Tips for Traveling on an Airplane with Kids

Last Updated on 31st December 2020
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Whether it be a sunbath on the beaches or roaming the cities or discovering new lanes around the world, family trips are always special and an amazing experience for evryone if planned correctly.

From carrying heavy bags with your kids running here and there to your baby crying out of hunger, from your kids creating a nuisance at the airport to your child getting bored from a long haul flight, from complaining fellow passengers to toddlers being in wet diapers, the list goes on and on. Keeping your kids happy on any flight can be challenging and a tough task, but not an impossible one. In this article we will discuss various tips and tricks that you can adopt while traveling on a plane with your children.
kids luggages traveling with kids
Credit: Italic/Unsplash
Avoid Overpacking
Pack What You Need, Avoid What You Don't. Tired of juggling kids and carry-on? Family vacations are often featured with heavy luggage and backpacks, especially when you are traveling with your kids but carrying a large number of bags with a 5-year-old around is not an ideal situation to be in. Unnecessary packing should be avoided, so take your time and assure you pack only the things that your kids actually need.

Bonus Tip: You can also opt to buy some of the items required for your child at your destination.
Time if your friend departures board
Give yourself and the family enough time at the airport before you board the plane. Reaching the airport at the eleventh hour and rushing for the plane, will do no good and only adds to the stress especially if you are flying with kids. We can't emphasise enough how important it is to allow yourself enough time to get to the airport, check-in and board. This will not only help you relax before the flight but will also gift you some time to check all the personal necessities regarding your travel and the vacation.

Bonus Tip: Being at the airport early also allows your kids to visually interact with things around it. This will keep your little ones busy and excited about the flight. For extra travel tips check out 5 Tips for Stress Free Family Travel with Kids.
Choose Family-Friendly Airlines
Some airlines are more family friendly than others so it pays to do some research to see if you can book an airline that is family-friendly. These benefits include pre-boarding to checked baggage allowance, child amenities and free kids gifts. While booking a flight for traveling, the first thing that you should look out for is the flight time and transit time (if any). Irrespective of the age of the traveler, no one likes to be stuck on a long-haul flight, especially the kids. Hence opting for well timed flights will help.

The airlines that provide kids' friendly snacks and other family-friendly features come under the category of best airlines for kids and family so be sure to check them out.
Kids Love Their Activities
Child reading a book
Keeping kids entertained is half the battle won. How to keeps kids entertained on a plane? Provide the little ones with things they love to interact with. Whether it be their favorite stuffed animals or coloring books. Kids love their activities so why not use them onboard. Before boarding the plane with your family, make sure you have at least a few activities handy that your kids will love to be busy with. This will let your little ones be engaged in something they love and in turn, stay happy.

Bonus Tip: If you bring supplies such as pencils and crayons, make sure you keep an eye on your little ones as they use it. Keep, dry erase markers within your reach.
Snacks Can Be a Life Saver
Food glorious food. Before boarding the plane, ensure you have an adequate amount of your kids' favorite snacks packed. Irrespective of how you are flying, solo or with your family, snacks can bring in little life-saving moments to combat travel boredom and a hungry tummy. So, don't wait for the food cart to reach the back of the plane, keep your snacks ready by your side. 

Bonus Tip: Food and hygiene goes hand in hand. Check out our tips on how to avoid the kids getting sick while traveling.
Hello There aka Talk To Your Kids

Air travel can be monotonous for everyone and for the little ones, boredom becomes a reality. Keep your kids occupied by talking to them about the family vacation and where they are going to. Talk about the different destinations that they are going to visit with the family, talk about the various eye-catching features of the country that they are to travel to and the activities they will experience. This very act will fill your child with happy anticipation.

Bonus Tip: Apart from the destination overview, try sharing the kind of stories that your kids like to hear. This might include family travel stories, other flying tales, or the fairy tales that your baby wishes to hear every night before falling asleep.

Car Seats & Safety
Road trip child car seat
If you plan on doing a road trip while on holidays a child seat is essential for the safe traveling of your baby. In addition to safety, car seats also help to bring comfort. Your baby will feel more comfortable in a portable car seat which will add up to make the overall traveling experience a smoother one for you and your child.

Bonus Tip: Don't go by the name, there are portable car seats available that serves any mode of transportation. Road tripping? Check out 10 Tips for Road tripping with kids.
Electronic Devices is a Plus
Kids nowadays are well adapted towards mobile phones and other electronic devices. Like with anything there are pros and cons, and the same goes with screen time. The aim here is balance. Having said that, carrying a mobile phone while flying with kids is a plus. Being in a plane is a unique environment so make technology your friend. A few days before your flight, get all your kids' favorite shows and programs loaded. Apart from mobile phones, other electronic devices like a kids' tablet or music devices can also come in handy when you travel with kids. It's all about variety when it comes to the keeping them entertained.

Bonus Tip: Ensure you bring a pair of well-fitting kids headphones to keep everyone happy.
Older Kids - Value Packed Entertainment
Children of all ages (not to mention adults) can get irritated on long haul flights. Getting stuck in a confined space for long periods of time will drive anyone up the wall. From travel journals to the short crisp encyclopedias, from sketchbooks to novels, try incorporating value into your kids' life, by keeping their point of interest in mind.

Bonus Tip: Preloading your mobile phone with value-packed videos before the flight can help add value, without adding extra weight to your bag.
Keeping the Little Ones Clean
Keeping your child clean
A wet or messy diaper is neither good for your baby's health nor for its mood or yours! Baby wipes and diapers are a must to carry on all flights. The same goes for a spare outfit as well. Kids by natures can get messy, so it pays to be prepared and have an extra outfit handy.

Bonus Tip: Try using compostable and easy to handle diapers.
Enlist the Help of Flight Attendants
Etihad Flying Nanny
To add to all the above-mentioned tips for flying, a flight attendant's role in easing your travel stress is worth mentioning. They are well trained for pretty much anything that can happen on a plane, kids included. Depending on the airlines some even offer a flying nanny service whereby fully trained nannies are onboard and do everything they can to make flying with children as comfortable as they can. One such airline is Etihad.
Well there you have it, we hope you have found the tips for traveling on an airplane with kids helpful. If you have enjoyed this article, please share it with your family, friends and colleagues.

Have a wonderful day wherever you are and safe travels.
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