First 10 tips for traveling with an infant or small toddler
- If they are in diapers, I recommend packing 1 diaper per hour you figure you will be traveling from leaving your house to getting to your destination and vice versa. Also, have lots of wipes.
- Dress yourself and your children in layers, plane tempters can be either be warm or cool. So dress so that you and your child can be comfortable in either tempter.
- If you are strong enough, I always recommending having your child in a carrier of some sort while walking through the airport. If not, have a light stroller that you can easily check at the boarding gate.
- If you have to use your car seat at your destination, I recommend buying a seat and using it on the airplane itself.
- Zip lock bags are your FRIEND. Pack at least two changes of clothes for your child in zip lock bags, there for when/if there is a mess you can exchange the clean clothes for dirty ones. Zip lock some snacks if they are able to eat.
- LARGE changing pad or a large blanket to change your child on, as some planes DO NOT have a change table or area to change your child.
- Breast feed during take-off and landing. If you don’t breastfeed then remember to bring a bottle for your child to suck on during take-off and landing.
- Always pack extras of everything you think you will need, as flights have been known to become delayed.
- Be consider of other passengers. Yes, sometimes our little ones will become upset and cry, but as long as you look like you are trying to calm them down then it will go over better with those around you.
- Take a deep breathe, and if possible schedule your flight times around sleep times for your child.
10 Tips for older Children
- Walk those little legs off before boarding the plane. A child that is worn out is less fidgety on a flight.
- Bring lots of different items for them, have them carry the stuff in their backpack. Good suggestions are: DVD player, colorforms, Play-Doh, small action or animal figures, travel size magnetic sketcher, Crayola’s Color wonder paint. If they are younger, space the items out 20 minutes or longer before introducing a new item.
- Warn them that their favorite stuff animal will have to be scanned at the airport. Perhaps even practice passing through security at home so they know what to expect.
- Use the bathroom just before boarding the plane, sometimes you can get stuck on the tar mat before take-off and you can’t use the bathroom during this time.
- Have a game plan for walking through security if you have more children than adults. I always suggest 1 adult goes through than have an adult at the end. If you are alone with children. Have the eldest go first and then work your way down, with you going through right after the youngest passes.
- Zip lock bags are your friend. You can pack snacks, they help organize the toys inside carry ons.
- Have every child be responsible for their own back pack that has items that will entertain them.
- Double check to make sure all items that will be on you are save to take with you. For guidance on how to comply with the latest airport screening procedures, see this info sheet from the Transportation Security Administration.
- If you want to avoid long periods of waiting in the airport, fly as early in the day as possible. Afternoon and evening flights are always more likely to be delayed due to back-ups at the airport.
- It might be a good idea to have your name and cell phone number put somewhere on your child, in case you get separated.
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