Flying with Kids Can Be Fun

I feel like every post I see on Facebook is talking about travel plans – from Nationals/Worlds for cheering to graduations to just family vacations.  Although I love road trips, I do prefer flying when the price is right.

I remember Belinda‘s first trip on an airplane.  She was about 18 months old and we were headed to Florida.  It was a business trip. I was blessed that mom and Belinda got to travel with me.  I scheduled the flight for late at night thinking Belinda would sleep on the plane.  I didn’t want her to disturb the other passengers.  I figured she would be so tired when we got to the hotel, she would go back to sleep so we could all get a good night’s sleep.  WRONG!  She couldn’t wait to explore the airport so we walked around forever before getting on the plane.  She napped on the plane BUT by the time we got to the hotel at 1AM, she was ready to go.  I was not anticipating that she would notice all of the Disney signs on the way to the hotel and want to go right then! Lesson learned and I wish had some of these tips from a fellow blogger:

#1.  Avoid checking bags if you can.  I know that this sounds crazy but a carry-on make things so much easier when traveling with kids.  If they are walking, let them carry or roll their own little suitcase.  It is also a good way to save money if the airline offers free carry-on, plus one personal item.  Combing clothes together helps too since carry-ons can now be quite large.

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#2. Check in online.  The more lines you can skip, the better it is. This may seem like a no-brainer but the truth is that many just figure it is easier to check in at the airport.  Some airlines use online check-in as a way to assign seats. The best way to get seats together is by checking in 24-hours prior to the flight ONLINE.

#3. Go direct. Changing flights is always a hassle – flight delays, weather, and then there is the sprint through the airport to catch a connecting flight. Throw kids in the mix, and you’re asking for trouble.

#4. Food is your friend.  I always pack enough snacks to feed a small army, whether we are flying or on a road trip.  Snacks will keep kids occupied and from getting cranky.  Yes, snacks are permitted on the plan so try: pretzels, goldfish, carrots, an apple, nutter butter crackers, or fruit snacks.

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#5. Bring your own carseat. Yes, it’s a pain. Yes, they’re bulky and heavy. We made this mistake and didn’t take one.  Add to that, not taking a stroller.  I figured we could just rent one!  I so wish that someone had of told me about the carseat trolley like this one.  It would have made life so much easier.

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Now, you have packed for everyone else but be sure NOT to forget about yourself. Grab a book you have been wanting to dive into.  The crossword puzzle you never get to do.  Whatever it is, make sure you have something for yourself to do to pass the time.

Travel can be stressful, so go with the flow.  Remember flight attendants, pilots, and TSA staff are only doing their jobs. They don’t make the rules, delay, or cancel flights. All you can do is make the best of whatever situation arises, and set a good example for your kids.

Do you have any tips for flying with kids? Share in the comments.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

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