Traveling by plane with kids can seem daunting for parents and families. However, with proper planning and preparation, flying with children can go smoothly. This family travel blog covers tips and advice for getting through airport security, boarding the plane, occupying kids during the flight, and surviving plane landings with little ones.
Packing Smartly for the Plane
The first step in smooth plane travel with kids is packing properly for the airport and flight. Bring snacks, favorite toys and books, tablets loaded with movies and games, and headphones. Pack extra changes of clothes and diapers if needed. Also be sure to bring proper travel documents for all family members.
Getting Through Security with Kids
The security process is one of the most stressful airport experiences with children. Have IDs and boarding passes ready for inspection. Teach kids what to expect with scanners and allow extra time. You can request family security lines and TSA pre-check if eligible. Distract antsy kids with toys during wait times.
Traveling to the Gate with Kids in Tow
Navigating the terminal is much easier when kids are prepared. Use strollers for toddlers and have preschoolers walk while holding hands. Bring rolling carry-ons kids can help with. Stop for bathroom breaks, snacks and stretching sessions to break up the walk to the gate.
Boarding the Plane with Small Children
Families with young children are often allowed to pre-board flights to get settled. Have kids’ tickets and identification ready when boarding. Getting seated early helps get kids comfortable and situated with toys, snacks and entertainment before the crowds arrive.
Occupying Kids During the Flight
Keeping kids happily occupied during flights is crucial for everyone’s sanity. Load tablets and phones with new apps, games, movies and shows for entertainment. Bring coloring books, magnetic travel toys and favorite stuffed animals. Plan interactive games like I Spy. For babies, feed/change them during takeoffs and landings to equalize pressure.
In-flight Comfort Essentials
Make sure to pack items to help keep kids comfortable in-flight. Bring child-sized headphones and extra batteries for electronics. Pack familiar snacks and refillable water bottles. Travel pillows, cozy blankets, eye masks and earplugs can help kids sleep. Dress in easy layers for temperature changes.
Restroom Trips and Stretches
Getting up with restless children periodically can help the flight go smoothly. Take them one at a time to use the restroom and get wiggles out. Do simple seated stretches together in the cabin. Respect passengers by keeping trips quick with minimal disruption.
Potential Challenges and Solutions
Despite the best efforts, challenges can arise when flying with children. Fussy babies can sometimes be soothed with pacifiers, walking the aisles or swaddling. For ear discomfort, try giving a bottle or nursing during takeoff and landing. Politely apologize to nearby passengers for any outbursts.
Arrival and Departure Tips
The landing process comes with its own stresses. Make sure everyone is buckled in and remind kids to stay seated until the plane stops. Gather all belongings ahead of time. Don’t rush the exit, but instead wait for your turn to politely disembark. Have kids help pull carry-ons to give them a job.
While flying with children takes effort and planning, the benefits of family trips are immense. With smart preparation and in-flight activities, plane travel with kids can go smoothly. Just remember to stay flexible, apologize to seatmates, and keep your sense of humor. The memories created from family adventures are well worth it.