Fast Facts About Flying with Kids

luggage-933487_1280Thanks to lots and lots of Southwest airline points, we have flown home twice in the past year with our kids. Three kids under the age of 4 on an airplane is a wild ride. And I’m sure the idea of flying with kids makes people cringe…but when you can get somewhere in half the time and it costs relatively the same …its worth considering.

I feel pretty content with our flying experience.  I have in NO WAY MASTERED the art of flying with our kids, but I really don’t expect to have a “day at the spa” while we are traveling with our little ones in this phase of life.

Here are some flying tips to make life a little easier that day (maybe)…

  1. Pack LOTS of snacks. 
    • I mean lots of snacks. Buy the good stuff! The stuff that gets your little ones excited or seems like a special “treat.” Save it for the plane and let your kids eat it throughout the flight.  For my kids special treats means—fruity cereal, animal crackers, granola bars, twizzlers suckers, and M&Ms. Obviously you don’t want your kids to be on a sugar high all day, but if snacking is a distraction, fun, or keeping them quiet…let em’ do it!  Flying is a “special” thing for my kids so the snacks are kind of “special” too!  IMG_4395
  2. Stock your diaper bag full of organized Ziploc bags. 
    • This keeps you organized while you are crammed like sardines on the plane. Nothing is floating around or impossible to find if its organized in plastic bags. Need a diaper? Look for the Ziploc full of diapers instead of the spare diaper deep down at the bottom of your bag. Looking for extra clothes? Have a Ziploc of extra outfits for all your kids in case they have an accident or if your bags get lost. (have mercy if that happens to you!)
  3. Sit in the back of the plane.
    •  I know this doesn’t seem ideal, but trust me it’s for the better. First off, less people are likely to sit in the back of the plane. If the flight isn’t full, chances are the extra seats are in the back too. Secondly, if you have a crying baby in the back of the plane, less people are bothered or can hear them from the front. (you are doing a few people a favor)  Thirdly, seating in the back means you are closer to the bathroom, and some extra standing space. (by your flight attendant, if they are friendly and understanding)

      IMG_4406 (1)

      She fell asleep while my husband was standing with her in the back, then peacefully slept for 45 minutes with him in his seat.

  4. Use your stroller til the last second. 
    • Getting to your gate and traveling through the airport (depending on the airport size) could potentially be a challenge for your little ones or slow you down, if they are walking with you. Have them ride in the stroller to save time. At your gate, it is probably wise to let them blow off some energy and walk around, but take your stroller all the way to the plane entrance. If you are like me, then you have a million bags between you and your kids. Use your stroller for bag storage while  you are waiting to board or while the little ones release some energy. Your arms and back will thank you for the extra help after a long day of travel!
  5. Don’t make your kids share on the flight. 
    • This probably sounds so bad, but an airplane isn’t the time or place to be working on desired behaviors with your kids.  Its not a good time for a “training session.” If you are working on sharing or a certain behavior—save that for when you are at home and your kids are in their own environment. The airplane ride is a time of survival! My older girls each had their own headphones and iPad on the flight. At home they share one iPad, but for the flight I added games and movies to our “adult” iPad for one of the kids. Each girl also had a bag of crayons and one coloring book. I didn’t go crazy with toys in our carry-on bag because our flight was only 2 hours.IMG_4527

 

Overall, I would say our flying experiences have been “pretty good.” They haven’t been over the top a-m-a-z-i-n-g…but they also haven’t been dreadful and horrifying.

Basically, we would do it again…and actually we are doing it again this spring for a family vacation!

Happy flying mommas!!

Love,

Liz


2 Responses to Fast Facts About Flying with Kids

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