Traveling with kids on a plane can be a stressful experience for the child, the family, and all those around them if you are not prepared enough to make things easier. Carry-on luggage is easy to plan for, pets can be worked around on a plane, but kids usually have an agenda of their own. Make sure you have a plan if you will be flying with children so you can make vacations a pleasant experience for the whole family—one you will want to remember and repeat.
6 Tips for Traveling with Kids on a Plane
These tips will help you make a good experience for yourself, your children, and all the others on the plane to avoid stress, embarrassment, and feeling trapped in a bad situation.
- Bring activities.
- Pack snacks.
- Sit by the bathroom.
- Sit by other parents.
- Avoid Red-Eye flights at all costs.
- Expect the worst (but hope for the best).
Those may seem self-explanatory, but preparing in more detail will help so flying with children is the last thing you’re thinking about when you’re boarding that plane. Traveling brings enough with it to have to remember and consider; don’t let your family be a point of stress.
Be sure to pack many different activities for your children to do. Coloring books, a portable DVD player or tablet, Nintendo Switch (or DS, Gameboy, etc.) with their favorite games (bring options), an iPod, stuffed animals, cards, etc. Get creative while packing. For example, you can purchase crayon and markers with edges so they won’t roll away. The last thing you want to be doing is chasing crayons down the aisle while your child is throwing a tantrum. Make sure your devices are fully charged—and bring the chargers for the flight back—and get the kids plenty of options because we all know how they may change their mind a few times.
Packing snacks is a must when flying with children. It’s unlikely that the airline will have great snacks for your children available. It also helps to pack a bribery treat (queue the gummy bears or other delicious snacks they don’t get all the time) so that you can persuade your child into behaving (if needed, of course). We have even seen parents bring bribery snacks for other passengers to apologize for having their young ones near them on the plane in the first place.
Sit by the Bathroom
There is nothing worse than getting up a million times during a flight for your child to use the restroom when traveling with kids on a plane. Sitting close to the bathroom helps eliminate the disturbance to other passengers and yourself when you don’t have to get your child to focus long enough to walk down an entire aisle multiple times in one plane ride. This is especially true if it is a long flight. It’s also helpful to make sure you and your children have aisle seats so when you do have to get up, even if it’s a short trip to the restroom, you won’t have to climb over your seat neighbors every time you do it.
Sit by Other Parents
While this isn’t always possible if you are picking seats for your flight beforehand, if you wait until you get on the plane and pick your seats then, you will be able to surround yourselves with someone to commiserate with and who will understand. A new friend could also help keep your children occupied for quite some time during the flight.
Avoid Red-Eye Flights at All Costs
Many passengers choose Red-Eye flights to save money and relax. Bringing a crying child into this mix will not end well. You should strive to schedule the flights around your child’s schedule. For example, flying when your child should be napping is not the best idea. Flying in the evening when their behavior is best would give you an advantage. You might think your child will sleep on the plane and make things easier, but the excitement of all of it, the noise, and maybe even the nerves could keep them awake, and you’ll be left with a crabby and sleep-starved little one.
Expect the Worst
Prepare yourself now for the worst case scenario. It’s well-known that children do not like to sit still. Expect that your child will be no different. Other passengers will likely exchange snarky glances or comments about your child misbehaving. Take it with a grain of salt, as the flight will, in fact, eventually end, and realize that many of these people have had small children at one point. Any scenario that exceeds this expectation is gravy.
Pearl Travel Can Help You Find the Best Ways to Travel with Kids on a Plane
When you decide you are ready to give traveling with your children a shot, Pearl Travel can help. We specialize in family vacations, so flying with children is nothing new for us, and we can give you a whole new list of tips and tricks to help make the experience better for everyone involved.
Pearl Travel is pleased to offer unparalleled personal service via our dedicated team of travel advisors! We are able to share an amazing wealth of collective experience and expertise. The use of a personal travel advisor will be sure to enhance your travel experience – we specialize in all forms of travel from all inclusive resorts that are laid out for ease to custom travel that allows for the most unique of adventures. Contact Pearl Travel today or learn more.