flying with kids
Children and Flying What Should You Do Prior to Taking Off
Plan direct flights, and reduce stops.
If you are flying with children particularly toddlers and babies the less stops you make more frequent. If you can, take an airline that is direct so you aren’t faced with other issues like rushing to connect flights, delays on layovers, multiple takeoffs, or the likelihood of losing your luggage.
Insurance for travel can protect you in a variety of circumstances, but it’s not enough to reduce the stress in the moment you’re trying to handle the demands of a crying baby or a tired toddler and wondering where your suitcase is.
If you’re forced to take the long haul flight and you’re traveling with a connecting flight, our suggestions for handling long and lengthy flights will help you plan your trip.
Think about purchasing a chair for the child.
The majority of families travel with a tight budget, but keep in mind that there are many types of expenses. In certain instances the money you save in cash could be more costly in frustration and stress.
“If you’re travelling with a child, if you have the money then you’ll want to purchase seats for them. Most likely at the other end you’ll need a car seat” stated Victoria. “Your baby is more comfortable traveling in their car seat. They sleep really well there (compared to the airplane seat), and you don’t have to worry about holding the child the whole time.”
The attraction of not having to pay to sit in a seat for children under 2 years old of age is compelling, especially in the case of flying during busy periods like the holidays as well as with the overall increase in the price of flying. Consider the pros and cons prior to making a take a decision.
“You’re not paying for it with dollars; you’re paying for it with a squirmy child in your lap,” she said Victoria. “Then you get trapped because the baby’s asleep on your chest, and you’re like, ‘Well, now I can’t move.’ Maddy’s almost two. I would still love her to be in her car seat on the plane because it contains her; it’s a place she’s familiar with. We’re not reinventing the wheel every time we travel.”
What if it’s more only you and your child? Perhaps you have multiple children or you’re bringing your entire family. Choose your seats in a group even if paying an extra amount to have allocated seating.
You could always ask other passengers to trade in their items, however, as Victoria mentions, there’s an inherent risk involved in doing that.
“You’re dependent on the generosity of strangers or gate guards to move you to seats in a row, but there are times when you don’t get the chance to do that. Sometimes, your five-year-old could be in a different seat and not right in the same seat as you.”
Particularly when traveling with multiple young children, it’s not worth the stress or the risk.
Select an airline that offers children-friendly amenities.
Not all airlines are in the same way. For a trip with children to run as smoothly as you can make sure you book on an airline that is kid-friendly.
Here’s a brief list of airlines offering child-friendly amenities.
- JetBlue If you’re trying to increase the miles you earn from frequent flyers JetBlue’s TrueBlue is ideal for families. The program allows you to join up to seven points. Imagine how fast you can get a free flight if everyone in the family is chipping into your total miles. If you’re concerned about keeping your children entertained during or before on the plane, JetBlue offers plenty of entertainment options. The terminals of JetBlue offer some amazing playgrounds that will help your children exercise their muscles. In addition, with complimentary Wi-Fi on board and personal TVs in every seat, there’s no need to worry about who is required to share a tablet.
- Virgin America Lavatories on Virgin America regardless of airline, are disgusting. Virgin America makes our list of child-friendly airlines due to the fact that its lavatories in the rear have diaper changing stations. It’s safer and cleaner than having your child balance on a seat, or even worse, on a surfaces within the restroom. If you have children younger than five, you’ll also enjoy priority boarding. Kids food items can be ordered in advance which is ideal for the time those days when your pilot of the future is only eating chicken nuggets.
- Southwest Airlines: If you have seen the commercials, “bags fly free.” This means that if you’re carrying extra equipment due to your child and you don’t have to break the bank to purchase everything. Through Southwest’s Companion Pass, you also have the chance to get even better discounts on flights for your little travel companion.
- Alaska Airlines: Flying with Alaska Airlines as a family offers a distinct benefit. Alaska Airlines reserves a couple of “family rows” for each flight, which increases the odds of having the opportunity to share a seat. We’re also awestruck by the way they offer a food basket for children right before the plane lands. This is usually when children have the most trouble So how better to settle children than by giving them an indulgence?
Reserve kids’ meals in advance.
