Happy Monday! We at the Ambler household are officially less than a week from our vacation! We are flying out to California, so I figured it might be a good idea to go over some tips and tricks to help when flying with kids.
This is something that is never easy, regardless of how prepared you are. So I'll have to preface this by saying: don't expect perfection. There will likely be headaches, especially if you're taking a long flight, so bring some Tylenol.
The important part is to stay calm, try to spot meltdowns before they happen, and remember that it's probably a harder trip for your little one than it is for you 😃
With that said, let's move on to some great tips on how to make your trip run more smoothly.
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- Download apps and other entertainment the night before your flight. Check out my Pinterest board on kiddo's technology for some great suggestions on apps to download!
- Download your airline’s mobile app so you can check in in advance, and have your boarding passes, etc. ready. This will save you so much hassle when you’re juggling children AND luggage. I talked about this last week in my packing tips post. Most airline apps also have airport maps, which can be super helpful when landing in a large/unfamiliar airport.
- Bring plenty of snacks like small finger foods to keep them busy (i.e. cheerios), especially for babies. Avoid sugar at all costs. It also helps to bring something that you know they love but don’t get to eat often. This way it will be extra rewarding for them (you can always use it as an incentive!)
- Bring some familiar toys and some new ones so that they have something fresh and interesting in addition to something that comforts them. For babies, toys with mirrors (or a small compact if you carry one) will provide endless entertainment.
- Run their energy out as much as possible BEFORE getting on the plane. If you have more than one little, challenge the siblings to a jumping contest, or see if they can skip all the way from security to your departure gate!
- Remember to take them to the restroom before boarding. This seems like a no-brainer, but I can't tell you how many times I've left the house only to have a kiddo claim that they need to pee five minutes into our trip. Imagine dealing with this while you're sitting on the tarmac! No way.
- Bring chewing gum or teething toys to help with ears popping during take-off and landing. I know my ears get sensitive at higher altitudes, so I can only imagine what it's like for a little one. This can cause some major crankiness, so bringing something for them to chew on may help combat that issue.
- If your kids haven’t flown before, give them the run-down of what it’s going to be like (throughout the entire experience). This will help especially when you have tiny ones going through security. You can read them books about airplanes, or get them an airplane toy to take with them. Toddlers and older kids also might like to tote their own luggage; seeing the bag go through the security scanner is tons of fun!
- Invest in a headphone splitter if you have multiple kiddos and only one device to share. Although I'm all for taking turns and teaching patience, this highly frustrating environment is not my favorite time for that, so it's a little easier to let them both share at the same time. I linked to this one in last week's road trip post.
- Pack an extra outfit for baby AND yourself. You never know when you will be dealing with a tummy upset that leaves you and baby a mess.
- Use clear zippered bags to compartmentalize different items (i.e. toiletries, games, snacks, etc.). I just purchased these from Amazon, which I like because they have multiple combinations of different size bags to organize different items.
- Last but not least: Ignore the Negative Nancy's who want to give you dirty looks if and when your kids get noisy. Or give them the finger, whatever. Just don’t feel guilty. Because unless your kid is directly violating that person’s space or otherwise being a general asshole (cause let’s face it, all kids are assholes at some point or another), Negative Nancy’s issues are her own, and your time on that flight is harder than hers.
Alright, those are my tips for flying with little ones! How do you make flights easier with your family? Let me know in the comments!