Updated: Feb 16, 2020
Flying nowadays can be incredibly stressful. Add in some kids, and your travel day could turn into a nightmare. Here are some tips and tricks to make your flight with kids as easy as possible. Everything is personal preference, but here are a few things that have helped us on our traveling adventures.
Allow enough time.
For anyone with small babies/younger toddlers, I always recommend baby-wearing. This frees up your hands to carry bags or hold other toddler's hands. Going through security while wearing a baby usually only adds a couple of minutes for TSA to swab your hands.
Always factor in extra bathroom breaks.
Check your bags, carseats, and/or strollers. Some people may like to fly with carseats and others may like to use strollers in the airport. We personally check as much as possible so we have less to deal with at the gate.
Let kids burn off energy before boarding. I usually find an empty gate and let them run, jump, and climb around. Some airports even have play areas. Remember, once the kids are boarded, you are very limited to what you can let them do.
Depending on the number of items you are bringing on the plane, and the ages of your kids, boarding later can actually be a good thing. When our kids are between the ages of 1-3, we find waiting until the last minute to get on board is the best option for us. Remember, you will be limited with what activities you can pull out of your bags before take-off (tray tables up and bags stowed).
If you are bringing a lot of things on board, you will likely want to get on ASAP so you can set up and put bags away. If this is the case, some airlines will let travelers with kids board early.
Wear comfortable clothes. This may sound silly - but when you have to chase, carry, and entertain kids - comfortable clothing is a must. This applies for kids as well! Put babies in outfits that zip to save time. For the older toddlers and kiddos, layering clothes can really keep everyone comfortable, regardless of the temperature.
Pack easy snacks.
For babies, puffs or yogurt melts are easy and lightweight. Our kids love chewy granola bars, trail mix, and fruit snacks. I find non-perishable snacks to be the best option. You might even want to hide a few candies in case you come across a full-blown meltdown. I always bring an extra spill-proof cup in my bags to fill up once in the airport or during the airline’s beverage service
Bring items to help with pressure changes during take-off and landing.
For babies: either nurse or bottle-feeding during take-off and landing
Toddlers: lollipops or a bag of jelly beans
Older kids: good ol' bubble gum
Engage and entertain.
Depending on the length of your flight, you will need something to keep your kids busy. Usually, small babies and younger toddlers will fall asleep from the motion of the plane and white noise.
Things we pack for our kids include:
Kindles/tablets and headphones
Sticker packs (Dollar Tree)
Small, new toy (plastic animals, puzzles, etc.)
Your early-readers can pack chapter books
What is in our carry-on?
This list is for my family of 5 (baby, 3 yo, 5 yo, and two adults)
Diapers/wipes (pack extra)
Hand sanitizer and Lysol wipes
Change of clothes for baby and toddler
Sticker packs/baby toys with straps/Kindles
Empty water bottle/baby bottle
My 5-year-old’s carry-on:
Sticker or mess-free coloring book
If you are ever flying as a solo parent, ask for help! The majority of people flying have been through what you are dealing with and would rather help you out than have a screaming kid on a plane. Kids can sense tension and anxiety from their parents. Try to stay calm… I know, it is easier said than done ;) Have fun!
post by: crystaldometita