We know, flying with children can be tough. Long lines, delays, crowds and confinement makes little ones cranky. It also frazzles parents and leaves other travelers rolling their eyes and hoping you’re not on their plane.

While we can’t promise you a perfect flight, we can give you some mom-tested tips for flying with kids that can make the experience easier.

And when it comes to flying with an infant, toddler, or child… we’ll take all the help we can get!


15 Helpful Tips For Flying With Kids


1. Backpacks

Depending on your child’s age, have them carry their own children’s travel backpack with toys, snacks, extra clothing etc.

Divide up snacks into individual ziplock bags so they are perfectly portion-controlled.

If you have more than one child, this also keeps them from fighting over who gets more or holds the bag. Because nothing makes flying with kids worse than sibling rivalry at ten thousand feet.


2. Extra Everything

Here’s one of our top tips for flying with kids from well-traveled moms. Pack extra EVERYTHING.

If you’re flying with a baby, bring an extra bottle and formula in case you lose one or accidentally leave it somewhere. Pack plenty of extra diapers because you never know if you’ll be delayed.

Also, bring extra clothes for all of your children and yourself in case someone spills, throws up or otherwise makes a delightful mess. You will be happy that you did.

Pro-tip, bring extra plastic bags to separate or throw away anything wet, dirty, or otherwise soiled.


3. Seating Arrangements

When checking in, always double check your seating arrangements.

Be sure your family is seated together and keep children out of the aisle seats to prevent them from trying to escape. You also don’t want little fingers or hands to get whacked by the drink cart as it rolls by.

Keeping children in the center or window seat to avoid injury is another of our best tips for flying with kids.


4. Burn Off Energy

When traveling with kids, let them run around a little bit in the terminal to burn off some energy before boarding.

You might get lucky and find they will sleep on the plane. 


5. A.M. Flights

If you want to reduce the chances of your flight being delayed and you getting stuck in the waiting area with unhappy kids, try flying earlier in the morning.

Afternoon and evening flights have a greater chance of being delayed due to airport back-ups.

Another one of our mom team’s tips for flying with kids? When it comes to flights, the earlier the better.


6. Early Boarding

Traveling with an infant or toddler? Take advantage of early boarding!

Sure, you end up being confined on the plane with your family a bit longer, but that extra time to get everything arranged and settled is worth it. 


7. Strollers

When flying with kids, don’t check your stroller unless you plan to carry your child in a sling.

Most airlines allow you to push your stroller all the way to the gate. Then they’ll check your stroller and have it waiting for you outside the plane door when you land.

Also, before boarding starts, ask the front desk for a stroller tag so you’re ready to go. Don’t wait until the chaos of boarding to ask. 


8. Car Seat On Plane

If you are flying with a car seat, make sure it’s FAA approved for air travel.

Not all car seats can be brought on board a plane. The label should read, “this restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft.”

The flight attendants will very likely look for the label. You can run into problems if it’s missing.  

Another one of our helpful tips for flying with kids? Avoid the hassle and check your car seat label ahead of time.


Helpful Tips For Flying With Kids 2
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9. Hold Off On Sweets

When flying with kids, resist the temptation to bribe them with sugary treats. Particularly at the beginning of the flight.

This plan can backfire by making your kids harder to manage later on.

Maybe keep one small treat hidden as an emergency last resort, but stick mostly to healthier options. 


10. Pop Little Ears

If you’re traveling with an infant or young child they won’t know how to clear their ears in order to reduce pressure during takeoff and landing. This can cause pain.

Unless your child is asleep, you’ll need to help them pop their ears.

Have your kids drink, eat, or chew gum. For babies, make sure they are either nursing or drinking a bottle.


11. Pack Surprises

Long airplane trips can be boring for little ones. Here’s one of our fun tips for flying with kids – In addition to the toys your kids pack themselves, be sure to have a few new surprises up your sleeve you can pull out to liven things up.

Some small items like stickers, new crayons, puzzles etc. will keep them entertained and out of trouble. 


12. Bring Headphones

If you travel with kids that are old enough to listen to music or play electronic games, be sure to bring some proper kid-sized headphones that will fit on their little heads.  

Airline ear buds are not designed to be used by children.


13. Exit Strategy

Another one of our favorite tips for flying with kids is once you land, let the other passengers off first to allow you more time and space to manage your children and luggage.

Make sure you have everything, do a complete seat check before you leave.

If traveling with more than one child, carry baby in a carrier so your hands are free for the other kids.


14. Set Phone Reminders

Flying with kids can be hectic. It can leave you with a bad case of “mommy brain”. Use your cell phone as your own personal reminder system.

Take a photo of where you parked your car in the airport lot; leave yourself a message with the name of your hotel, the hotel address and your reservation number.

When you don’t need the info any longer just delete the message or photo.

With some smart planning, and a bag full of toys and snacks, airplanes for kids can be fun.

Follow these mom approved tips for flying with kids to make getting to your final destination a little bit easier. Bon voyage!


15. Lint Rollers

When traveling with kids we always suggest that you pack and carry a lint roller. 

Not only will it help clean off clothing, but it also picks up glitter, sprinkles, sand, cheerios…. you know, all the fun things kids can leave behind in their seats.

You be glad you’ve got one of these bad boys in your bag!

Also In Beenke: 10 Great Tips For Traveling With Kids


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