7 Easy Tips for Flying with Kids
Summertime is officially here and we all know what that means – vacation! Before slipping into 100% relaxation mode there a few things to consider, especially when traveling with little ones. Traveling with kids can be stressful, but with preparation you don’t have to wait until you reach your destination to enjoy family time!
- Pack strategically
Stock up on packing cubes and assign a different color to each child. This way you can use one suitcase for multiple kids, while still managing to keep their things separate. This makes for an easy grab ‘n go!
- Stock up on dollar-section toys
Ever wonder what the dollar section at your local discount store is actually good for? Loading up on in-flight kids’ toys, that’s what. Sure you can pack your child’s favorites from home, but nothing can compare to the novelty of a *new toy.* Many parents have credited their sanity to this technique since it provides children with entertainment and keeps them on their best behavior. They’ll continually wonder what you’ll pull out of your bag next.
Some other great mess-free ideas include:
- I Spy books
- Clear marker coloring books
- Water Wow! Activity Pads
- Gel Clings (perfect window seat activity!)
Pro tip: Try to avoid anything that can bounce, roll away or spill.
- Create an ear-popping plan
Takeoff and landing are two points that can be both stressful and painful for kids. The change in pressure creates the need to pop your ears, which children have a harder time regulating. This can cause some major discomfort, but there are a few simple ways to alleviate this feeling. If your child is old enough, they can chew gum or suck on a hard candy. For younger kids, a bottle, pacifier or breastfeeding typically does the trick.
- Involve your kiddos
While the majority of snacks, toys and other essentials should stick with you, there is nothing wrong with encouraging your child to take a little responsibility by carrying their own bag. Toting around a small backpack can be exciting for kids, because they have access to their favorite goodies. Plus, they’ll feel more like a “big kid.” We recommend stocking up their backpack with one or two toys, a snack, a sweatshirt, and if they’re a little bit older, a journal and disposable camera to inspire them to document the trip from their perspective.
- Snacks, snacks, snacks!
Lots of ‘em! Make sure you follow this tip if nothing else. Low blood sugar can make for some cranky kids. And frankly, some pretty cranky adults, as well. Keep spirits high with proper nourishment, especially low-mess healthy snacks to avoid the sugar spike and crash. Make sure to consult this list of TSA-approved snacks.
- Get the energy out beforehand
This may come as a surprise, but kids are extremely high energy. Shocker, right? All that energy can make it difficult for them to sit still for long periods of time. Instead of addressing the restlessness in flight, try dealing with it head on, before even boarding the plane.
By far the best parenting win I’ve witnessed at the airport was a husband and wife duo running a mini bootcamp for their three kids, while waiting at the gate. They challenged the kids to see who could do the most jumping jacks/high knees/push-ups/etc. Not only were the kids exhausted by the end, but it was pretty entertaining for onlookers as well.
- Technology is your friend
While it’s common for parents to limit the amount of screen time their child consumes on a regular basis, a little distraction can be helpful while traveling to keep kids engaged. Many parents recommend saving the Ipad until later on in the trip as a reward for good behavior. It can also be a great life-saver once all of the other toys have been played with and snacks have been snacked upon.
- Load all movies and wifi-free apps the night before, so that no internet is needed upon takeoff
- Remember to charge all devices
- Don’t forget headphones!
Hopefully, by following these tips and tricks your family can have some peace of mind when it comes to traveling. Now sit back, relax and we’ll take care of the rest. Vacation mode activated!