Any links in this post to a merchant may contain an affiliate link, which means that if you click on that link and then buy something, I may earn a commission from it. However, all opinions in this link are 100% mine and 100% honest. If I didn't believe in a particular product, I wouldn't recommend it to you.
Do you have a trip planned with your family? Already dreading flying with your children? While flying with kids can be hard, it doesn’t have to be. With a little preparation and the right perspective, flying with kids in tow can be smooth and enjoyable. Here are some simple tips to make your family travel much more pleasant.
Tip #1: Pack kid-friendly snacks
In my experience, hunger brings out the worst in kids. Therefore, when flying with little ones, always pack some kid-friendly snacks. Then, whenever your munchkins get hungry, you will be ready. Buying snacks before arriving at the airport will be much cheaper than waiting until you get there. Keep them in your carry-on so your kids can snack on the plane or at the airport. (Get a FREE printable grocery list of the best airplane snacks for kids in our Travel Resource Library. See the bottom of the page for details.)
Tip #2: Bring favorite activities
Kids of all ages (and adults too) fly better when they are entertained. So, bring your kids’ favorite activities for the flight. I recommend packing both high-tech and low-tech activities in your carry-on. Whether your children enjoy music, movies, video games, or books, pack more than you think you will need in case you are delayed. Be sure to pack a variety of activities so they won’t get bored. Read our list of the best screen-free activities for flying with kids.
Tip #3: Remember the necessities
When packing things for your kids to do, don’t forget to bring along the necessities, like batteries and chargers. The last thing you want to happen is for the battery on your child’s favorite device to die right after take off. And remember the child size headphones! They will save you and your fellow passengers from spending the entire flight listening to that annoying song your child loves so much!
Tip #4: Don’t forget a pillow and blanket
Many times, the air temperature in planes can be chilly. Packing a travel size pillow and blanket can help your kids get comfortable during the flight. And maybe, if you’re lucky, they will relax enough to sleep a little! I keep a small baby blanket rolled up in my purse. This is perfect for my son to use on the plane.
Tip #5: Dress for comfort
No one want to sit next to a child who wiggles the entire flight. But this is what you are going to get if you dress your child in uncomfortable clothes for the trip. So,let them wear their favorite comfortable clothes for the flight. If your children are small and you are flying at night, consider putting them in pajamas before boarding. Comfortable clothes can also help your kids relax and maybe sleep on the plane.
Tip #6: Don’t forget about the ears
The pressure buildup in ears that comes with take off and landing can range from annoying to painful for kids. To make your trip more pleasant for everyone, plan for this necessary evil. If your kids are babies or toddlers, have them suck on a bottle or sippy cup during take off and landing. This will help relieve the pressure from building up. For older children, give them gum or a chewy snack to help their ears.
Tip #7: Burn energy before boarding
It is difficult for most kids to sit still for long periods of time. The younger they are, the harder this is. Instead of fighting this basic fact of life, accept it and work around it. Burn off some of that energy before you board the plane. Take your kids for a walk through the airport. Find an uncrowded corner and let them jump and wiggle. For babies, put a blanket on the floor and let them kick and roll around for a bit. The more you can wear your kids out before getting on the plane, the better they will behave during the flight.
Flying with kids doesn’t have to be stressful. With a little advance planning and understanding of your children, you can have a smooth flight with even the smallest of kids. Pack snacks, plenty of activities, and a blanket to keep your little ones entertained and happy during the trip. Prepare for stopped up ears and excess energy. These simple tips can take flying with kids from scary to splendid. For more tips, read common mistakes when flying with toddlers, preparing children for long flights, and how to reduce child anxiety when flying, tips to make airport security easier, and how to avoid child meltdowns when traveling. Happy travels!
P.S. Don’t forget to grab your FREE printable shopping list of the best airplane snacks for kids. You can find it and many other travel tools in our Travel Resource Library. See the box below for details on how to get access to the library.