Tips For Flying With Kids
It's the season to be travelling! If you travelled before kids, you know how easy it was, just pack up and go. Now that you have children, travelling becomes a little bit more complicated. You have to make a list to remember all the items that you need to bring, make sure you kids have spots to sleep and figure out how to entertain them on your way to your destination. We get it, it's a lot, but it really is worth it! Some people decide not to travel to far way destinations until their kids can remember it. But around here we believe life is too short, and if the kids won't remember it, we still will! I have my best tips and tricks for travelling with kids to make your trip as smooth as possible!
Plan for the unexpected
One minute you may be heading to the airport, and the next minute you get there your flight is cancelled! I have personally had my own flights delayed and diverted while travelling with kids. And I have a millions stories since we are frequent travellers, but I won't bore you with those. Make sure you get to the airport with lots of time to spare. You never know which kid will need a diaper change, a drink or have to go to the bathroom. Security can also take longer when you have kids. While you often get priority screening, when you start bringing things like formula, milk, and strollers it gets more complicated. When you arrive early it can also help you feel less rushed. You can have a chance to sit down, have something to eat, feed the kids, buy any necessities you may have forgot to bring. If you are booking a flight with a layover overseas try to make it longer than a 45 minutes connection. I can tell you from personal experience that is NOT enough to time to get to another part of the Paris airport after you flight was already delayed leaving, and couldn't land because another plane was in the way. It seems as though anytime we have a connection in Europe we are running to the next gate. But coming back is always much smoother.
Wear your baby
If you are travelling with a littler one I highly recommend using a baby carrier! Who doesn't love having some extra hands while trying to do a million things. My baby carrier was my saving grace with 3 kids, not just for travelling but for everyday life as well. While you can't wear your baby during take off or landing, they're prefect for traversing the airport. You can have your baby close and have your hands free! Another perk is most babies are more than happy being close to you.
Gate Check you Stroller/Car Seat
I LOVE having my stroller with me when we are at the airport. My littlest is 3 so I am not sure how much longer will be bringing it, but it's perfect to have one kid strapped in and my diaper bag on it for less stress on my back. When my daughter was younger and she was in the carrier we would often use the stroller as a cart for our carry ons. While we recommend bringing your car seat on the plane, if you didn't buy an extra seat for your kid under 2 we suggest gate checking your car seat instead. If you check your car seat in at the desk you never know how your car seat is really handled. Plus you know by gate checking it, that it will end up with you at your final destination! Some airlines may have exceptions! When we were travelling to Europe on Air France, everyone had to check their strollers/car seats at the gate. We didn't see our stroller for 3 days...
Bring Never Seen Before Toys
This is my kids favourites one! They love getting new toys/activities to keep them busy. I try to keep it simple with activities like sticker books, Melissa and Doug activity books, and colouring books for the older kids. For babies I love new books they haven't seen, especially the touch and feel ones!
Breast or Bottle Feed During Take Off/Landing
This helps their little ears with the pressure changes. Surprisingly out of my 3 kids, only one has had issues with the pressure changes and that was our most recent flight and she's 5. Breastfeeding or bottle feeding are sure fire way to keep the pain at bay.
I know travelling with kids can be challenging and you may even feel guilty if you baby or kid is upset on the plane. You really shouldn't feel guilty, they aren't full grown adults who know how to express what they're feeling. Even with the ups and downs of travelling with kids the memories you make will be worth all the hassle!