A MUM has revealed a big mistake that parents make when flying with their kids that will make travelling more stressful than it needs to be.
Flying with very young children is not a prospect most parents look forward to, but there are ways to make it a much more bearable experience for you, your kids and fellow passengers.
Vanessa and Kelvin Weir from New Zealand learnt some of these methods when they took their two kids travelling through Europe and say other parents shouldn't be put off taking youngsters on long flights.
During their three-and-a-half-month trip, they visited the UK, France, Germany, Portugal, Italy, and travelled through Scandinavia, with their daughters Mackenzie, 3, and Cleo, 1, in tow.
From that, the main thing they swear by is boarding the plane last, even if you're invited to board first as a family.
Vanessa told Stuff.co.nz: “The least amount of time in a small confined space the better."
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Other parents have backed up the Weirs' advice, saying that boarding the plane first with kids is always a big mistake.
Travel show host Samantha Brown has a lot of experience of plane journeys and in more recent years has started taking her young children on trips too.
In a recent video on Instagram, she revealed why it's a good idea to get priority boarding seats when travelling with young children, but only board the plane at the last minute.
She said: "A lot of people like to pre-board with children under two- they think it's great to get on the plane first. Here's a better way to use the pre-board.
"Partner number one uses the pre-board to load all the stuff – all the bags and strollers – while partner number two waits in the gate area with the kids, keeps them worn out, walks them around and does not board until the very last zone is called.
"You walk your children on board, you get them settled and the plane leaves hopefully in 10 to 15 minutes.
"Think about this. If you use the pre-board, your child is sitting in the plane for a good 45 minutes more than the flight time. And this is a really stressful time for kids, right?
"There are bags going over their heads, people are really stressed and they can feel it.
"And what happens is once they get to a cruising altitude of 30,000 feet, that's when the child releases the stress they just felt.
"So use the pre-board only to board stuff. Leave the kids until last."
Elsewhere, a flight attendant has revealed which seats parents should choose when travelling with young children to make the trip as easy as possible.
Rebecca Love, who has worked for Virgin Atlantic for eight years, explained there are three places that are best for kids – the bulkhead, the window and near the toilets, depending on their age.
She told the Mirror: "If they’re little enough, try and get a bulkhead seat and request a bassinet (one of the cribs that attaches to the front wall of the cabin)."
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Meanwhile, this passenger woke up on a flight to find a small child had scribbled all over her socks.
And these are the most child-friendly airlines available.
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