10 Tips for Traveling on Airplanes with Children

Traveling on planes with young children can be quite a hassle. They become bored easily, have no room to run and play, and can become irritable by having to remain relatively quiet for long periods of time. This is a list of the top ten tips to help with traveling with children on planes.

1. Always remember to pack snacks. This is true for long rides as well as short ones. Sure, most airlines provide a meal, but how many children do you know who are picky eaters? Stay clear of chocolate (and anything with caffeine, honestly) and messy foods like cookies or potato chips. Instead, go with easier, non messy options like apple or orange slices and granola bars. Steer clear of any drinks that don’t come with a resealable top, like cans and juice boxes. You’re just asking for a mess.

2. With young children especially, if your plane ride is going to be a long one, pack a familiar pillow or stuffed animal for them to sleep with. Having these comfort items around will cut down on uneasiness at bed time.

3. Set clear rules for your children and watch them when they’re on the plane. So many airline stories are filled with tales of unruly tots whose parents allow them to run wild, disturbing other passengers. Sure, you might be going on a vacation, but that vacation doesn’t take you off parenting duties.

4. Bring surprises. Sure, most parents bring along coloring books and crayons for their kids on plane rides and that’s great, but it’s a good idea to pack some things your children don’t know about so that when they open them up on the plane the surprise keeps them occupied. Include word search books, inexpensive magnetic travel games, a new paperback book, coloring books and crayons, or even a couple of small action figures. Bring more than you think you’ll need -remember, there’s also the ride home.

See also  Why is My Child so Destructive?

5. Have them watch DVDs. A great way to keep children occupied, on and off the plane, is to sit them in front of their favorite movies. Check with your airline to see if they’ll be showing a movie and if so, if it will be one your children will be interested in. If not, pack a small portable DVD player and a few of your children’s favorite films or some they’ve been looking forward to seeing.

6. Dress them for comfort, not to impress. It’s hard enough for children to be quiet and well behaved on a long flight without expecting that their clothes remain perfectly neat and pressed. Dress them in comfortable play clothes and always remember to have spares on-board in case of accidents.

7. Try to book a non-stop flight whenever possible. This is as much for your benefit as it is your children’s. Having to constantly pack, unpack, and keep up with everything you’ve brought for yourself and your child can be a major hassle. Not to mention the difficulty of dragging a tired or grumpy kid from one airport to the next.

8. For a less stressful flight, book your trip at non-peak times. These are Monday through Wednesday, afternoon to night-time. Not only are these flights less crowded, it’s because of that that many airlines charge lower rates at those times. Cut down on the stress not just to you and your kids, but your wallet as well.

9. Seat your child next to the window as much as possible. The view from outside an airplane can often be more exciting than what you’ve got packed in the overhead compartment. If you’re worried that your family might be loud and disturb the other passengers, ask about seats in the back of the plane. There, engine noises often muffle the sounds of anything or anyone on-board.

See also  Top 10 Poets Everyone Must Read

10. Enjoy your trip! If your children see that you’re ill or stressed, they will mimic that behavior. Instead, smile, remain calm, and lead by example.