider commemorating the occasion with a small gift or treat, such as a souvenir from the destination or a special meal.

How to Make the Experience Memorable

1. Capture the Moment

  • Take photos and videos throughout the journey, from the airport to the flight itself. Create a small scrapbook or digital album afterward.

2. Souvenirs and Keepsakes

  • Collect boarding passes, in-flight magazines, or small souvenirs from the airport or destination to remember the trip.

3. Talk About Future Adventures

  • Discuss future travel plans and destinations. Encourage your kids to share where they’d like to go next, keeping the excitement of travel alive.

4. Engage with the Pilot

  • If possible, arrange for a brief visit to the cockpit either before or after the flight. Many pilots are happy to show kids around and explain their job.

5. Storytime

  • Share stories about your own first flight or other travel adventures. This helps build a sense of family tradition and adventure.

Taking your kids on their first airplane ride can be a wonderful bonding experience filled with excitement and discovery. By planning ahead, preparing them for the journey, and making the trip as engaging as possible, you can create lasting memories and instill a love for travel in your children. Safe travels, and enjoy the adventure!

Legacy Father in person meetups will be going to the Longmont Airport, Summer 2024. Check out our events page for details of this visit and other in person family meetups.

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