Flying with children can be fun and memorable, but comes with extra stress and luggage. Don’t make the negative side of flying with children change your mind about a vacation or long trip. Flying with children just requires a little more time to plan and pack and of course extra luggage.
Always Plan ahead:
Planning head can avoid the “oh no, we forgot the…” thought you might get once you arrive at your destination. Make a list of everything you need each person to pack. This way you or your child can check items off as you pack them to ensure nothing gets forgotten. Making a list ahead of time also give you the opportunity to add to it when you realize you forgot something. It’s best if each child has their own suitcase. I normally have my girls pack the day before that way if anything needs to be washed (which is almost always our case) you will have time to wash it.
*Always plan to travel with more luggage when flying with children
*Do let this scare you, we don’t normally have this much luggage. This was the luggage pile from our move from Georgia to Germany, 20 suitcases/bags, a car seat and a stroller.
Basic items we normally start with on a list
- clothes (socks, underwear, tops, bottoms) based on how many days gone
- 1 extra outfit (just encase)
- Motion Sickness Medication (we always bring this, two of our girls get motion sickness)
Then of course we add items based on where we’re going. Somewhere hot we would ensure they have summer clothes and a bathing suit packed and somewhere cold we would ensure they have winter clothes packed as well as a jacket, hat and gloves.
Our kids don’t use electronics all that much but when we travel they come in handy. The older girls will normal bring their tablet and a book to read. Where as for the two-year old we bring coloring book and colored pencils as well as a few toys.
Keep in mind some flights will have in cabin entertainment but, don’t plan for it because not all planes have in cabin entertainment and it’s better to have your own just in case, rather than nothing for kids to do while flying.
*Strawberry doesn’t go anywhere without her “pony and trolls”
Snacks are a big part of what we pack when we travel. Full bellies make traveling with children much easier. We generally pack non-perishables as well as a treat or two for each of the children. The girls all help pick out what type of snacks they want for the flight. Of course make sure not to have any liquids. As long as your snacks do not contain liquids you shouldn’t have a problem taking them through airport security. This will also save you money while in the airport, as snacks in the airport generally cost more. We use the treat during the flight to reward the girls for good behavior while flying.
*Blueberry was really into her movie!
Not all children have them, but if your child has a special blanket, stuffed animal, toy or something else; be sure to bring this when you fly.
Remember to give yourself more time to get to the airport and at the airport. Children don’t stay on task as long as adults do and tend to move more slowly. I have found it best to plan to be at the airport 2 – 3 hours before our flight departs. This gives us enough time to find parking, check in, get through security and find our gate. As well as time for the much-needed bathroom trip after the car ride. We ask all the kids to “try” even if they don’t think they need to. This always saves the scramble to find a bathroom when they wait until the last-minute to tell you they need to go.
Most importantly remember to have fun and build memories as a family. Don’t let the small things add to much stress and ruin your trip.
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