A Stress-Free Travel Guide for Family Flights
Are you just a bit worried about hitting the friendly skies with your kids? Don’t be! Sure, traveling with small children can bring its own set of challenges, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. A little bit of pre-planning is all you need to make travel days easier on everybody!
To help you out, we’ve gathered a list of the top travel hacks that’ll make flying with kids a smooth experience.
Book the right flights
Only you know what’s the best time for your kiddos, but generally speaking, mid-morning flights hit the sweet spot. You won’t have to rush too much to get out of the house, but your kids will be fresh from a good night’s sleep.
Red-eyes are hit or miss. Some lucky families have kids who’ll sleep throughout the flight. But just as many others are on the flip side, with a toddler who won’t close their eyes on the plane. Proceed with caution!
Budget extra time
Just because you can get from the parking garage to the gate in 15 minutes flat doesn’t mean your kids will. Little legs simply can’t keep up. Save everyone the stress of rushing by budgeting plenty of extra time to get through security and to the terminal.
Get the wiggles out
Boarding, flying, and deplaning all make for a long day of sitting still. Luckily, most airports have a “play area” in the terminal. Let them run around and expend some of that extra energy before you hop on your flight.
Carry on a change of clothes
Spilled juice boxes and sticky fingers…Flying with kids can be messy. And not just for them, but for you, too. Bring a change of clothes, or at least a clean shirt, per person.
Eat at the airport
Kids get hangry, too! Unfortunately, mid-flight food options are especially limited if your kiddos have allergies (or are just a bit picky). Have your meal at the airport, where there are more kid-friendly options.
Go for early boarding
One of the perks of flying with kids is getting to board as soon as possible. As soon as they announce “families with young children,” that’s your cue. Getting the kids settled in is worth spending a few extra minutes on the plane.
Pop ears with gum, lollipops, or bottles
One of the main reasons for kids to cry on a plane trip is due to the changes in cabin pressure. Have a bottle ready for the littles ones during takeoff and landing , because that sucking motion can help pop their ears. Older ones can chew gum or suck on a lollipop for the same relief.
Be ready with snacks
Boredom = hunger. As soon as the little ones start to get bored, they’ll start asking for snacks. And since you never know when the beverage cart will come around, you’re better off bringing your own. Pack what the kids would normally eat, then double it. Or even triple it, we won’t tell!
Pro Tip: Avoid the sugary snacks, which will just give them extra energy they don’t need during a flight. Think healthy and yummy: granola bars, fresh fruit, trail mix, raisins, and crackers.
Break out the bribes
Before you head to the airport, pick up a few inexpensive toys, coloring books, board books, or stuffed animals. Break them out as needed during the flight to keep your kids entertained with something new.
Relax the electronics rules
Everyone’s going to get their luggage. Unless you’re in a hurry to get somewhere, be prepared You can be strict on screen time for the rest of your vacay, but travel days are a good time to relax on electronics rules. Phones and tablets can be a lifesaver during long flights. Download new movies or games at home, so they have something special to keep them entertained.
Accidents happen. Drinks spill. Toddlers throw fits. And that’s okay; it’s just part of the unpredictability of flying with kids. But once you get to your destination and start to unwind, the day’s travel will be so worth it.
Ship Your Luggage
Keeping track of little ones takes all of your energy – and two free hands. Make the trip easier from the get-go by shipping your luggage to your final destination with LugLess. For less than the average cost of checking a suitcase, you can avoid the stress of juggling antsy kids and luggage.
Trip to grandma’s or splashing around your favorite coast? What’s on your family’s vacation list this year? Let us know your top family vacay spots in the comments!