Traveling with children can be a incredibly fun or incredibly stressful, depending on whether you have them under control.
Tips for the Plane
- Don’t forget to pack wet wipes! The plane is crowded and it’s hard to keep getting up from your seat to wash up the kids in the plane restroom. So, the next best bet is bringing along your own cleaning device.
- Don’t forget the emergency pull ups and diapers. This tip is vital. Make sure to toss some in your carry-on bag. Even if the flight is super short and you don’t think you need spare diapers…you can never predict when there are delays or if your plane is stuck on the runway.
- To make the flight go faster for the kids, make sure to bring games and activities to keep them busy. Although, try to keep the game super simple and compact. Avoid a puzzle with a million pieces that will most likely get lost aboard the plane or a noisy toy that will annoy all the other passengers.
- Pack each child their own carry-on bag. You can put each kid’s games and spare clothes in their own bag. This alleviates you having to carry ALL the kid’s items and being forced to over stuff your own carry-on bag. This is a great tip to stop the kids from bringing a million different toys because they know they must carry their own toy in their own carry-on bag. A fun tip is to pack each of the kid’s carry-on bags for them and don’t let them see the items you pack them. You can run to the dollar store and throw in cheap toys, coloring books and simple games. It will be a fun surprise and keep the kiddos busy on the plane.
- Check-in as early as possible! Traveling with kids takes much more time than flying solo or with a group of adults. This confirms that you and kids won’t be separated on the plane and that your seats are next to each other.
- If you are traveling with a stroller or car seat then it will have to go through the w-ray machine. Prepare yourself by removing all your belongings from them. Kids that are old enough to walk usually must take off their shoes just as adults do. It’s a good idea to dress the little ones in shoes that are easy to slip on and off to make this process a bit quicker and less stressful.
- When packing your carry on it’s vital to remember the TSA 3-1-1 rule. Any liquids, gels or aerosols must be in a container 3 ounces or less and these items must fit inside a 1-quart size Ziploc type bag. Each passenger can have one bag. When you go through security they will ask you to remove the bag so that they can run it through the x-ray machine. This rule doesn’t apply to baby food, breast milk or formula.
- A similar tip is to check to see if there are any available seats that may not have been open at the point of your flight purchase. If you didn’t buy a seat for you toddler, since usually children under 2 can sit on your lap, simply ask if there are empty seats. Usually the answer will be no, but it is worth checking!
- This tip is a bit of a challenge BUT if possible, try to book flights during the hours of the day. Choose flights at normal times that your kids would normally be awake. Flying in the middle of the night can be a bit risky. Two things can happen…either the kids peacefully go back to sleep once on the plane which is the best-case scenario OR they are too giddy and excited about getting to the destination and do not sleep at all. This might make them grumpier later since they are missing their normal sleep time. No one wants to deal with bratty kids especially during your vacation.
- Make the kids use the airport restroom before you board the plane. It’s no fun to get on the plane, settled in your seat and then having to immediately jump up to get the kids to the restroom on board the plane…the situation becomes even worse if the kids can’t hold it and there’s a line for the plane bathroom. Also consider limiting the amount of fluids the kids chug down right before the flight. This will help cut down on restroom trips and save you the struggle.
- Explain how the airport will work. It’s important to explain security checks with the kids so that they aren’t afraid when walking through the metal detectors and so they aren’t terrified by all the people in uniforms. So just explain everything to the kids if this is their first flight. Let them know what to expect from the security process by telling them how it’s to ensure everyone’s safety while they are flying.
- Keep the kids comfy while traveling by dressing them in comfortable clothes. Keep layers in mind when dressing (this applies to you as well). Planes are hot, cold or sometimes just right, but you never know what you will run into. It’s easiest to make sure each kid has a jacket and hey you can even use the jacket, roll it up, and use it as a pillow.
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Article courtesy of Your RV Lifestyle.