On long-haul flights, where food service is provided ensure that you reserve your children the meals they will eat in advance. Special meals are usually offered prior to the normal meal service.
By making reservations for kids’ meals ahead of time, you can ensure that your children will be fed first, giving you time to assist them get their food and set up prior to the time your meal is due.
Check to see if your car seats are airline-approved.
If you are planning to use your car seat for the plane, ensure that it’s FAA certified so that there are no unexpected surprises at the gate. The FAA provides guidelines on car seats that are approved and child restraints to anyone traveling with children, so ensure you are aware of this before you travel.
Apply for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry.
To speed up security, consider applying to TSA Pre-Check. If your kids are between the ages of 12 and 13 are eligible, they can make use of the TSA PreCheck line along with you.
Movies and TV shows can be downloaded in advance.
It is important to fill your children’s electronic devices with movies as well as shows so that they are entertained during your trip. It’s a good idea regardless of whether the airline offers in-flight television or films. It is impossible to know the shows that will be shown and also if the shows are suitable for children.
Charge electronics and ensure that power banks are fully charged.
Check that your children’s tablets, iPads, as well as phones are fully charged and that you are carrying backup completely charged power bank in your bag.
This will avoid the inevitable meltdowns that come when you watch Bluey being cut short by the battery’s premature depletion.
Take your children’s most loved snacks.
The first item on Victoria’s list of packing is food.
“Bring all of the snacks you can. Your child will become the most hungry person on the plane and you’ll end up with a bag of pretzels and cookies and they’ll hate this. Even on an extremely short trip with Maddy – I took a flight between Dallas to Austin in only 45 minutes — I packed a complete food and all the snacks you can imagine. The only reason she ate it all was it, because you’re thinking”I don’t know what I can take care of. You’re crazy, you’ll eat. This is great.'”
It’s not just about short flights neither. “There’s likely to be food served on a long flight, but you’ll never think about what your child will find to be the most gruesome thing at once. Take every snack you’ve considered.”
Make sure you have extra clothes on hand for you and your children.
What else can you put into your suitcase, along with your snacks? Extra clothes.
“Pack many more clothes than you think you’ll need, since this is the time when your child will decide to poop or puke all over the place. Then you’ll say, ‘Cool! I’ve packed just one outfit and you only have one outfit,'” said Victoria. “If your child’s really little and you’re carrying them, pack yourself an extra outfit because it could end up all over you.”
Discuss with your children what you can expect from them.
This is particularly important especially if your children aren’t flying for the first time or haven’t traveled for a while. Inform them details about your airport. What will the check-in procedure be like? What is the security process? Who will be the security guards on the ground? What are the steps to board and travel on a plane?
The more they are aware of beforehand and in advance, the less daunting the experience is for them. You may also want to view an YouTube video that is specifically designed for kids explaining the flight process. The TSA offers a complete TSA Kids videos that you may find helpful.
Bring a blanket.
If your child has a favourite blanket, or one they regularly use for napping and you have the space, bring it along. This will make to make them feel relaxed and relaxed to take the nap.
Make sure to pack gum, lollipops, or Pacifiers.
The tiny ears of babies are particularly vulnerable to changes in cabin pressure in the course of takeoff and landing. Bring a pacifier to chew on. This can help ease the pressure and help make them feel more at ease.
For children who are older If they are older, bring them chewing gum or lollipops to assist them “pop” their ears.
Make sure you have extra bags for your children’s trash.
Between clean-up wipes for spills, leftover food as well as dirty tissues along with empty water bottles trash could build up fast when flying with children.
The extra bags you have to store your garbage will not only ensure your trash is neat but will also be loved by your neighbors in the seat and the flight crew.
Take all the toddler and baby necessities.
If you’re traveling with infants or ones in diapers it’s essential to double-check your luggage to ensure that you have everything you require for your trip, which includes:
Make sure you check as many times as possible.
It’s not a good idea to carry heavy items through airports. It’s difficult to maneuver them even at the busiest of times However, when you’re trying to move across the airport from one point to another with bags stuffed into your arms or even your child carrying a few more things could be what causes the back of the camel (more on this in the future).
