I’ve flown with my kids in all different ages and stages and there’s only one thing I know for sure: Flying with kids is NEVER easy.
Blog post over.
It might not be easy but we have learned a few things over the years. Every time we travel we always say to ourselves, “OH LETS REMEMBER THIS FOR NEXT TIME”… and I either forget about it or by the time we travel again we are into a new stage and there’s a whole new learning curve. ugh.
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- SNACKS – Maybe this is a no brainer for most but I always severely under pack the snacks and always regret it. Usually when we fly it’s only an hour or two for the flight which isn’t bad, but I forget about the bag check up line, security, waiting in the terminal, boarding the plane, waiting for our bags…. there’s a whole lot of time spent waiting where the kiddos are hungry, bored, and frankly just not happy. Having snacks at the ready like boxes of raisins or these healthy goldfish alternatives save our butts every time. I just need to remember to pack more than I think we’ll need.
- STROLLER & CARRIER – Flying with a big stroller sucks. But sometimes you have no choice! Fortunately, we usually can fly without a stroller or a car seat and family picks us up on the other end with all the stuff we need. When we are able to do it that way, we opt for a carrier or an easy to fold up umbrella style stroller. Unfortunately, you can’t wear your baby in a carrier during taking off and landing (at least in Canada) which is an absolute pain in the butt. I kept my 3-month-old in a carrier during a flight from the East Coast to the West Coast and he slept almost the entire time and I was even able to sleep because I didn’t have to worry about dropping him or turbulence.
- PRE-BOARDING – When you travel with kiddos, you are able to get on the plane first and receive assistance if you need it. But just a tip, if you DO need extra help, you’ll have to ask for it. I’ve been so close to breaking down in tears while flying alone with kids and it’s not fun. I wish I hadn’t been too proud to ask for help when I needed it. Even if it’s someone to just hold your baby while you get settled, a flight attendant would gladly help you.
- ENTERTAINMENT – Our kiddos don’t use screens at home and I’m pretty adamant about not letting them use them, even if it’s educational. But flying and traveling is a whole different ball game. It’s literally about survival. Loading your phone or a tablet with some downloaded Netflix shows is a really smart idea. I’ve personally never done this but will be doing it ahead of our next flight so I have a back up plan.
- TOYS – Before a trip, we usually head to Chapters with $10 – $20 to spend on little toys, books, and stickers to surprise out toddler with. We found these awesome stickers that are reusable and they worked amazingly on the windows of the plane and on the tray table. Little trains and cars make awesome little surprises. The trick is keeping them hidden until you need to pull them out and gain another 30 minutes of sanity.