Flying With Kids of All Ages | More Tips and Tricks
As a professional travel writer and media contributor I get asked all the time about the best tips and tricks for traveling as a family. I wrote about this topic a while ago, but my experience was really limited to preschoolers. Well, by popular request I’m back at it again, this time expanding on tips and tricks for traveling with kids for all ages.
Keep them Comfortable
I’m all about the less is more motto, but when it comes to traveling with kids, a little prep goes a long way. Look for disposable options that will lighten your load along the way!
- Have small bags with snacks available
- Vitamin C lollipops are helpful to avoid the pressure on their ears while not giving them a huge sugar high
- Pacifier for those who take one
- For those who don’t take a pacifier it’s a good idea to feed right after take off and during the plane’s decent to avoid painful ear aches due to the cabin’s pressure
- For long flights across country or continents, ask your pediatrician their thoughts on melatonin – benadryl is not a healthy solution!
- Noise canceling head phones for infants will help keep them asleep when the pilot starts speaking on the overhead speakers. Avoid the rude awakening and search online for infant sizes.
Get Tech Savvy
I think we can all agree that less time spent on mobile devices in the long run is more beneficial to our kids, however when it comes to traveling with the littles, a bit of tech could really save the day. This is one instance you want to be charged up and ready to go.
- This is the time to bring iPads, and games so charge them up and load games
- Don’t forget to pack head phones, noise canceling are ideal
Take some advice from those in the know. Fight attendants interviewed agree on these great tips.
- Don’t over hydrate little ones! Kids will need to use the restroom whether it’s a good time or not, the last thing you want is a bathroom emergency during a bad session of turbulence, believe me I’ve been there so limit beverage intake before and after and save the hydrating for once you’ve landed safely at your destination.
- Don’t forget to bring along a few empty ziplock bags for dirty diapers and clothes, a common curtesy to those around you when it comes to containing unpleasant fragrances.
- Most kids will learn that traveling is a great time to catch some zzzzs so make sure they bring their travel pillow (avoid the germ ridden plane pillows) and let them sleep the trip away
Ideas for Keeping the Kiddos Busy
Stimulate their senses
Little tykes are all about tactile stimuli. Think ahead and surprise them along the way.
- Bring some lavender essential oil along to relax them
- Surprise them with little present packages hidden away during especially boring moments
Stimulate their Imagination
Air travel is a great time to get grade school kids to tap into their imagination. Here are a few ideas to keep their dreams inspired.
- Sketching, or adult coloring books
- IQ Games
- Sticker Books are one of my kiddos favs and provide plenty of entertainment
Preteens and Teens
Stimulate their mind
Teens generally think they have seen and done it all. Additionally, it seems sometimes they won’t get their noses out of their mobile devices. Stimulate their mind by creating a few games utilizing their sense of observation and helping them open their eyes and mind to the world around them. Joining along with them might just show you a few things as well.
- People watching games (i.e. how many people can you find with a mac laptop)
- Photo scavenger hunt- Have your teen use their cell phone, or step it up a notch with a fun camera like these Fuji Film Instax Mini 8 Instant Film Cameras (bonus: you also get instant momentos from the trip this way)
- This is a great time to introduce journaling. They can write down what they see and how they feel or sketch pictures of what they see along the way
Whatever your methodology, traveling should be an enriching experience…. let’s be real though, it can also be extremely stressful. Here’s hoping these great tips will make your journey a raging success.
Did I leave something out? Share your favorite travel tips in the comments below!
Enjoy the Journey!
xo- Amy West
Watch me discuss this topic on The Chat