As per Victoria, you should borrow as much as you can, and think about renting the rest when you reach the destination. “Whenever you travel we look to look for an Pack & Play we can borrow from a friend. If we’re planning to visit family or friends or even someone’s friend with an Pack & Play, that’s the one less thing that we need to bring, because Lord knows we’re already carrying plenty of things.
“There are companies that can rent you baby equipment. Some of these are BabyQuip. It’s a method of renting things, meaning that if you need an infant highchair, you’re not bringing it with you. Also, if you require more than one packs & Plays, bassinets, whatever.”
Make use of a stroller or a carrier.
Victoria is the only variation in this “check as much as you can” hack. Every airline has the ability to gate check car seats and strollers at no cost. Strollers are especially useful in getting your child through the airport easier since you don’t hold them for the duration of your trip.
“They make strollers now that fold up and can fit in an overhead bin or under the seat in front of you. Those are primo because you don’t have to gate check it, you don’t have to worry about it getting destroyed by baggage handlers. You can have it with you the whole time, you know the second you get off the plane, you’ve got your stroller ready. We got one of those used on Facebook Marketplace, and it’s the best because I don’t have to worry about not having a stroller.”
Tips to get Through Airport Security with Kids
Make use of to make use of the TSA Cares line.
Parents of children with special needs can contact toll-free line TSA Cares number 72 hours prior to the time of their call to ask for special assistance through airport security.
For children and adults with autism, TSA Cares has special screening procedures that they can utilize to ensure that the security screening process is more enjoyable.
To find out more about the benefits of the TSA Cares program,
Be on time at the airport.
Give yourself enough time to avoid rushes to the airport with children in tow. If you are flying domestically, make sure to arrive minimum two hours in advance of your departure. You should allow more time for international flights.
This will guarantee you have enough time go through security, make those bathroom breaks and also allow extra time in case of delays or lines that are not anticipated.
Do not wear shoes with lace-ups (if it is).
One method to speed up the process of screening at airports is to put on slip-on shoes. This is particularly important for kids in the early years who may not be able to take off or tie shoes in a hurry.
Do not bring any liquids that aren’t needed.
Another reason security can be slow is when you carry liquids in carry-on bags. However, sometimes liquids are necessary. In fact there are times when the TSA have declared that breast milk, formula juice, food for babies and even liquid medication that exceed 3.4 grams are not subject to the rule 3-1-1 for liquids.
But, you’ll need remove each liquid to be separated for screening. If you’re travelling with lots of liquids, ensure you have enough time for screening.
The Flight of a Kid before You Board
Make sure you check your seats prior to boarding.
As we’ve mentioned before, Victoria advises booking your seats ahead of time even if that costs a bit more.
If you didn’t even If you did, make sure that the entire family is together prior to boarding. The last-minute scrambles to accommodate families with little ones can cause delays in the process of boarding.
Let your children sweat out their energy before they board.
When you board the plane the child needs to be kept in a somewhat controlled environment. When they’re mobileno longer a baby and no longer a baby their seats is difficult. Before they begin calling for groups to board, allow your child the chance to snooze at the airport.
“I recommend that your children take as many walks as they can to wear them out. This is their chance to have fun,” Victoria suggested. “So much of travel is being in a shack. If you’re traveling through gates allow them to walk as far as they can so that you don’t have the burden of carrying them. Burn that energy.
“If you’re on a layover in which you’re sat for a lengthy period Try to locate an area with fewer people. There are always strange places, like one of which is a gate that there’s not an aircraft leaving from. You can let your kids run in the open.”
Utilize the moving walkways as well. “These are great to use for loops in the park with your kids. It doesn’t matter if they’re just beginning to walk, and are one and two or if your child is seven. It’s a great way to practice loops and walk around them in reverse You can do anything and it can assist in burning energy.
“I believe that’s the most important issue, if you’re going to spend an airport trip to burn off your kid’s energy. You don’t want them to get on the plane to think”Now I want be a crazy runner because then you do not have any options.”
Take your bathroom breaks in a timely manner.
Plan your stops to the bathroom in advance of when the boarding process begins to prevent any last-minute bathroom issues that may delay takeoff and getting on board.
