Flying with Children: 13 Tips for a Stress-Free Air Travel With Your Kids


Flying with children can be tough. These 13 tips will make it traveling with your children a tad easier.

Admit it, even as adults, we have our fair share of stressful moments that get us all panicky and weary at the airport. Long queues, immigration problems, delayed flights, and worse, being left behind.

Those are all adult problems that are unavoidable even if we arrive at the airport well-prepared.

Flying with Children:

Traveling with kids is entirely a different level of difficulty. And compared to preparing for an adult-only flight, getting ready to fly with your kids is more exhausting. They look cute and lovely, but trust me, they bite—literally and figuratively.

To survive the flight without bleeding your guts out and when you’re left with no choice but to plead for help, here are 14 tips to stress-free air travel with your fiery little ones.

1. Book early to get seats together

Imagine the horror of being seated far away from your kid during a 12-hour flight. For those who do not book early, this can be the real scenario for flying with children.

To avoid circumstances like that, make sure that you book way ahead of time of your desired travel date to ensure that you are seated right next to each other. You may even have the chance to pick your seats.

Take that opportunity to choose the ones with the most legroom for a more comfortable ride both for you and your kid. A seat closer to the bathroom is also perfect for when your child needs to pee or the other call of nature.

2. Beware of red-eye flights

Red-eye flights aren’t very ideal for those who are flying with kids for the apparent reason that it departs late at night while they should be sleeping soundly in their room.

If you don’t want tantrums to stress you out even before you board the plane, just avoid booking one of these flights. You don’t want to bother anyone with your child’s screams, which can cause you stress and embarrassment.

3. Prepare the necessary documents

To avoid any hold-ups at any airport security gates, make sure that you have packed the essential documents involving your kids. Some airlines require a copy of the kid’s birth certificate and other identification documents.

When flying abroad, a passport is needed for both children and adults. Passports can take 2-3 weeks to receive when expedited, so make sure to order passports in advance!

4. Use the family lane at the security checkpoint

Families get a good airport advantage in the form of a special lane at the security checkpoint.

Most of the time, TSA agents tend to be more accommodating to families. In some cases, they even let them pass through security screenings without taking their shoes or hats off, unlike adults.

To be sure, just let them wear slip-on shoes that are easily removable in case the TSA agent is not in a very accommodating mood.

5. Schedule your travel vaccinations

Any parent wouldn’t want to have their children experience discomfort every day of their lives. But kids are most vulnerable to viruses like fever, rashes, even diarrhea.

To make sure they don’t acquire minor or significant illnesses like the ones mentioned above before or during the flight, keep their vaccinations up to date.

On the other hand, certain countries require proof of vaccinations before you or your children flying can enter their country.

6. Burn off energy

While you are still at the airport, let them play around and exhaust all their seemingly unending energy. Why? So they get knocked out right before you board the plane.

They’ll doze off quickly if they’ve worn themselves out, and you don’t need to do so much in putting them to sleep. Sounds like a good plan, yes?

7. Beware of germs

A little fun fact (which, by the way, isn’t fun at all): The tray table is the most bacteria-prone area on the plane.

Once you and your kid are on your respective seats, the first thing that you should do is to wipe down the tray table before you let your kid use it. Antibacterial wipes will do, but if you want to be extra cautious, slather a good amount of sanitizer on top of the table.

8. Dress comfortably

When flying with children, make sure they dress comfortably! This applies to both you and your little one. For the benefit of going through strict airport security gates and scanners, wear something that you can easily take off and put on again.

One other reason you should always, always dress as comfortable as possible is the ever-changing temperature inside the airport and the plane. Kids are bothered by the cold. They’re not used to it as Elsa does, so you better bring jackets for them.

9. Pack your carry-ons wisely

Your carry-on luggage is your best friend when you are traveling with kids. It’s like a treasure trove of goodies to keep your beast of a kid entertained and well-attended the entire duration of the flight.

You can fill it up with a couple of tiny toys, books, or other items to keep them distracted. Don’t also forget to bring snacks as airline food can be expensive.

While you have all these fun items for them, don’t overlook your carry on and altogether leave the essentials behind. Diapers, extra clothes, and medications are a must when you pack for your carry-on.

10. Let sleep happen

Aside from children burning off all their energies before the flying, make it as if you’re going into bedtime to make them feel like they are about to snooze off.

Let them wear pajamas to set the vibe or at least give them their favorite snuggle buddy at night. A blanket also sounds nice, so you better pack one.

11. Don’t lose your cool

Patience can get you a long way. If you’re planning what to pack, bring a lot of patience with you, lots of it.

The airplane is a foreign territory for your kids. So if they feel uncomfortable at some point because of their unpredictable tantrums, just keep your cool and deal with the situation gracefully.

Would you want to scold your child in front of the other passengers? I’m sure that’s not a good option.

12. Let kids seat away from the aisle

If you have the option to select a seat, don’t pick the aisle seat for them.

The food and beverage cart passes by every so often. When their curious little hands start exploring everything that they can reach, including that steel cart, then that might be an invitation for injury.

The ideal seat for kids is the one in the middle. You can shield them from the moving carts and the other passengers that continuously walk along the aisle. It also keeps them away from the window seat, which could scare them or cause them to be nauseous.

13. Prepare for air pressure

As adults, we’re not exempted from experiencing air pressure. It can get annoying. Imagine what your kid will feel like if they too experience the same thing?

It’s impossible to really eliminate air pressure, so to at least make it bearable for them, prepare for it.

Make sure that your child is sitting upright when you bottle-feed them. If they are already old enough to take instructions, remind them to swallow hard if they feel the weird sensation inside their ears.

Flying with Children

With patience, your next trip flying with your children will be a breeze! Make sure to follow The Mom Kind on Facebook to see the latest articles!

Alicia Trautwein is an Autism advocate, writer, motivational speaker, and dedicated mom of four. Alicia’s desire to advocate for Autism comes from her own autism diagnosis and that of her three children, niece, and brother. Her life’s mission is to educate on autism acceptance and change the world for future generations of autistic individuals.

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