Flying can be quite a hassle, especially when your toddler-aged kid (or kids) is accompanying you on your journey.
From waiting in the various airport queues to sitting for what seems like hours on the plane, the entire flying experience can take a tremendous toll on your little one.
That said, you don’t have to resign yourself to a terrible flying experience from the get-go.
If you’re a frequent flyer or a credit card holder, there are ways you can make flying a little bit more tolerable for you and your children. And not just tolerable, but also luxurious and pleasant.
One way of achieving such luxury is by utilising your credit card rewards. A lot of credit card providers offer rewards that make flying a more streamlined experience.
If you barely utilise these points, then you’re leaving a lot of perks off the table. Here are six tips to help you take advantage of these credit card points for a stress-free travel experience.
1. Use Points for Airport Lounge Access
The thought of staying in airport lounges may seem elusive to some, but it’s actually very accessible, especially if your credit card is partnered with a digital lounge access app.
There are a few notable key players in the digital lounge access industry, namely DragonPass and Priority Pass. These passes grant you the privilege to redeem a fixed number of free stays in over a thousand airport lounges across the world for you and your children.
Owning certain credit cards like the Citi PremierMiles Card or the HSBC World Elite Mastercard can deem you and your family eligible to access these airport lounges, no matter where you’re presently located.
This applies to both your port of entry and port of exit—meaning you have the flexibility to utilise these regardless of what leg of the flight you are on.
Airport lounges are a haven from the hectic and chaotic world of airport boarding gates. It provides cosy and plush seats, free-flowing food and drinks, and private compartments for you to rest and charge your electronics.
The greatest aspect of airport lounges is its amenities. You don’t have to walk a long distance away to refill your water bottle in these lounges, nor do you have to trek the entire length of the airport to access entertainment options for you and your kid.
Furthermore, the quiet nature of these spaces can be an absolute delight, keeping you and your child relaxed in an otherwise chaotic environment.
That said, be sure to ask the lounge receptionist about the policy of your passes. Some may offer unlimited stays, while others could only give you discounted rates.
Regardless, staying in these lounges is always a good way to sneak in some R&R before heading to your next destination.
2. Use Points for In-Flight Entertainment
Sitting in an aeroplane seat for hours on end can feel more than just a bit monotonous. This is especially true if the airline doesn’t offer complimentary WiFi or a wide variety of entertainment options for their guests.
And even if certain airlines do offer these amenities, they often come at an unreasonably high cost.
Don’t want to pay? Don’t fret, not all hope is lost! Credit card points can be redeemed for in-flight packages, allowing you and your kid to access various entertainment channels whether they’re TV shows, games, or music.
These modes of entertainment can keep your toddler preoccupied, allowing you to sit back and comfortably rest for the flight’s duration. And hey, if you want to enjoy these perks as well, nothing is stopping you from redeeming it twice.
3. Use Points for Seat Upgrades
Let’s face it: no one wants to sit in an aeroplane with little legroom and crummy seats. This is especially true for toddlers and infants who may have to share a seat with their mummy and daddy for budgetary reasons.
Needless to say, this can be quite uncomfortable for both of you. So much so that your toddler may communicate their distress in the most effective way they can—by crying.
If you want to avoid any incidents of your toddler acting out, you can consider redeeming your credit card rewards and upgrading your seat through your credit card’s reward system.
Many airlines offer upgraded seating plans for people who have enough points in their credit card rewards program. Specifically, credit card holders and their families can jump from economy to premium economy or business class, granted they have enough points.
These higher seat categories offer a more luxurious and comfortable experience, allowing you to truly sit back and enjoy the flight with your kid. See this page to learn more on how to redeem airline points through Qantas, one of Australia’s most popular airlines.
4. Use Points to Arrange Seats Together
Many airlines randomly assign seats for passengers, particularly if the booking is not made together. A separated child and parent can be a struggle for both parties, and it’s not always a guarantee that other passengers would be willing to give up their seats for you.
To tread on the safe side, you can use your credit card points to book your preferred airline seats. This way, you can get adjacent seating and won’t be separated from the rest of your family. This can make flying less stressful for both you and your toddler, especially for long-haul flights.
5. Use Points for In-Flight Meals
Not swimming in a tonne of points just yet? The good news is you can still take advantage of your credit card rewards and make the flight more bearable by using points to score free in-flight meals and snacks.
Credit card rewards can be a good way to save you a couple of bucks for in-flight meals and snacks. You can use your points to get vouchers for food items, which increases the diversity of food options that you can avail in your flight.
You can also get water and drinks at no extra cost, which can be a great way to both enjoy a treat and save money. Champagne, anyone?
6. Use Points to Fly and Stay in Premier Holiday Destinations
In some cases, the cause of your toddler’s distress isn’t always related to the flight itself. Instead, it could stem from a reluctance or lack of interest in the family trip.
You can mitigate your child’s flight outbursts by using credit card points to score more appealing holiday destinations that your entire family can enjoy.
One way to do this is by booking a better hotel. Many credit card programs partner with luxury hotel chains, offering free nights or discounted rates. This can significantly reduce travel costs in these high-end destinations.
You may also be able to score nice family-friendly restaurants at your chosen locations. This can help you narrow down your dining options that your kid can genuinely enjoy.
By taking advantage of these perks, you can create an unforgettable trip for you and your baby.