Tips For Flying With Small Children

Traveling with children can be a shit show, especially if your child has sensory issues like Max. However, flying with any kid can present its challenges. With a bit of preparation and a positive attitude, you can ensure a smooth and somewhat enjoyable journey. Here are some ideas to make your airplane adventure with children stress-free and memorable:

1. Plan for Comfort:

Before your travel day, do some research about the airline’s policies regarding child passengers. Some airlines offer amenities like kid-friendly entertainment. ALWAYS!!! reserve your seats in advance to secure seating together as a family. If possible, opt for direct flights to minimize travel time and the hassle of layovers.

2. Pack Wisely:

Pack a well-organized carry-on bag with essentials such as diapers, wipes, snacks, and a change of clothes for both your child and yourself. Don’t forget comfort items like blankets, pacifiers, or stuffed animals that can provide a sense of security during the flight. Consider packing a small surprise toy or activity to keep your child engaged.

3. Entertainment is Key:

Long flights can become tedious for kids, so be prepared with a variety of entertainment options. Load a tablet or smartphone with age-appropriate games, movies, and TV shows. Bring coloring books, puzzles, or storybooks to keep them engaged offline. Headphones that fit comfortably are a must for kids who want to watch in-flight entertainment.

4. Snacks and Hydration:

Airplane food may not always align with your child’s preferences, so pack a mix of their favorite snacks. Opt for healthy options like fruits, granola bars, and crackers to keep their energy up. Don’t forget a refillable water bottle to stay hydrated throughout the flight.

5. Timing is Everything:

Consider booking flights that align with your child’s natural sleep schedule. If possible, schedule flights during nap times or bedtime, so your child can catch some Zs during the journey. This will not only make the flight more pleasant for them but also give you a chance to relax.

6. Safety First:

Make sure to comply with airline safety regulations, especially regarding child safety seats. If your child is under a certain age or weight, they may require a car seat approved for air travel. Check with the airline well in advance to ensure you have the correct information.

7. Be Patient and Positive:

Children can get restless during flights, especially on long journeys. Stay patient, and maintain a positive attitude. Bring along a sense of humor and flexibility – sometimes things may not go as planned, but a calm and upbeat demeanor will help keep stress levels low. Max and I have had so many delays over the years, I can’t stress enough that your attitude is a mirror for theirs.

8. Engage Their Curiosity:

Turn the flight into a learning experience by pointing out landmarks, explaining the mechanics of flying, and sharing interesting facts about the destination. Engaging your child’s curiosity can turn the flight into an educational adventure.

9. Explore the Airport:

Some airports offer play areas or kid-friendly spaces, and some offer museum-type exhibits. If you have a layover, use this time to explore these areas, allowing your child to burn off energy before the next flight.

10. Celebrate Milestones:

Once you’ve completed the flight, celebrate the accomplishment with your child. Whether it’s their first flight, an international journey, or simply a new adventure, acknowledging their achievements can make the experience more memorable.

Remember, every child is unique, so adapt these tips to suit your child’s age, preferences, and needs. By approaching your journey with a sense of adventure, patience, and preparation, you can create positive memories and instill a love for travel in your children that will last a lifetime.

Bon voyage!


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