You’ve long since booked your flights and lodging, packed your bags, and read a thousand websites about the places you’ll be visiting on your next family vacation. But first, you face the obstacle of flying with kids.
It can be a stressful time filled with anxiety and frazzled nerves. Luckily, we’ve got you covered. Read on for some of our favorite tips for stress-free flying with kids.
1. Fly Early
Did you know that one of the best ways to avoid delays at takeoff and landing is by traveling early? The weather tends to be better—free of afternoon thunderstorms and lightning—and flights are less crowded. What’s more, flying with kids first thing in the morning means that little ones are more likely to remain sleepy and even nap.
2. Wear Layers
When flying, expect drastic temperature changes. These fluctuations make wearing layers a crucial part of your children’s wardrobes. Think convenience as you pick these layers and avoid zippers, buttons, and anything else that might keep little ones from feeling comfortable and getting to the bathroom on time. When it comes to footwear, avoid laces. Instead, opt for the ease of slip-ons.
3. TSA-Proof Your Travels
Strollers can feel like a lifeline when it comes to walking through the airport, but bulky ones get cumbersome at TSA security lines. They contain compartments that lead to extra searches. And they’re hard to fold up (with kids in tow) and shove through the x-ray machine. So, opt for a small umbrella stroller instead. And if you’ll be flying with a baby and/or multiple small children, invest in kid harnesses. Maybe you’ve avoided them in the past, but they keep kids safe and secure while you’re repacking your laptops and bags or putting on shoes at the end of the line.
4. Don’t Sit Children Near the Aisle
When flying with kids, don’t sit them on the aisle row. They risk getting pinched fingers and hands as the food and beverage cart goes by. What’s more, they are within arm’s reach of hot water and coffee.
5. Pack Carefully
Airplanes don’t come with much in the way of kid-friendly food or comfort items. So, be sure to pack low-sugar snacks, a favorite toy, blanket, and a picture book or two. And don’t forget a change of clothes for each family member. Of course, there’s a fine line between packing a few essentials and burdening yourself with an exploding carry-on. So, keep it simple.
6. Watch Out for Germs
Airplanes are notoriously dirty places, so bring wipes and hand sanitizer. These will be handy throughout your trip. Make sure your little ones have their shoes on before heading to the bathroom, too. Airplane carpets collect germs.
7. Get Ready for Air Pressure
When traveling, air pressure can do a serious number on little one’s ears. For babies, the pain can be downright excruciating. Luckily, the simple act of swallowing eases the discomfort. So, be sure to have a bottle ready for takeoff and landing. For toddlers and older kids, have water handy. Prompt them to drink some right after takeoff and then again prior to landing. This’ll also help keep them hydrated.
Flying with Kids
Have you found any of these tips to be helpful? Any you’d like to add? Let us know in the comments below.
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