Flying With Children

Image Credit Juan Cabanillas|
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Here are some tips that make air travel easier with children.

• Travel: Flying • Travel: Planning • Travel: Tips & Tricks

Flying with children can be challenging no matter what their age is. There are things that you can do to make it easier for everyone.

1. Make them part of the planning. Children love to help and be involved in what you are doing. So let them pick an activity that you all can do at your destination.

2. If you have younger children be sure to pack their blanket, or favorite buddy. These can be a life saver once a child goes into meltdown mode! You might also want to pack a sweater or light jacket because it can get cold inside the plane.

3. Pack snacks! I can not tell you how important this one is. The TSA allows most food if it is a ready to eat state. Which means you can bring sandwiches, sliced fruits, or veggies. Individually wrapped food like fruit snacks, granola bars, and fruit leathers are a great idea. You may also be able to bring foods such as Go-gurts, but those could be considered a liquid. It really depends on the TSA screener. I would avoid anything with peanuts because you won't know if anyone on the plane is allergic to them.

4. Keeping kids entertained can be as easy as coloring, though that might get old quickly. Other ideas such as cards, traveling games, eye spy, stickers, or electronics can help to pass the time. If you are bringing a laptop or portable CD player then bring along your child's favorite movies.

5. Air pressure changes in the cabin can be painful to children. If they are babies or toddlers - nursing, or sucking on a bottle or sippy cup can help with the pain. Chewing gum can help with older children. You can also massage behind their ears and tug gently on their earlobes.

6. Early boarding is your friend. As soon as you hear "We now invite passengers with small children to begin boarding at this time." go ahead and take your brood right to the front of that line! Yes, it means that you will be on the plane a little longer, but that extra time helps to get everyone settled in.

7. One thing we always do right before we board is to use the restroom! This is important when you have children that are newly potty trained.

8. Something to remember is to remind your children before a flight is what is expected of them. How it will be on the plane and how we need to respect other fliers.

9. Always check the TSA website before your trip to check what you can and can't bring on the plane.

Most of all try to remember that they are kids and they make noise and get squirmy when confined to a small space. Most people will be sympathetic when you are trying your best.