Flying with kids goes more smoothly when the flight is planned and children understand what to expect when flying.
When you fly with children, remember that flying is confining and kids are energetic. Explain flying and work off energy first, then entertain kids during flight for the best trips.
Allow Ample Time Before the Flight
If you want your flying vacation to go smoothly, start by allowing ample time before the flight to prepare. If your children are first-time fliers, you will need even more time to take in this new experience.
Prior preparations will make flying more pleasant:
- Explain what flying is to your children. Show them videos of passengers during airplane rides or take them to a nearby airport to watch planes take off and land.
- Work off energy before boarding the plane. Let your children walk with you from the car into the airport. While you’re in the airport, walk from window to window and explore the nearby space.
- Organize entertain for during the flight. You are confined in a small amount of space inside an airport and your children will get restless. Bring along tablets, books, games and toys to entertain your child during the flight.
Check Luggage First, Then Park Car
The last thing you want to do when you arrive at the airport is juggle kids, luggage and tickets. Have someone stay in the car with the little ones while you run in to check the luggage in. It is easier than trying to carry luggage and herd children at the same time.
If you are the only adult flying with the children, considering bringing an umbrella stroller for the little ones or harnessed back packs. This makes it easier to keep your children close and safe not only while you enter the airport but as you navigate through it as well.
Bring a Child Safety Seat for Toddlers
If your little one sits in a 5-point harness in the car, bring it along. It is safer for them to sit in this in the their own seat. Smaller babies can be held on your lap while children in booster seats do not require them on the plane.
Take Children to the Bathroom Before Boarding
Airplane bathrooms are notoriously small and it is difficult to fit an adult and a child should your little one need to pee. Additionally, if you are the solo adult with the children, it can be difficult to leave one child alone in their seat so you can take the other one to the washroom.
Have your children use the washroom in the airport prior to boarding.
Also explain to your little ones that when the seat belt sign is on, they cannot leave their seats – even to use the washroom. They may use the need to pee as an excuse to roam around.
Let Children Take Turns at the Window
The window is the best place to sit on the airplane. Make sure each child has a chance to sit by the window and experience seeing the world from a great distance above the earth. Also give each child a chance to experience the take off and landing through the window.
Arrange for Children to Trade Places to Share Parents
This travel time is an opportunity for some quality time with each child. Children who are enjoying uninterrupted attention from Mom or Dad are less likely to grow restless while flying.
Having them move seats will also give them a much needed chance to move around and stretch their legs.