Do you travel with kids? Just the thought of it is stressful to many, but it doesn’t have to be. If you prepare well beforehand, you can alleviate many of the stressors that come with traveling with children.
10 tips on how to travel with kids
1. If at all possible, don’t have a layover.
- If you can fly direct that makes it much easier on kids. If it’s not a possibility then give yourself plenty of time between flights. Your child needs to be able to run around a bit and get out some of the energy that has been balled up during the first flight.
- Many airports have play areas for kids so check and see if that’s true for your connecting airport. If so, give your family enough time to be able to relax and play before you get on the next flight. Hopefully your child will run and play and be nice and tired for the second leg of your journey.
2. Have plenty of snacks for your child.
- This is essential as many airlines do not provide food and the food you can buy is not always very good. Fresh fruit, nuts, and crackers are always good choices. Unless your child is allergic then of course that won’t work for you. Only you know what snacks are best for your family but whatever choice you make, bring them in baggies or plastic containers as that minimizes mess.
- If you bring something like an apple or an orange I’d suggest cutting it up and/or peeling it before you get on the flight. That way, your snack will be ready and you won’t have to worry about making a mess in your seat by trying to peel fruit. Having a portable snack desk would be perfection.
You Can Be Stress Free Travel When you Travel With Kids!
3. Bring a seat.
- If your child sits in a booster seat/carseat you can bring it on the plane with you. However, this will only work for kids that have a seat that is paid for and not a lap child. NOTE: Make sure the seat is FAA approved.
4. Bring headphones.
- If your kid plays with electronics make sure you bring headphones. Your fellow passengers will appreciate the fact that you aren’t making everyone in your immediate vicinity listen to their electronics.
5. Bring gum.
- Sometimes the pressure on our ears for takeoff and landing can be hard on a kid so chewing gum during those times can sometimes alleviate any pressure. However, please don’t let your child smack on the gum as that is really annoying to the people sitting around you.
6. Buy toys from the dollar store.
- If you just want some cheap toys for the plane ride go to the dollar store and pick up some things, they have great items for cheap. Crayons, coloring books, etc. and because things are so inexpensive, you can get plenty of choices for your kids and if they lose them you won’t be upset. This way you can leave your expensive toys at home.
TRAVEL TIP: You can also go by the library and get books if you have room in your carryon.
7. Make sure to bring a change of clothes for your child.
- You should also pack one for you and your child in your carryon. Accidents happen all the time on planes when people travel with kids. If you check your bag and need to change clothes, you won’t be able to do so until you get to your destination.
8. Don’t check a bag.
- I know, I know, you think it’s impossible. Well I’m here to tell you it isn’t. Get a good carryon (with wheels) and pack all of your essentials inside. Many times families are traveling to a place where there is a possibility to do laundry which makes packing much easier.
- Use packing cubes and color coordinate your clothes. Doing that will save so much time! By not checking a bag, you will alleviate any stress that comes if your bag doesn’t show up on the carrousel at your arrival airport.
9. Prepare your child for the long flight.
- It’s not really fair to expect your child to sit in a seat for hours if it’s not something they have done before. You can have practice sessions at home. I wouldn’t suggest trying this just a few days before the flight, this needs to be done well in advance. For instance, if you are going to be flying on a 5 hour flight, try sitting with your child on the couch for an hour without letting them get up. See how many things you need to keep their attention during that time period.
- Increase it little by little so you can gage how many times you think your child may need to get up during that flight. Of course this won’t be exact but this can help you to prepare. If your child can sit and play with games the whole time then great. But your child may not so you need to know that and then you need to figure out what can be done to keep him or her entertained during the flight.
10. Bring medication.
- Even if your child isn’t sick or isn’t prone to sickness, bring over-the-counter meds that may be helpful in the event your child gets sick. Motion sickness, Diarrhea, cold, flu, allergies…these are all meds that you can be prepared for. Get your 3.4 ounce bottles and fill them with the liquids you need. Make sure to label them so you know which is which. And by all means, make sure you keep these with you on the plane and DO NOT put them in your checked bag.
Traveling with kids doesn’t have to be difficult, especially if you prepare in advance. Most kids love to travel, and how dope is it to be able to share the world with your kids? If you are looking for a fab place to show the kid(s) in your life, what about showing them dinosaurs? Yep, there are places in New Jersey where kids can get up close and personal with them. This post by Jennifer from Jersey Family Fun shows you 10 places to see dinosaurs!
Is there anything you would add to this list? How do you get through a flight with your kids?