10 Tips for Flying with Kids
10 Tips for Flying with KidsBefore my husband and I had kids we traveled everywhere. Honeymooned in New Zealand, went on a few tropical Cruises, traveled to Europe and did a few adventures with our friends domestically and abroad. When we got pregnant with our first child we were naively optimistic. “This kid will be one great traveller” we said. “They won’t change our lifestyle” we proclaimed. “They will adapt to our life”. Well… that’s not exactly how things worked out. In reality yes, we have travelled quite a bit with our daughter but things don’t always go as smoothly as planned, and ultimately you do what works and care about the lifestyle “adapting” after the fact. Here are some tips we’ve learned along our journey of traveling with children. 

10 Tips for Flying with Kids

1. Consider the Bag 

After a few trips of carrying my daughter and the diaper bag through security lines and multiple airports, I got smart. One day in the airport I spotted a savvy little roller bag that looked like the perfect swap for my diaper bag. That was it, rolling that diaper bag around was a lifesaver.

Consider exchanging your usual Diaper Bag for a Roller Bag and save yourself some extra work. Also, pack light and use the quality vs quantity method, you’ll be glad you did!

2 . Mobility

Consider Exchanging a Stroller for a Sling or other lightweight carrying device. The stroller does have the benefit of being able to carry items below, but for me this does not outweigh the hassle of trying to get through security and having to check it in before you get on the plane and wait for it after. I want to be able to get up and go, so for me, pulling that roller bag and having baby attached to me is more convenient, especially if you are rushing to catch another flight. It could mean the difference between having time to run to the bathroom or not. 

3. Early Boarding 
Blonde female child looking out airport window at airplane
Make sure to arrive in time for early boarding so you can get situated before the crowd. Each airline has their own restrictions on what ages qualify for early boarding so check with them first. There is nothing worse than trying to get situated in a plane full of people and crawling over them to get in your seat with baby in tow.

4. Look for Family Bathrooms Vs The Large Public Bathroom

Family bathroom sign
Photo by Rich Bernstein

Not sure what a family bathroom is? It’s a singular bathroom meant just for families. Don’t battle the mad rush waiting in line with baby, luggage, and any other kids you have with you. Instead, find the closest family bathroom and feel safe knowing you have all your kiddos and luggage in sight. Usually there is a changing table provided as well which is much more convenient than changing them in front of the crowd in the public bathroom.

5. Plan for Little Ears
Pacifier/ Lollipop/Starburst or Gummies…
Whatever is age appropriate and suitable for your child, plan on having on hand. The pressure on their little ears is no joke and even as an adult has had me near to tears. Keep them sucking on these and make sure you have them for going up and coming down as decending can be more painful than ascending.
6. The iPad is your Friend
One of the best investments we have made is in personal entertainment for the kiddos. No we are not all about electronic babysitters, however when you are traveling, it can be one magical distraction that will cover a multitude of hardships. Download some apps, or a movie and use this device or another tablet to bring you a few moments of peace.

7. Not Sure What to Pack? 

Get Free Like Birdie, a new line of travel bags designed to help make traveling with kids easier. I love this weekend bag that gives you a diagram of what to pack, and also has separate compartments for clean and dirty clothes. Brilliant! 

8. Hit Up the Dollar Store for Cheap Toys 

McDonald Toys

Or, raid another families fast food toys. We all have them, and too many of them at that. They will be new to your child and carry novelty long enough to get you through, and at that price you won’t mind if you lose them. Divide and hide so you always have a trick up your sleeve. Traveling prepared will save you money from buying in the airport gift shops. 

9. Always bring extra clothes and a few more diapers 

The moment my daughter had “that accident” at Disney, I worried not and patted myself on the back for being so prepared by bringing extra clothes (even though she was 5). Accidents happen. Come prepared so you don’t get stressed and can resolve life’s little hiccups more easily, this is especially so when flying. 

10. Ziploc bags for accidents and dirty diapers 

Ziploc bags

Aint nobody wanna smell a dirty diaper on a plane. It’s a great idea and takes up very little space to bring along some ziploc bags for dirty diapers and any clothes you intend to rescue in case of an accident.

There you have it. I’d love to hear your great advice and any tips you might have on traveling with kids. These were mainly geared for preschoolers and younger but give me a shout out if you have tips for older kids too.

Until then…
Enjoy the Journey!
xo- Amy West

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