It has been slightly over 2 weeks since we returned from Central Java, where it had been an eye-opening cultural experience not only for the monkies but also for me! The itinerary saw us head to Yogyakarta (a 2-hour & 20-minute flight from Singapore) first before making our way home via Semarang (2-hour flight).
And just like our previous trip to Cairns during the June School Holidays, we had experienced the warm hospitality and kid-friendly entertainment offered by SilkAir during both legs of the flights.
The good thing about flying with a full-service carrier like SilkAir is the convenience and availability of services onboard - little things that matter to families, especially those flying with young kids, like the blankets and pillows. The attentive stewardesses were on hand to pass blankets and pillows to each child on the flight before take-off, simple items no doubt but definitely essential for the young kids come nap time!
In an ideal world, kids will sleep for the entire duration of the flight. But if you are a parent like I am, you will know that small children are not designed to sit still in one spot for several hours. Kids being kids, will squirm and worm their way around especially in confined spaces. And you know it and I know it, a bored child is a pain in the rear.
The good news is, if you are flying with SilkAir, there are more than just one way to keep the little ones occupied during a flight:
Never underestimate the power of distraction. Be it snacks, toys, coloring books or even their favorite blankie or stuffed toy, just bring the entire collection. Bring out one item at the time, to keep them busy but also to preserve an element of surprise (and sanity) for the rest of the trip whenever an new item is pulled out from the bag.
I had shared this before as well: when the boys were younger, I used to head down to Daiso and purchase a few small toys to bring along for the flight. Each item costs $2, but the value offered in return while stuck high up in the air will be immense.
2. Spongebob Squarepants Toy Kit & SilkAir Plush Toy
Run out of distractions for the kids? No matter. All you have to do is to request for SilkAir's latest toykit for kids, which comes in the form of Spongebob Squarepants!
The toykit consists of a few mini board games which are simple to play, and a huge lifesaver for parents! Oh, and do not forget to bring home the cute SilkAir aeroplane plush toy as well.
3. In-flight entertainment
There are no individual seat screens for in-flight entertainment but kids can be kept entertained by the overhead screens which broadcast cartoons and game shows. No headphones required as shows like Mr. Bean cartoons and Wipeout game shows transcend above language and age.
4. SilkAir Studio
If you prefer something more intimate and personal, bring along your mobile devices and/or tablets and connect to SilkAir's newest wireless inflight entertainment system, SilkAir Studio.
Passengers will be able to access SilkAir Studio's wireless entertainment options on their iPhones, iPads or Android devices and enjoy movies, short features and music streaming. Connecting is a breeze and there are up to 20 Hollywood and international movies, 26 TV features as well as 100 chart-topping music albums to choose from, all of which will be refreshed on a monthly basis.
Predictably, Ale was the most interested in the Children's selection! The choices may not be extremely extensive, but it was more than adequate for short haul destinations that SilkAir flies to.
5. Scavenger Hunt
No, I do not mean running amok on the plane.
Using Silkwinds, SilkAir's inflight magazine, go on a scavenger hunt with the kiddos. Pick out an item on a page and have your child locate it. For older kids, hand them the magazine and task them to find different pictures or items in the magazine. Or have a contest to see who is able to find the most number of similar items in the magazine!
6. Cloud (or Land) Spotting
Discover the joys of cloud-spotting and get the kids to look at the clouds while up in the air. Have them use their imagination and describe what the clouds looks like... or even getting all excited when land is spotted - because that usually means the destination is near!
7. Food, Glorious Food!
For some reason, the monkies ALWAYS look forward to meal times during flights. Not that I am complaining, since chomping on food keeps them occupied all the same.
Being a full-service carrier, SilkAir offers hot meals on its flights and come meal times, kids are always served first.
8. Photo Opportunities with Air Stewardesses and Pilots
Before take-off, introduce your kids to some of the crew members. SilkAir's air stewardesses did take the effort to make small talk with the monkies and if you are lucky, you may just be able to request for your kids to visit the cockpit and meet the pilots after the plane has landed at the destination and everyone has disembarked.
Now, this will definitely ensure that the kids put on their best behaviour throughout the flight, no?
But perhaps, the most important thing to remember while travelling with kids during a flight is to take along your sense of humour! Happy parents make happy children. Grumpy parents equates to grumpy children. By staying calm and taking it easy, the whole family will have a much easier travel experience... which was what we had when we arrived in Yogyakarta.
I'll share more on the family-friendly sights and activities in Central Java in another post so stay tuned!
Congratulations to the following winners!
1. Jaz Lin
2. Lai Siew Ling
3. Serene Lim Wong
4. Adeline Tan Huixiu
5. Ester Em
Each of you have won a goodie bag includes the following:
1) Spongebob Squarepants Toykit
2) SilkAir Plush Toy
3) Eco-bamboo Tumbler
4) Luggage Tag
5) SilkAir Mini Magnetic Drawing Board
Please email me at email@example.com by 12 October 2015 for your prize collection details. Thanks!
SilkAir flies to Yogyakarta four times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays while flights to Semarang depart thrice weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. For more information, visit www.silkair.com.