Travel Tips For Families: Surviving the Plane Ride with Kids
The winter holidays are almost here! For those of us that travel to celebrate with our loved ones, it can be a jolly but stressful time. Especially if our family’s winter travel destination is a plane ride away!
When we travel alone or with adults, it’s usually a breeze to make it through security, board on time, and stay occupied on the flight.
But as you likely know, traveling with kids is a whole different ball game!
Though it can seem stressful to travel with your little ones, the benefits are absolutely worth it. Once you master the plane ride to your holiday destination, you’ll feel confident exploring the world with your kids by your side!
By traveling to new places with your children, you are building a better future for them in so many ways, not to mention creating memories they will cherish forever!
Travel gives children a wider perspective on life, and introduces them to new people and cultures they might never experience otherwise. It teaches them problem-solving skills and can lead to lifelong interests. What could be better for nurturing little minds?
If you think you’re ready to take the leap and see the world with your mini-mes in tow, be sure to read on for our best travel tips for families that are ready to catch that flight!
1. Tell them what to expect.
For many kids, uncertainty can be a huge stress factor. You can ease their minds by letting them know in advance what they can expect at the airport and on the plane. Even toddlers can be comforted by a simple explanation before you set out on your trip.
Explain how security checks and boarding works, and how to behave on the plane. Try practicing at home – with a little imagination, your living room can become the TSA line while the sofa turns into a plane!
2. Book direct flights.
When flying with kids, one of the most practical tips for traveling families is to book a direct flight whenever you can! The last thing you want is to be stuck in a long layover with bored, upset kids.
Even the iPad that keeps them entertained for hours at home can fall short when you are forced to spend hours in an unfamiliar, noisy airport. So if you have a chance to book a direct flight, take it!
3. Sign up for TSA PreCheck.
If the thought of enduring the security line with your kids has you trembling in fear, sign up for TSA PreCheck! Children 12 and under are permitted to go through PreCheck with you, which saves time and stress as you try to get the whole family checked and boarded.
4. Don’t forget to bring in-flight entertainment!
Though most airlines provide in-flight entertainment, there is no guarantee that it will be something your little ones will want to watch.
Be sure to load a phone or tablet with as many of their favorite shows and movies as possible! Giving them a variety to choose from will make the trip more exciting.
And perhaps the most important travel tip for families with kids – pack as many power banks as possible, and keep those babies charged! The last thing you want is an in-air meltdown due to a dead battery.
5. Pack your carry-on wisely.
You’ll want to have snacks and entertainment options on deck in your carry-on, but that’s not all! Here are a few other items to bring along to make your flight just a bit smoother:
- Extra clothes for each child
- Bags for your family’s trash
- Hand sanitizer
6. Don’t be afraid to pack the stroller!
Nearly every major airline will gate check strollers for free. You will be so thankful to have packed it along when you are trying to get yourself, your luggage, and your children through a busy airport!
7. Plan your trip around your children’s schedule.
For most kids, early morning or late evening flights could be a nightmare. Or, if you think yours could sleep through a long flight, you might want to book an overnight flight.
You know your children best, so choose the time that works best for your family. Even if it costs a little extra, it might be worth the splurge.
Whether you’ve done it before or you’re new to flying with your family, hopefully you are feeling a little more prepared for taking your little ones on that plane this winter! Let us know if you have any family travel tips of your own that you’ve learned along your way :)