kids on airplanes

10 Tips for Traveling with Kids on Airplanes


Traveling is one of life’s biggest joys, as is spending time with the family and kids. However, combining these two special things together can sometimes cause a bit of stress—even for the best-prepared traveler. After you have booked your airline tickets but before you take flight, keep in mind the following 10 tips for  travel with kids on airplanes and you may find the journey is not quite as stressful as you first thought!

    • Schedule Around Naps – When you book your tickets, think about your children’s sleep schedules. Some parents find it is best to fly during times where the kids may nap. This can make the flight go by a little faster. However, it is important to assure that you will be on board before the crankiness hits. Waiting for a flight with overly tired kids can be very stressful for everyone!
    • Plan for the Right Seats – The right seats can make all the difference. Book early and if the airline allows you to choose your seat ahead of time, make sure you are in a comfortable spot. You do not want to get on board and find out dad’s seat is on the other end of the plane from mom and the kids.
    • Take Advantage of Priority Boarding – Some airlines allow those who are flying with small children to board before the general crunch. This can give you a few extra minutes to get gear stashed away and make sure everyone is comfortable.
    • Don’t Rush – On the day of the flight, make sure you plan to arrive in plenty of time. It is always challenging to rush through the airport, but if you are dragging along two kids and extra gear, it can be downright impossible.
    • Be Ready for Motion Sickness – Talk to your child’s doctor about the best options for motion sickness. He or she may recommend you bring along Dramamine or motion sickness bands to prepare for an upset tummy. At the very least, make sure you have a sickness bag—just in case.
    • Pack a Carry-On – Make sure you bring along a carry-on bag with all the essentials, like a change of clothes, medicine, toys and any appropriate documents (like a birth certificate or passport) that may be necessary. This can be a big help in case of lost luggage.
    • Bring Snacks – You cannot count on the airlines to provide snacks and the airport food is very expensive and often unfamiliar. Bring along a selection of your child’s favorite snacks so you do not have to worry about him or her needing something to eat at an inopportune time.
    • Prepare for the Worst – When planning for the big day, make sure you think about all of the “what-ifs.” Bringing along an extra set of clothes in case of an accident is less difficult than trying to find clean pants in the middle of a long flight. Hopefully you will not need it, but as the boy scouts recommend, it’s always good to “be prepared.”
    • Consider Electronics – You may not want to rely on electronics for your children’s entertainment all the time, but on a flight, it can be a lifesaver. Bring the iPad, mp3 player, DVD player or whatever it takes to reduce the stress on you and make the flight more enjoyable for everyone.
    • Smile – Sit back and enjoy the chaos. Chances are, your children are not as loud, obnoxious or cranky as you think. Smile at the passengers around you—chances are, many of them have been there too!


Want more tips on preparing for family vacations? Check out our Ebook – The Ultimate Guide to Family Vacations, by clicking here!

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