The thought of flying with kids might sounds like more stress than what it’s worth. However, traveling with kids can actually be enjoyable – with the right planning and strategy.
If you have an upcoming trip with your little ones, or you’ve been too nervous to attempt a flight with your kids, use these tips for traveling with kids to put your mind at ease.
Choose Flights Wisely When Traveling with Kids
Here’s the deal: Choose an early morning flight. Your kiddos may be slow to wake up, but they will be excited when they remember it’s time for vacation.
After waking up early and getting through the airport, they will be more likely to fall asleep on the flight. Flights before 8 a.m. are also less likely to have delays and are often less crowded. The potential for an empty seat in your row will feel like you hit the lottery when traveling with children.
Get to Know Your Airport
Flying with kids is much easier if you know where to locate a few places. Possibly the most important thing to find is the family bathroom. Take your whole family into this private space just before short or long flights with kids for a potty break or diaper change. Visit the family bathroom again when you land to freshen up.
Traveling with kids is even easier now because many airports have a play area for children. We all know letting kids burn off some energy before being stuck in a seat for a few hours is a good idea. Having a safe space to do that (as opposed to chasing our kids through the airport) before a long flight with kids is a huge plus. You can check out this list for the best kid-friendly airports in the U.S.
Finally, most airports offer a water bottle filling station. Bring an empty sippy cup or water bottle for your kids and fill them here. Have everyone take sips during takeoff and landing to prevent uncomfortable ear pressure. Bringing bottles or sippy cups also means you won’t have to worry about spilling the little plastic cups they give you on the plane.
Dress in Layers When Flying with Children
This tip for traveling with kids goes for parents as well. Prepare for temperature changes and prevent uncomfortable (a.k.a whiny) children by dressing in layers. Your kids might be hot after fumbling through security and walking to the gate, but the plane might be a little chilly. If you have a flight in the afternoon, the plane might be warm and stuffy. If you’re flying with a wiggly baby on your lap, you might want to shed a layer.
On the same note, the extra clothing will be a lifesaver if a mess occurs. Traveling with kids opens the door for all kinds of messes, from spills to potty accidents. Be prepared with extra clothes to minimize stress.
How to Pack Snacks for Long Flights with Kids
All parents know the power of snacks when it comes to kids. Flying is no different, but it’s important to put some thought in to what kinds of snacks you’re packing. A special treat is great when flying with kids, but try to choose something that won’t make a mess and isn’t full of sugar.
We love packing crackers, string cheese, cereal, and of course, our Protein Poppers. This travel-friendly snack is a sweet treat that also provides plenty of fiber and protein for a long travel day. It’s also nut-free so it’s safe for flights where there’s a peanut allergy on board!
You may need more than a snack on long flights with kids. Did you know all Yumble meals can fly with you? Simply pack your favorite Yumble meal in a cooler bag. Then, you won’t have to worry about your kids complaining about the airplane food, or spend money on overpriced junk food at the airport. Some of our favorite Yumble meals to travel with are the Pepperoni Pizza Bagel and Turkey Cheddar Pinwheel for their portability and timeless, kid-friendly appeal.
Plan Travel Activities With Kids to Pass the Time
Be prepared to keep your kids busy in case sleeping on the plane is only wishful thinking. Pack a book to read and some paper with a few crayons to color. If you’re okay with a little screen time while traveling with your kids, load up a tablet with plenty of games and movies to watch.
When flying with younger kids, bring a new toy to captivate their attention a little longer. Also, try to sit them by the window so that they can look out.
Pack Smart When Flying with Kids
Remember, whatever comes on the plane with you also has to be carried off the plane. You will thank yourself later if you are intentional about minimizing what you pack in your carry on. Flying with kids who can carry their own backpack is helpful, too. Be sure to check carry-on restrictions with TSA and your airline before you go.
Here is our list of carry-on essentials when traveling with children:
- Hand sanitizer
- Water bottle
- Paci (with a strap) or other comfort item
Use these tips the next time you’re traveling with kids. Most importantly, though, remember to have fun and enjoy family time!
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