Traveling with toddlers can be challenging. Especially with cramped airplane seating and busy waiting areas, this makes it difficult. Proper preparation and planning are essential to reduce stress and ensure a worry-free travel day. Here are some strategies for flying and traveling with toddlers, including tips from flight attendants:
Remember to RELAX and ENJOY
- Schedule an early morning departure.
- This is especially helpful when traveling with toddlers or young children who may be tired and want to nap.
- Save your mileage upgrades for trips without toddlers. Traveling in first class with kids can be more stressful than it’s worth.
- Prepare your kids for what to expect. Children do better when they know what to expect, so consider showing them a video that shows them the entire flight experience. Click here for some videos on YouTube.
- Avoid aisle seats for kids. Aisle seats can be dangerous for toddlers as the food and beverage cart can reach them, leading to spills and burns. Consider seating your child by the window or in the middle seat instead.
- Dress in layers and avoid shoes with laces. Whether you’re dealing with in-flight heat and air conditioning or changing climates, be prepared for changing temperatures when traveling with a toddler.
- Bring surprises. A wrapped new toy can be a great way to keep your toddler entertained during the flight. Kids love to unwrap presents; a new toy can be a fun distraction.
- Be mindful of germs. Wipe down surfaces when flying with toddlers, and avoid sending them to the bathroom without shoes. The bathroom floor is known to be a breeding ground for germs, and the plane’s movements can cause spills and puddles.
- Opt for a compact stroller and consider a kid’s harness. Navigating an airport without a stroller is not always possible, but swapping your standard stroller for an umbrella one can make a difference. Gate-checking the stroller is also recommended. A kid harness can provide added safety and peace of mind for multiple young travelers.
- Prepare for airport security. Make sure items that need to be removed during security are easily accessible. Keep in mind that snacks may require extra scrutiny during the screening process.
- Pack essentials without overdoing them. Flight attendants advise parents to pack enough essentials for the flight but not to overpack and burden themselves. Avoid expecting food on the plane that interests children; instead, bring enough low-sugar snacks, diapers, wipes, and sanitizers.
- Create a packing list based on necessity. A comprehensive packing list should include comfort items like pacifiers, sanitation supplies, headphones, art supplies, and low-sugar snacks. Avoid overpacking by being mindful of what is truly necessary.
- Address air pressure concerns. If your child has had recent ear infections or colds, consult with a doctor before flying. To address air pressure discomfort, provide enough water for the flight and encourage your child to drink during takeoff and landing. This swallowing motion can help alleviate pressure and provide hydration.
- Don’t hesitate to use Pull-Ups. Even if your child is potty-trained, Pull-Ups can be helpful when flying with a toddler or young child. They can help reduce the stress of rushing to the bathroom or dealing with an in-seat accident.
- Show gratitude to flight attendants. Flight attendants appreciate a small gratuity when dealing with toddlers. Bringing some chocolates from the airport and handing them over during boarding can go a long way. This gesture is especially appreciated during the holidays when flight attendants may be away from their families. It can also lead to better service and even a free drink.
- Keep your cool. Some passengers may not appreciate traveling with children, but as long as you’re making an effort, you have most people on your side. Don’t let negative comments get to you; focus on doing your best.
- Choose an airline with family-friendly amenities. Look for airlines that cater to families by offering kid-friendly perks such as a wide selection of TV shows and movies, kid-sized headphones, and snacks. Consider airlines with family lounges or airports with play areas for children to burn off some energy during layovers.
CONSIDER ALL THE MEMORIES YOU ARE CREATING
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