We’ve all been there if you travel a lot – at some point you will be on an airplane with young children. This is one of those instances where you can’t wing it! It takes a lot of planning and preparation to make sure your trip runs smoothly. Although some things cannot be avoided such as flight delays, there are things you can do to make the flight a bit smoother for kids.
Here are the top 5 strategies for traveling with kids from Uplift Ventures LLC.
- Fly early – this is one way to avoid delays and the early flights tend to be less crowded. In addition your kids may be still sleepy so they could most likely nap on the plane.
- Create distraction kits – Flying with kids is all about keeping them entertained and distracted. Put together a baggie of must haves for each child and make sure siblings have the exact same number of the same items so there is no fighting. Be sure to include some surprise toys they have never experienced before – whether it be electronic toys, games or something on their wish list – it will entertain and engage them (and don’t show them before take-off!) Make sure to have gum, water and small lollypops- not too much sugar – it will help with the pressure from take-off and landing. Swallowing helps with the discomfort and of course hydrating is key in the air.
- Stage a run through on what they can expect – from the security line, to the boarding and inflight – sit down with you kids and have a mock run through from start to finish including taking off their shoes so they know exactly what to expect so there are no surprises. Even run through the bathroom breaks in between security line and boarding to remind them this is bathroom break time (and that time is not negotiable)
- Keep it simple – Dress comfortably, add a few layers but not too many (you don’t want them forgetting their favorite t-shirt, sweater or sweatshirt someplace in the airport.) Especially for young kids make simple clothing choices - no extra zippers, buttons as that can delay them in the security line or going to the bathroom and think easy on slip on shoes. Simplicity is key for this stage when traveling.
- Get kids used to bringing and carrying their own carry-on bag – Small backpacks are great and make sure not matter what bag you have them bring that it has a full zipper on it. Nothing like adding to the worry list about items falling out in the airport or rolling down the aisle. Show them responsibility by having them carry a small bag with some key items and goodies. Ask them to choose a few of their favorite games and items that they enjoy playing with and have them add these to their own bag. Make sure to pack an extra outfit and socks in case anything should spill on them or if they get sick. Pack extra zip lock bags too so you can store any dirty or wet clothes and each child has their own bag of snacks. The carry on back could keep them entertained for a while with their own goodies then you can pull out the distraction kit!
Hopefully these strategies can help you on your airline adventures with your kids.