Planning a trip with kids is hard enough even if you’re just driving an hour to the grandparent’s house! Planning a plane trip with little ones can just seem like lunacy. Being stuck in the air for many hours on end with bored or even scared kids? Pass the wine please.
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But flying with kids doesn’t need to be impossible. With a little preparedness and ingenuity it can be totally doable.
Armed with good tips and vast quantities of goldfish crackers, you should be able to pull this off.
Hopefully this post can help you out with the tips, you’re on your own for the crackers.
There Will Be Struggles
Kids can be unpredictable, my 4yo likes to remind me of this fact daily.
Something they might have been really looking forward to a day ago can be the last thing they want to do today! So you need to know there might be protests/insanity from your youngest family members. Be prepared.
There’s going to be a lot of ups and downs (see what I did there? Ha!) before you finally get to check into the JW Marriott Hotel Macau, (that’s where I dream I’m going anyway!) so make sure you prepare yourself mentally and actually for anything that might come your way.
Bring bribes. Toys and snacks and any other kind of distraction that will settle the child without disturbing the other passengers.
Also, ask the flight attendant ahead of time if the kids can checkout the cockpit when you land. That makes for a great incentive to behave.
Take advantage of the small perks of traveling as a family. Pre-boarding is one of them.
You can get a head start on getting everyone settled in without holding up the rest of the line.
You can also have the overhead space to yourself if you get on the flight early, and you can cram whatever you want up there without pushing out someone else’s bag. No more sacrificing your own foot space simply because other people aren’t that considerate when stuffed into a plane!
Bring Things to Do
I mean, that’s a no-brainer right?!
When you’ve got something to keep your kid entertained in your carry on, you’re going to have a much easier time of keeping them quiet and happy, and not disturbing any of the other fliers.
While I firmly believe that children have as much right to public spaces as anyone else, it’s important to be mindful of the other passengers. For your sake as much as theirs. You’ll start feeling extra stressed out if you think your kiddos are bothering people. There is no room on a plane for extra stress!
Pack books, crayons, and your tablet loaded with games for your kid to focus on. When you’ve got something you can swap out quickly if it looks like attention is waning, you can get back on track with no trouble, and do the same when the attention deficit takes hold again.
And absolutely you MUST make sure everyone has gone to the bathroom before boarding. And pray that the baby doesn’t poop at 20,000 feet in the air.
What are some of your tips for flying with children?