In-Flight Parenting Hacks: Tips for Flying with Kids

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Hey there, fellow travel enthusiasts and parents on the go! Ever found yourself considering the art of flying with kids?

Well, worry not, because we’ve gathered a treasure trove of tried-and-true tips from seasoned parents and even flight attendants.

Tips for Traveling with Kids

Flying with kids can be a daunting task. But fear not! We’re here to guide you through the turbulence and make your journey as smooth as a first-class flight.

So fasten your seatbelts and get ready for a turbulence-free ride full of laughter, exploration, and maybe a few lollipops!

Book the Front or Back of the Cabin

Book the Front or Back of the Cabin in flying with kids

When choosing your seats for a flight with children, take into account where you want to sit in the aircraft: either in the front or the back.

Sitting in the front gives you easy access to the exit upon landing, and you will be among the first to get off.

Sitting in the back, on the other hand, maybe quieter because it is further away from the engine noise. Determine what matters most to you when choosing your seats: a quick exit or a quieter atmosphere.

Time Your Flights Around Sleep Schedules

A child is sleeping during flight

While it might not be possible for every trip, you should try matching your travel schedule with your child’s sleep routine. This can contribute to a smoother and more relaxed journey.

One of the most effective strategies for a peaceful flight with kids is matching your travel times with their sleep patterns. If possible, schedule flights during your child’s regular nap or bedtime.

This way, they are more likely to sleep through a significant portion of the journey. This makes it more manageable for both you and your little ones.

Pack an Accessible Change of Clothes for Yourself

Pack an Accessible Change of Clothes for Yourself while traveling with kids

It is common to concentrate on packing extra clothes for kids when traveling with them, but do not forget to pack for unexpected situations yourself.

Things can happen, like spills or accidents, and having an accessible change of clothes for yourself is essential for your comfort. Having the ability to change into fresh clothes quickly can make a big difference in how you feel during the flight.

Keep a spare set of comfortable clothes in an accessible area of your carry-on bag so you can quickly access them without having to rummage through your luggage in the middle of the aircraft. This small amount of planning can help unexpected incidents feel more manageable.

Get to the Airport Early and Burn Off Energy

Get to the Airport Early and Burn Off Energy

Arriving early at the airport can make all the difference when flying with kids. It is a proactive way to handle the natural restlessness that often results from being confined to a seat for a long time.

So, try arriving early enough to allow your kids to enjoy some pre-flight entertainment and ensure a more seamless journey. It is the best way to have time for yourself, specifically if you are a digital nomad or just working remotely for the time being.

Several airports offer play areas or open spaces where kids can run around and let off steam. This will help tire them out a little and increase the likelihood that they will be calm and relaxed during the flight.

Avoid Painful ‘Airplane Ear’

Avoid Painful ‘Airplane Ear’ while flying with kids

“Airplane ear” is a typical discomfort experienced during flights that is brought on by variations in cabin pressure.

If you would like to help your children, in particular, feel better during takeoff and landing, urge them to swallow, chew gum, or drink fluids. These actions can help equalize the pressure in their ears and reduce the discomfort.

The discomfort is typically caused by altitude sickness, which changes during flight. If your child is more likely to get ear infections or congestion, see a pediatrician before the flight for specific advice.

Taking these proactive measures can contribute to a more comfortable experience for your child and a smoother journey for everyone involved.

Consider Buying a Separate Seat for Your Child

Consider Buying a Separate Seat for Your Child

Finally, having a dedicated seat for your child increases safety because it allows them to be securely fastened, like a car seat.

Before booking, check with the airline regarding their policies on child seat restraints. Also, check for any potential discounts for purchasing a separate seat for your child.

A dedicated seat can make a major difference in your child’s comfort level, even though it might be less expensive to share your seat.

It provides them more room to stretch out and sleep, and it also gives them extra capacity to bring snacks, toys, and other necessities for the trip.

Choose an Airline With Kid-Friendly Perks

Choose an Airline With Kid-Friendly Perks

The choice of airline can significantly impact your overall experience when flying with kids. Opt for airlines that offer kid-friendly perks, such as pre-boarding and in-flight entertainment.

Many airlines make families feel welcome and comfortable during their journey. Some even provide activity kits or toys for children, which adds an extra layer of entertainment.

Compare airlines before making your reservation to ensure comfortable travel. Make the journey more enjoyable by choosing an airline that caters to your needs.

Reserve Kids’ Meals in Advance

Reserve Kids’ Meals in Advance while Flying with kids

Consider reserving special kids’ meals in advance to create an enjoyable dining experience for your kids.

