Top Tips For Stress-Free Flying With Kids

Smiling mother with daughter and suitcase in airport

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 While going travelling with kids is a wonderful way to make new memories and share unforgettable experiences with your offspring, the actual process of getting from one destination to another can be a little intimidating.

After all, children have a tendency to get bored easily, and if they have never flown on an airplane before, they may also become anxious or restless while on board. If that wasn’t enough, there is always the potential for something to go wrong, such as a delayed flight or a sudden bout of travel sickness, which can ratchet up the stress levels even more.

Fortunately, there are a number of tips you can use to help make catching a flight with your kids as stress-free as possible, so you can all enjoy your get-away. Read on to find out more.

Make Sure You Are Well-Prepared

To help ensure that your flight goes without a hitch, it’s vital that you make sure you have everything you need for the journey. If you are travelling with a baby, double-check that their diaper bag has all of the essentials, including diapers, lotion, baby wipes, disposable diaper bags, a changing mat, hand sanitizer and more.

In addition, you should probably have some snacks and travel-size drinks on hand in case your kids get peckish or thirsty while you’re waiting to catch your flight. For younger children, some distractions such as sticker books, puzzles, or toys may be useful to keep them amused if you face a long line through security.

Dress Your Little Ones In Layers

Choosing the right clothes for your young ones to fly in can be tricky. Airports can sometimes feel hot and stuffy, but once you’re on the airplane you will probably find that you start to feel cold. Dressing babies and toddlers in a few light layers is recommended, as you can easily take off or put on a layer as required.

You should also choose clothing with easy-to-open zippers, poppers, or buttons, so you don’t have to struggle to undress and dress up your child after going to the toilet or having their diaper changed.

Leave With Plenty Of Time To Spare

It’s always recommended that you arrive at the airport early, just in case of congested traffic or long lines going through security. For domestic flights, you should ideally arrive an hour and a half in advance, but for international flights at least two hours is advised – perhaps even more, or if you’re travelling from a very busy airport such as Los Angeles International (LAX).  

Eliminate As Many Hassles As Possible

To make the whole journey as straightforward for yourselves as possible, try to make sure you have everything organized well in advance. This includes finding somewhere convenient to leave your vehicle while you’re away.

For example, if you’re flying from LAX, you can find helpful parking information at ParkwayParking.com and choose the ideal service, which will most likely include a convenient airport shuttle to get you and your little ones to and from LAX.

Don’t Forget Snacks And Entertainment

For kids, plane journeys can be exhausting and tedious, not to mention hungry work. As a result, it’s important to have a stock of snacks and various forms of entertainment stashed in your carry-on for difficult moments, and to keep them absorbed during the flight, particularly if it’s long-haul.

While sugary snacks and drinks can easily be purchased at the airport, it’s a good idea to have some healthy and filling light bites in handy Tupperware containers for them to dip into at will. Some lollipops or chewing gum are also recommended, so they can suck them during take-off and landing to help prevent their ears from the discomfort that comes from the rapid change in altitude.

As for entertainment, you probably have an electronic device on stand-by, whether it’s their own phone – depending on their age – or a learning tablet for toddlers. However, you may also want to pack a few comics and some coloring and activity books if you have younger kids in tow.

Even teenagers may be persuaded to ditch their electronics in favor of some real-life fun; for example, you could teach them how to play poker or blackjack if you bring a pack of playing cards along for the journey. Take Monopoly money with you to use for placing your wagers.

Explore The Airport

One of the best ways to pass the time before your flight – especially if you have a couple of hours to kill – is to go for a little wander and show your kids around the airport’s most appealing amenities.

Some airports (LAX included) have a children’s play area or two where younger kids can let off steam and tire themselves out before they are due to board. However, there are also cafes and restaurants where you can sit down for some refreshments before departure, not to mention newsstands and duty free shops where your kids may find something that interests them.

Even if you’re not in the mood for some retail therapy, you can all take a little walk around the terminal and stretch your legs

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Assistance

If you run into any difficulties at any point during your journey – whether at the airport, or onboard the airplane in the midst of your flight – don’t feel ashamed to ask for help from airport or airline staff.

For example, if you need someone to watch your kids during the flight so you can go to the bathroom or change your baby’s diaper, you can ask a member of the cabin crew if they wouldn’t mind watching your older children just for a short while. Travelling with young children can be a challenge, so airline staff are sure to be understanding and want to do their best to help you.

Final Thoughts

There’s no denying the fact that flying with children can be a daunting undertaking, but with the right preparation (not to mention a good amount of patience) there is no reason why you shouldn’t have a straightforward journey to your next destination.

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