Baby screams waft through the airplane. Your toddler refuses to be buckled in and jumps up and down and up and sideways in his seat, flinging cheerios as far as four rows back. Passengers roll their eyes in disgust. The flight attendant walks your way and asks that you and your unruly children kindly exit the plane.
Are these the visions that dance in your head when you think about flying with your children?
We’re here to help you avoid this flight nightmare with a few simple tips.
First things first: is flying your best option?
You could always hop in the car and take a family road trip.
Or, you make the decision that fourteen hours in a confined space on a road trip is less appealing than 3 hours sitting on an airplane, and splurge on the tickets.
Here are some simple tips for flying with kids & babies.
Find out what gear is available to you at your resort.
Many of our resorts offer items like cribs and high chairs for guests to use, or have local businesses which offer these items for rent. The fewer items you need to bring will make your trip much easier.
Check your luggage.
Most airlines allow a stroller and car seat per passenger without extra luggage fees (like American Airlines), so go ahead and check those items along with your suitcases. (Check with your airline for the specific rules.)
Dress for security line success.
Wear slip on shoes, make sure change is not in your pocket, make sure you don’t have any prohibited items, don’t wear a belt, and minimize any metal jewelry to breeze through security. Make sure your kids are prepared, too – bring a plastic bag to have them put anything in their pockets, belts, and other items so it is one place.
Consider a baby carrier.
Babies under the age of 2 are allowed to sit on a guardian’s lap at no charge on most airlines, and you will want to do your own research about using this option or bringing on a car seat and purchasing an extra seat. However, for the airport, using a baby carrier like a Baby Bjorn or ErgoBaby will keep baby content and secure in one place while giving you the use of your two arms and hands.
Choose your carry-on bag wisely.
The largest possible bag you can fit under the seat may hold everything you need, but a cavernous bag with no pockets will make fishing for the Goldfish a torturous task in a cramped seat. Find a bag with plenty of pockets to stash your essentials for easy access.
Pack your bag with activities to keep your children focused and entertained. Headphones for music or a movie will conceal any distracting airplane noises. Snacks, crayons with coloring books, a tablet, and toys will keep your kids’ attention while sitting still. Blogger Meraki Lane offers 20 excellent ideas for easy travel activities to keep kids entertained: