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 can be challenging. These 13 tips will make it traveling with your children a tad easier.
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 for 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 scenario for flying with children.
To avoid circumstances like that, make sure you book way ahead of time for 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 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 ideal for those flying with kids because it departs late at night while they should be sleeping soundly in their room.
Avoid booking one of these flights if you don’t want tantrums to stress you out before you board the plane. 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 airport security gates, ensure 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 particular 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 security screenings without taking their shoes or hats off, unlike adults.
Just let them wear slip-on shoes that are easily removable in case the TSA agent is not in a very generous 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, and diarrhea.
To ensure 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 in your respective seats, the first thing you should do is wipe down the tray table before letting 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 you can easily take off and put on again.
Another reason you should always dress as comfortably 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.
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 fun items for them, don’t overlook your carry-on and 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 sleep 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.
It might be a great idea to know in advance of any possible flight delays, so you are already prepared for them and can make plans to help make the long wait more bearable. Depending on the airline you are flying with you may be able to use a tracker system. For example, delta flight tracker provides real-time updates, to track any changes or delays to every flight registered with them.
The airplane is foreign territory for your kids. So if they feel uncomfortable at some point because of their unpredictable tantrums, keep your cool and deal with the situation gracefully.
12. Let kids sit 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 often when their curious little hands start exploring everything they can reach, including that steel cart 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 nausea.
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 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 follow instructions, remind them to swallow hard if they feel weird sensations inside their ears.
Flying with Children
Your next trip flying with your children will be a breeze with patience! Follow The Mom Kind on Facebook to see the latest articles!