So you’ve planned a big holiday for your family and need things to go as smoothly as possible as you? Well let me help you with a few tips for flying with kids!
I have flown with my boys from the time they were a week old to the present (age 9 & 6). Our travel days can be long but my boys have come to understand what is expected and how much fun we can have!
*This post contains affiliate links that do not cost you anything. But they sure help this blog stay up and running! Thank you for your support.
Top Tips for Flying with Kids:
Plan Plan Plan
Thinking through the trip ahead of time can save a lot of headaches when the time the trip comes. Think about things like:
Would a Red Eye Flight be a better option for you? If it will be a long flight perhaps having a sleeping child will help out!
Melatonin Gummies can be helpful but test them out at home before the trip to see how your child reacts to the gummies. Each child will react a bit differently
GUM or Chewy sugar free candy that your child can have as you are taking off and landing can help them reduce any ear pressure pain.
Download audio books, kids movies & games a week ahead of time. Don’t leave it for the night before, you will have other things to do!
Pack Snacks along that are sugar free and take a longer time to eat, things like raisins packed in the little boxes or string cheese.
Backpacks NOT Suitcases with Wheels
Find a small backpack that you know your child can carry throughout the travel day. It is important that it is something they can easily pull onto their lap to grab the items they want.
A wheelie suitcase may be more exciting for your child in the beginning but it will become a frustration once you are sitting on the plane. Believe me, I’ve been there!
Have Your Kids Pack their Own Backpack
My boys LOVE to pack for our trips and who knows better then themselves what they will want to play with! I remind my boys that they will be carrying their own bag so they need to make sure it doesn’t get too heavy.
Don’t think I don’t check the bags after they have finished! We go through the bags together afterwards and I make suggestions, such as – do you need more than one stuffie? Did you charge your 3DS/Leappad? I see you packed this awesome activity book but where are your crayons?
What I expect them to have in their bags: Empty water bottle, their own electronics, Headset, 1 stuffie, a small amount of crayons, a notebook or activity book and whatever else is important to them.
Kids love to have responsibility.
Let them know ahead of time that they get to be responsible for their own bag as you travel. That you will have a lot of other bags to carry so they will be carrying their own bag. Preparing them ahead of time with your expectations is a must.
It is a good idea to sit your kids down the day before and guide them through the coming day. Children need a heads up on what to expect just as much as us adults do.
Talk to them about the fun of the upcoming travel day, make it exciting while sprinkling in the things they will need to know.
Share with them when it is a good time to get their sillies out and when it is time to be respectful of those around us. How you expect them to behave on the plane as well as when they will be getting snacks & screen time on the flight.
Seriously! If they know there are snacks and screen time they will be begging for it as soon as you sit down, unless there is a plan.
If they are given the heads up about when things will happen it will go much smoother. I often tell the boys that snacks will not happen until after the flight attendant comes around offering drinks. As for screen time I remind them ahead of time that they can have a certain amount of screen time but then a break will be expected before they can have anymore screen time.
Traveling with more then one adult? Make it clear which adult the children can go to for conversation while the other adult will be busy with the airport personnel. Or if there will only be one adult traveling with them let the children know ahead of time when they will need to be respectful of your needs and when you will be able to give them your full attention again.
And finally YOUR Attitude! Don’t forget that your children feed off of your energy. Try to keep things light and exciting. It is a holiday after all!
Do you have another great tip for flying with kids? Please leave a note in the comment section, I would love to hear from you!