Best Tips for Flying with Kids

Flying in general can be stressful—worrying if there’s going to be traffic on the way to the airport, getting through some of the horrendous security lines (we’re looking at you LaGuardia), transit between terminals, etc. Now, add kids into the mix and it can feel a little…chaotic.

Never fear, our trusted Dad Community has come through with some of their top tips for flying with kids:

● Snacks. Just when you think you’ve packed enough, add more! One Dad credited his wife with a ‘tackle box’ snack kit idea. Something like this filled with their favorite snacks. It keeps everything in one container and you can customize them to each kids’ liking.

● Have wagon, will travel. Not only is the wagon a great way to transport things (without carrying them) through the airport, it’s also great if your kids are tired. You can put them in and wheel them around.

● Activities. Activity books, coloring books, sticker books–essentially any and all books. They’re great at keeping kids busy without being on their screens. You can find them at any of your favorite stores (Amazon, Target, Walmart, etc.). These reusable sticker books are also really fun.

● Screen Time. While we don’t recommend screen time the entire travel day, it’s an incredibly helpful resource when stressors are high. The biggest tip from Dads was to have the content already downloaded to devices. Airport and airplane wifi can be unreliable so having the movies/games already in place is one less thing to worry about!

● Creature comforts. Investing in a fun neck pillow or convertible pillow blanket is a great idea. Depending on flight time, your littles might want to sleep and it’s always a better nap when they’re comfortable. Also, and we cannot stress this enough, do not forget their favorite stuffy!

● Prep them. Sit your kids down several times before flying and talk to them about where you’re going, how airports work, and answer any questions they might have. Get to your gate early—you’d rather be bored than frantic.

● Teamwork. If you’re traveling with your partner/family/friend, make sure you’re on the same page. Delegating responsibilities (ticket management/paperwork, kids/bags/etc.) can eliminate those tiffs we have when there hasn’t been enough communication.

● Buy them a cocktail. No, not your kids. That’s illegal. And you probably don’t want to throw back too many Fireballs – since you will land at some point. We’re talking the people in front of you whose seat keeps getting kicked by your kids – or in whose ear your lovely child is screaming. Chances are the passengers in the row in front of you won’t take you up on the offer but your offer will go a long way to keeping the peace!

While your anxiousness about traveling with kids might not fully go away, we hope these tips have lessened the stress. Just remember, especially if this is their first flight, it’s an adventure for them!

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