Flying with children is a lot like taking a long car ride, only you can’t threaten to turn the car around if they don’t behave. The best way to keep the family peace is to plan ahead and make every effort to insure your kids stay occupied and comfortable. Here are a few kids travel tips that can take some of the stress out of air travel with children.
- Talk about the trip: kids, especially those who haven’t flown
before, may be anxious about flying and unsure how to behave;
discuss it with them first.
- Lay down the law: set rules for your kids’ behavior and make sure they know them, both for their safety and your peace of mind.
- Label your toddlers: young children should have a bracelet or something similar with their name, your name and contact information on their person at all times.
- Arrive early: naturally you’ll want to arrive early for any flight, but when towing kids its best to give yourself all the time you can spare.
- Non-Stop Flights: layovers are hard enough without wrangling/juggling kids; a non-stop flight can remove a lot of added hassle.
- Consider flying at night: sleeping kids are well-behaved kids, and nigh time flights are often less crowded and hectic.
- Dress kids warm & comfortably: airplanes are often cold and always cramped; save the Sunday best for after you disembark.
- Pack many diversions: now is not the time to pack light; games, books, small toys, portable CD/DVD/video-games, travel games for kids, you’ll need them all.
- Food: consider kids meals on flights (check with airlines in advance) and pack as much food as you can get away with; airplane travel treats make the trip easier.
- Let grade-schoolers pack their own carry-on: it lets them get involved and who knows better what kids will want on a long trip.