Traveling with Kids

Many parents get nervous about flying with their children…their young children.  You see movies and hear horror stories about parents who have the child who cried the ENTIRE flight cross country or the child(ren) who kept kicking the back of the chairs, etc.  Here are some tips that may help you with your travel plans.

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  1. Stay calm!  Honestly, you’re the one judging yourself more so than others.  Your child may be the one crying but honestly, everyone knows that children/babies cry.  As long as you’re making the effort, most people will be empathetic and understanding.  Plus, when you stay calm, your children will sense that and they will (hopefully) stay calm as well.
  2. Take advantage of technology!  Download free apps on your phone or your iPad.  Make sure you aren’t required to have the internet.  I made this mistake on a 2 hour flight once.  Boy did that cause more problems!!  To test whether or not the app requires the internet, turn off your internet option on your device and open the app.  If it works, FANTASTIC.  If not, find another one.
  3. Bring snacks!  TSA now allows you to bring snacks and some bottled water if you have children in tow.  The agents will just take a peek and maybe test the liquid for bomb making ingredients.  Be sure to bring enough snacks for each child.
  4. Create goody bags for each child.  On a recent flight, I packed water colors, some plain paper for watercolors, paint brush, 5 crayons, and one of those paint booklets that has a watercolor sheet attached to it (thanks, Michaels!) into a large ziploc bag.  Each bag had each child’s name on it.  I didn’t show it to the kids until we were on the flight – they thought it was so special and were super excited.
  5. Bring books.  I brought along 5 books for the children to read.  These were their favorite books.
  6. Movies are a great distraction too.  I downloaded copies of their favorite movies onto my laptop and if they requested a movie, I had it ready.  Each child had their own headphones – just remember to buy a dual adapter so you can plug in 2 headphones (I didn’t do this but luckily my youngest didn’t need to hear the movie).
  7. Bring a portable toilet.  We love our Potette Plus because it’s incredibly useful in a few different situations.  When there’s a long line on the plane for the restroom, it helps to have this portable toilet.  I know, it sounds gross but what’s even more unsanitary is having your child pee or poop on the ground or in the seat because s/he couldn’t wait in line.  In addition, the toilet can be used as a child’s seat on a regular sized toilet – very useful when potty training.
  8. Bring your child’s blanket and stuffed animal (“lovey”).  Remember to put tags on it so that if your child loses or drops their precious item, it can be returned to you.
  9. Check in your stroller at the gate, not at the ticket desk.  It’s extremely useful to have your stroller with you because it can carry your child(ren) and your various personal bags (diaper bag, backpacks, children’s suitcases).  Plus the stroller will less likely be damaged during transit.  Those baggage people don’t care about your stuff and are extremely rough with everything.
  10. Try to travel when you’ll be on the plane during nap time or bed time.  It’ll make your life a little bit easier if you can take a nap while the kids are asleep as well.

Well, I can’t think of anything else.  Happy travels!  What tips do you have?

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One response to “Traveling with Kids

  1. Hi,
    I am a mom and flight attendant on long haul flights. My advice is to bring pyjama’s and personal small blankets on overnight flights. The kids can have their daily routine (including bedtimestory and lullaby) and will fall asleep easily…. This even works for daytime naps. I once saw a female passenger traveling with her two toddlers doing this and it worked, like with my own kids years later too.
    Happy flights!!

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