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Are you nervous to fly with your baby, toddler, or small children? I don’t blame you. Before you go, make sure you’ve read these tips to keep your family calm, happy and organized even on the longest flight.
I just got back from flying by myself with a 7-, 5-, 3- and 1-year-old. Yes, that’s right. I flew from Virginia to Texas with our 4 little ones and lived to tell the tale.
I’m not going to pretend that it was smooth sailing the entire time. Traveling can be stressful on parents AND kids. Some things will go great, but the unexpected is bound to happen…..and you know what? That’s ok. You will get to your destination, and still (hopefully) have a great vacation.
I’m not sure if traveling with 4 kids by myself makes me crazy or brave, but I did it and I hope to do it again soon!
Since returning, I’ve had many people asking how I was able to do it. Below are some of the BEST tips I can give you. But the #1 tip is make a commitment to bring your patience during the flight and all the connections.
THE BEST TIPS FOR FLYING WITH KIDS:
1. SET THE RULES:
Growing up with a pilot dad, I knew how to behave on an airplane. If I didn’t, you better believe I would be put in my place. Be sure to talk to your kids about how to stay seated, be respectful to those around them and to listen to instructions when necessary on an airplane or in an airport.
2. PACK ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS IN THEIR OWN BACKPACKS:
Packing individual backpacks is a general rule when you have multiple kids. This will keep the fighting and bickering to a minimum.
You can let them pack their own backpacks or surprise them with small toys & activity sets. But be sure they don’t pack more than they can carry.
Window decorations, re-usable sticker books, and hidden picture books work like magic. Below are some of my kids personal favorites:
Melissa & Doug Puffy Sticker Set
Melissa & Doug Vehicle Re-stickable Stickers
Sea Animal Window Gel Clings
3. NO ROLLING TOYS OR ACTIVITES:
Don’t bring balls, toy cars, ANYTHING that rolls. You don’t want to be reaching under chairs or tapping your neighbor to get things that roll off the seat tray tables.
Try Play-Doh Foam or Triangle Crayons instead.
4. SNACKS, SNACKS, SNACKS:
Packing a variety of snacks is a must. Healthy snacks like fruit or trail mix are a great option. Avoid too much sugary snacks like candy, which will only energize up your kids – something you definitely don’t want.
If you are traveling during a meal time, try packing a lunchable. And don’t forget to bring an empty, refillable water bottle that you can fill up once you are through security.
Here are some simple and easy snack ideas:
Cinnamon Oat & Nut Clusters
Plant-Based Jerky Train Mix
Pumpkin Oat Breakfast Cookies
Healthy Apple Oatmeal Bars
5. TABLETS / ELECTRONICS:
If you allow your kids to have a tablet or video games, be sure to download any content you may want (movies, shows, etc). You most likely, will not have WiFi on the plane (unless you pay for it), and will want to make sure your kids have access to their favorite shows.
Also, be sure to bring your chargers and headphones for your kids. The headphones that we use are great for kids because they are foldable, on-ear headphones that fit smaller heads. They also let you regulate how loud the sound is.
Be sure to pack sweat shirts, light jacks or blankets for your kids. The temperature on planes can be extreme, either way. This is all about being prepared, my friends.
7. USE POTTY BEFORE GETTING ON PLANE:
Enough said…make sure your kids have the chance to go potty before boarding the plane. But if nature calls, try not to stress, it is bound to happen. Luckily, lavatories have a changing table if you need them.
8. GET TO THE AIRPORT EARLY:
The last thing you want to happen is to be running through an airport with kids trying to catch a flight. Be sure you plan to get to there with plenty of time before your departure.
Everything take longer with kids….flying is no different.