Tips For Flying with Kids- Short & Long Flights

Are you a fan of flying? I’ll admit, it’s not my favorite thing to do. I tend to get antsy about an hour into the flight. However, it’s SO much faster to get to point B, so flying is inevitable most of the time. Flying with kiddos adds a whole new dimension of being prepared and enduring short and long flights. I’ve come up with a few tips that have made flying with kids so much easier.

  1. Prep the kids for a plane ride. Explain to the kids what is going on when they fly. You can explain how many stops you may have, if they will get a snack and drink, who they are sitting by and what an airplane ride feels like. I forgot to explain how an airplane works to our youngest, so when we got on the plane she started to FREAK out. I didn’t know why until she finally told me that she thought the plane would be going upside-down. Oops! I did not tell her that it’s not like an amusement ride airplane- no loops and twirling going on. Once she understood, she was so much happier!
  2. Each child has their own backpack. If you’re child is old enough to carry a backpack, then do it! It’s so nice to have them pack a few of their favorite things that will bring comfort on the plane ride and in the airports. You could have them pack a few toy cars, dolls, books, activity books (see #3), tablets with games, and anything else they would enjoy doing.
  3. Sticker Books & Activity Books. This is something I’ve recently started bringing and my kids LOVE them. I go on Amazon and grab a few new sticker books and activity books. I don’t show them until we are well on our flight and they need something to do. I pull these out and give one to each kid. This keeps them busy for awhile.
  4. Individual bag of snacks. Every flight I make a snack bag for each kid. Again, I don’t give it to them until we are well into our flight. I try and space it out. If we have a stop overs then I make a bag for EACH leg of our journey. It doesn’t need to be big or fancy, but the excitement of a treat/snack makes it so fun. Some examples of things I put in their bags are gummy candies, goldfish crackers, pretzels, suckers, fruit snacks, banana chips, dehydrated fruits, and cookie assortments like oreos. You can find most of those here. 
  5. Bring headphones & blankets. It’s so nice to have individual headphones for movies that are on the TV in front of you. For kids, it’s even nicer to have headphones that fit and are comfy, consider grabbing some of these. It’s the worst to have earphones that don’t fit or keep falling out. You could also bring a favorite blanket or pillow to keep them comfortable.
  6. Know Your Flight Plan. If you have multiple stops, then be sure to check out the airport that you will be stopping in. If you have time to grab a meal, then do it. Give the kids time to stretch, use the bathroom, eat a good meal and get ready for the next stretch. If  you don’t have time to do all of those things and you have a fast connection, be sure you know where you’re going ahead of time. Consider grabbing food at your first stop that you could eat on your connecting flight. Being prepared ahead of time will make the flight so much better, especially with kids.