Many airlines offer child-friendly meal options. These meals are often designed with familiar and well-liked items, making it easier for your child to eat during the flight.

Additionally, it ensures that your child will receive their food promptly. It ultimately minimizes wait times and hunger-related meltdowns.

Check with the airline about the availability of kids’ meals and how to pre-order them while booking the flight. This proactive step can contribute to a smoother and relaxed in-flight dining experience.

Download Movies and Shows Ahead of Time

Download Movies and Shows Ahead of Time for long flights

Electronic devices come in handy when it comes to entertaining kids. Download movies and TV shows ahead of time to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey.

Download content for offline viewing, which does not require a steady internet connection to watch. It is allowed by many streamlined services.

Select a variety of kid-friendly entertainment shows that will keep your child interested and occupied. Having a variety of options allows you to switch between activities if your child gets restless.

Keep in mind to pack headphones to prevent upsetting other passengers. It helps to create a more immersive entertainment experience for your child.

Charge Electronics and Bring Fully Charged Power Banks

Charge Electronics and Bring Fully Charged Power Banks before flying with kids

Ensure that your electronic devices remain charged throughout the flight. Before you head to the airport, charge the gadgets your child will be using during the journey. It is crucial to keep your child engaged.

Additionally, bring fully charged power banks to provide extra juice in case the onboard power outlets are limited or unavailable.

Consider investing in a high-capacity power bank to cover the entire duration of the trip. Having charged devices and backup power sources ensures a continuous stream of entertainment for your child, making the flight more enjoyable for everyone involved.

Pack Your Kids’ Favorite Snacks

Pack Your Kids’ Favorite Snacks while traveling

Pack a variety of your kids’ favorite snacks to make the flight more enjoyable and comforting. Familiar snacks serve as a source of comfort and can be a helpful tool in managing hunger and preventing potential meltdowns.

Choose a mix of healthy and indulgent options to cater to the different preferences of kids. Snacks like nutrient-nut bars, fruit slices, or cheese sticks can provide a healthy energy boost. A small treat or their favorite crackers can add an element of excitement to the journey.

Remember to pack these snacks in easily accessible containers within your carry-on. This makes it convenient to reach for a quick snack whenever needed. By having a selection of familiar and beloved snacks on hand, you can ensure that your child stays satisfied during the flight.

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Pack All Baby and Toddler Essentials

Pack All Baby and Toddler Essentials while flying with children

Mindful preparation is key to ensuring your peace of mind when flying with kids or traveling with pets. Pack all essential items, including:

  • Extra diapers
  • Bottles
  • Pacifiers
  • Antibacterial Wipes
  • Extra tissues
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Comfort toys (such as soft toys or special blankets)
  • Baby food
  • Extra bags for waste disposal
  • Feeding spoons
  • Medication (such as pain relievers or nasal sprays) and
  • Any other “must-have” items to keep your child comfortable.

A well-organized packing list relieves stress and guarantees that you are efficiently prepared. This assures that you can attend to your child’s needs promptly.

Make sure you have enough supplies to last the entire journey, as potential delays or unforeseen situations might happen. It creates a more comfortable and stress-free travel experience.

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Bring Extra Bags for Your Kids’ Trash

Bring Extra Bags for Your Kids’ Trash

Maintaining a tidy and organized space during the flight can contribute to a more comfortable experience. Bring extra plastic bags to use as trash bags for your children’s wipes and any other disposable items.

Having designated bags for trash helps contain clutter, making it easier to manage the limited cabin space. It also allows you to dispose of waste quickly and efficiently during the flight.

Consider placing these bags in easily accessible pockets or compartments within your carry-on for convenience. You create a more pleasant environment for everyone by staying proactive in managing trash and keeping the immediate area clean.

Dress in Layers and Skip Shoes With Laces

Dress in Layers and Skip Shoes With Laces while traveling with kids

Choosing the right attire for your kids (and yourself) is a strategic move that ensures comfort throughout the flight.

Dress up in layers, as it allows you to adjust to varying temperatures. It is worthwhile, whether it’s the air-conditioned airport or the cabin of the plane.

Additionally, opting for shoes without laces makes the security process smoother and faster. It saves you valuable time and reduces stress. Practical and comfortable clothing choices contribute to a hassle-free travel experience.

Bring Surprises: An Entertainment Boost

Bring-Surprises for your kids

One of the keys to a successful journey with kids is keeping them entertained, and surprises are your secret weapon. Pack a bag of small, wrapped surprises, such as toys, snacks, or activities your child enjoys.

