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Air Travel Tips for Families

Family Travel

Laugh, Love, and Fly: Air Travel Tips for the Whole Family

Are you interested in taking a family vacation soon?
If you are, you may be looking for some guidance, especially if you and your family will be required to travel by airplane.  As stressful as it can sometimes be planning a trip and flying with a family, especially one that is large in size, there are a number of steps that can be taken to ensure that everyone has a fun and pleasant time.

Flying with kids is like trying to fold a fitted sheet neatly — it might drive you nuts, but with patience and a few tricks up your sleeve, you’ll ace it!

Here’s the lowdown on making air travel a breeze:

  • Pack Smarter Not Harder: Snacks? Check. Toys? Check. A change of clothes? Absolutely. Pack individual bags for each kiddo with their essentials within easy reach.
  • Early Bird Gets the Worm: Arrive early to navigate through security with less rush (and less stress about missing that flight).
  • Airport Scavenger Hunt: Keep those little legs busy and minds engaged by turning wait time into game time.
  • Tech Timeout Rules: Tablets and games are lifesavers on flights but set limits to avoid meltdowns when devices need to be turned off.
  • Buddy System: If there’s more than one adult in your troop, divide and conquer. One handles check-in; the other wrangles the whippersnappers.
  • In-Flight Comfort Kit: Ear pressure changes can be tough on tiny ears. Pack gum or lollipops for older kids and encourage swallowing or yawning during ascent and descent.

One of the first things that you will want to do, when looking to plan a family vacation, is to make your airline reservations early. You will likely be better off when doing so, for a number of different reasons.  Perhaps, the greatest reason is the comfort and peace of mind that you may get from knowing that all of your travel arrangements are made and out of the way.

As for packing for your flight, you will want to make sure that your children’s bag are packed and properly.  Not only will you want to make sure that they have all needed supplies for your vacation, but you will also want to make sure that they have items for the airplane ride as well. Each person gets to have one carry-on bag.  You will want to make sure that each of your kids have one.

If you’re planning on booking some sky-time family fun soon, just let me know where you’d like to go, your preferred dates, how many seats you need in business or economy class, and I’ll craft a URL faster than a toddler can say “Are we there yet?” And hey—looking for more family travel hacks or perhaps pondering over destinations that are simply amazing for families? Just holler—I’ve got plenty of ideas!

Speaking of carry-on bags for your children, be sure to fill them will fun activities for the plane ride.  What you will choose will all depend on your child’s age.  For example, younger children may benefit from books and a few small toys.  For older children, portable DVD players, handheld video games, toys, and magazines are a great idea.

You will also want to make sure that you have extra snacks on hand and in your carry-on bags.  This is important, as you don’t want to have to spend too much money at the airport.  It can get costly to feed a whole family, even just with snacks.  For that same reason, try to have everyone eat a full meal before you leave for the airport.  This step combined with snacks can help to reduce hunger, possibly resulting in shared meals during airport layovers, which can also help you save money.

As for drinks, do not bring any with you to the airport, unless you have a newborn or an infant.  If you have a baby, bring one prepared bottle of formula, but make sure to have some dry formula powder with you to prepare during a layover.  Drinks, with the exception of drinks for kids, are not allowed past airport security checkpoints and they will have to be thrown away.  When buying drinks at an airport store, past security, look for items that are reasonably priced or see if some family members, like you and your spouse, can share a drink.

As for when you arrive at the airport, be sure to stay together.  Also, be sure to set ground rules with your children.  These rules should include sticking together, not speaking to strangers, and so forth.  In fact, you will want to help each other out.  For example, if you have an older child, like a teenager, let them help you with finding the right gate, carrying bags, or keeping any younger children occupied.  Your trip will likely be much less stressful when everyone works together.

Would you like more tips or any assistance with booking flights?
Or maybe wondering about kid-friendly spots at your destination? Ask our Travel AI


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