Tell children in the early years that they will not have access to the bathroom prior to the start on the plane, which is why it’s crucial to wash their hands prior to boarding the plane. Encourage them to go to the bathroom even if they say that they don’t need to. Also, you might consider putting the Pull-Up on children that are still prone to accidents.
Create a special trip for them.
Many travel professionals suggest seeking ways to make your journey memorable for children. Perhaps they can choose one of the special treats in stores for gift items, or maybe they’re permitted to buy French fries at the food court and bring to the plane.
Tips for Flying with Kids: for the Plane
Make sure they stick to their sleeping schedule.
Victoria is based in Dallas with her family in Houston and Houston, so flight times with Maddy aren’t possible.
But, if you’re planning to take your child on a long trip across the country or even overseas What other factors should you take into consideration?
The first thing to consider is timing. “If you’re going on a short flight, I think it matters a lot less what time you’re traveling,” Victoria said. Victoria. “If you’re planning an extended flight, I’d try to think in a strategic manner.
“If you’re on, say, the flight is six hours long, and you are able to snooze and fly red-eye the experience will be a bit more painful for you as an adult but it can make life for your kids much easier since they’re used to sleep. While you’ll likely be exhausted and exhausted, they’ll likely be tired and sleeping, which will make your life much easier.”
So, a child who is asleep is a time-saver which means less effort you have to put into entertaining or soothe your child.
Are you unsure what your child’s age is able to sleep in an airplane seat? Victoria has a trick for you, too.
“There are a few things that have been approved by airlines for use as a bed with a blow-up which you can place in the spot where your child’s feet will be, and it sort of makes their seats slightly bigger.
“The most important thing to remember is that the fact that if you own something you’d like to place in the seat, it can’t be attached to a window or tray table. It’s not connected to anything, however it can be used to fill the space during your flight and create the bed for your child.”
We’ve touched on this before and it’s something worth mentioning to be reminded. Make sure you have a pacifier, bottle or lollipop in the bag ready to be taken off and land to lessen the impact of the changing cabin pressure on tiny ears.
Prepare a surprise for the middle of your flight.
This advice is especially useful when flying long distances.
Bring a brand new activity book or a small toy for your child during between flights. It will give them the chance to break from their gadgets and also break the monotony of a long flight. It’s a different way to make your flight experience enjoyable and thrilling for your children.
Try to be as relaxed as you can.
You’re likely to be extremely vigilant and doing all you can to make sure your child is safe and to ensure that you don’t disrupt the trip for others you are included. If your child begins crying during the flight, be aware that it’s likely to be more difficult for you than for anyone else.
“My biggest advice to parents of kids who are crying, your kid will always sound louder to you. You don’t need to feel bad about your kid crying on a plane because everyone should have their own headphones. That is how adults travel. If they don’t have them and they’re freaking out about a kid … Sorry, but it’s kind of their fault for not planning ahead and realizing there might be noise in a public place.”
Finally, don’t worry about your child not being the perfect child.
Airline personnel know that children are children, and will probably cut you some slack when they can see that you’re doing your best. It’s all about the effort.
“If you’re a parent and appear like you’re trying to control your children, and not become a bad parent while not ruining the plane or complying with the instructions, that’s the most important thing you can do. The flight attendants will appreciate your efforts.
“If your children are eating food make sure you don’t let them crush the every Cheerio in to a dusty mess on your floor. Make sure they don’t litter the floor with trash. Make sure they don’t go up and down the aisles. It’s not easy and you shouldn’t expect your children to do everything perfectly, however you should they should look as if you’re taking care. It’s a big help.
“I believe that children are likely to be kind of insane and dislike sitting. When adults behave as if they were children, it’s a problem however, children are perfectly good.”
Do you think she would like to have children aboard her plane to serve as an attendant on the plane?
“I do because I really like kids, and I think they’re so fun.”
If you begin to begin to feel the tension building Be reminded that there’s some positive news. There is help available starting from the moment you arrive to the airport to your gate at arrival and everything in between. If you’re on the flight of Victoria and she’s excited about the opportunity to hold your child in case you require an bathroom break. Also, it’s generally not so bad as you’d think. The perspective of parent can make things seem more difficult than they actually are.