The element of surprise adds excitement, and the new items can capture their attention. Introduce the surprises strategically, especially during moments when boredom or restlessness sets in.

It’s a simple yet effective strategy to make the travel experience more pleasant for both you and your little ones.

The Ultimate List of All the Travel Hacks You Need to Know

Traveling is always exciting. But it can easily become nerve-wracking if you don’t plan well. So, fasten your seatbelts, grab your trusty passports, and get ready for a journey of discovery, one incredible hack at a time.

Make Sure Their Car Seats are Airline-Approved

Make Sure Their Car Seats are Airline-Approved while flying with kids

Ensure that the car seat is airline-approved when flying with kids who still require car seats. Airlines usually have specific regulations regarding the types of seats they allow.

Check the seat approval with both the car seat manufacturer and the airline. This ensures the child’s safety and prevents any last-minute complications at the airport. Familiarize yourself with the airline’s policies on installing and securing the car seat during the flight.

You can rest assured that your child travels safely and comfortably by taking these steps. It creates a more secure and familiar environment for them during the journey.

Apply for TSA Precheck or Global Entry

Apply for TSA Precheck or Global Entry before taking a flight with kids

It can be difficult to navigate airport security with children, but there are ways to make the process stress-free.

Check your eligibility and apply for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry well to save your time. The approval process for these programs can take some time.

However, these programs offer benefits like dedicated security lanes where you can get through security checks more quickly.

Additionally, with expedited security screening, you can keep your shoes on and leave electronics and liquids behind. It helps to reduce the hassle of unpacking and repacking items while flying with kids.

Check as Much as You Can

Check as Much as You Can for hassle free travel

Minimize the stress by checking in as much luggage as possible. Taking advantage of checked baggage allowances allows you to travel with fewer items to manage. Specifically, through security and boarding processes.

Checking in larger bags with non-essential items can free up your hands and provide more space for your child’s necessities. You will carry essential items in your handbag.

Be mindful of the airline’s policies and fees for checked baggage, and plan accordingly. This approach simplifies the logistics of getting through the airport and reduces the burden of carrying multiple bags.

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Use a Stroller or Carrier: Preferably a Smaller One

Use a Stroller or Carrier to carry kids around airport

It is challenging to travel with kids in tow; therefore, strollers or carriers are useful to carry children. Strollers are useful for carrying around tired or unruly kids.

An appropriate stroller for your trip can impact your mobility in crowded areas and busy airports. Go with a smaller, more compact stroller that is easy to fold and handle.

Check with the airline for specific instructions on gate-checking procedures. Having a stroller or carrier can make the airport experience more manageable. It guarantees that your child is safe and comfortable as you navigate the different phases of your journey.

Do Your Best to Relax, Stay Calm, and Compose

Do Your Best to Relax, Stay Calm, and Compose while flying

As a parent, your behavior sets the tone for the entire travel experience. It impacts you and your kids for the whole travel time and should be considered as traveling ultimately leads to personal development.

In rushy airports and the confined space of an airplane, it’s crucial to stay calm and composed. Your relaxed behavior reduces stress for yourself and creates a more comfortable atmosphere. Maintain a positive attitude, stay calm, and reassure your children if they need it.

Remember, children often mirror their parents’ emotions, so cultivating a sense of calm can go a long way. It ensures a smooth and enjoyable flight for everyone.

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Take Aways

And there you have it—our curated collection of hacks for flying with kids!

We hope these tips will transform your next family adventure into a joyous and stress-free experience. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-time family flyer, the skies should be filled with excitement, not apprehension.

Your kids are part of you. Be sure to involve them in whatever you do and celebrate with them too. So as much as you fly for work purposes alone, plan once in a while to enjoy the best family vacation destinations with them during the holidays.

Explore family beaches and family travel destinations, whether to travel for education or just to be a part of and enjoy after the grandparent’s travels in retirement. There are plenty of things to do in retirement, along with enjoying this leisure time with grandkids.

So, go ahead, reserve those seats, pack those snacks, and embark on your journey with newfound confidence. Remember, the key to smooth flying with kids is preparation, a dash of creativity, and a sprinkle of patience.

Safe travels, intrepid parents! May your flights be filled with smiles, happy naps, and a touch of magic in the air. Bon voyage!

Editor’s Note: Hey Parents! I hope you like these recommendations; you have probably used some of your own while flying with kids. I would love to hear more, so please share your best and most useful tips in the comments section below.

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