If you’re a parent, flying with kids can be a scary idea. You’d almost rather sit through a dentist appointment than watch your kid use their NFL arm to launch a toy halfway across the plane.
An even worse scenario may involve some mysterious smell, even though you know exactly what the smell is.
When you travel with kids, there are a few things you can do to make the experience more gentle for you and the other passengers. But you’ll never be able to predict everything they do. What do kids need to fly? From having the right bag to having the right snacks, follow these tips to (hopefully) help your adventure go smoothly.
Try to Fly During Nap Time
Let’s be clear here: You aren’t trying to force your kid to sleep. Giving them Benadryl may have an adverse effect and wake them up. It’s often like a shot of straight sugar for kids.
No. Fly with kids during the times they may go to sleep. If you’re looking at a shorter flight, it may be worth it to pay a few extra dollars to travel during nap time. You’ll have a better chance of helping them fall asleep during the flight.
A lot of parents try to travel at night or really early in the morning when the child is normally sleeping. These flights can be less expensive, too. You know your kids best. Figure out your kid’s sleep schedule and what travel time works best.
Bring the Toys
You knew this was coming. They need toys and other forms of entertainment, especially when you consider how much they have access to these days.
You may want to spend under $100 on a kids’ tablet and load it up with games and kids’ shows. Many smartphones have a kid-friendly feature so that when they are watching something on your phone, an accidental click of the button won’t stop the movie.
Don’t go overboard here, though. Your kids probably have their go-to toys at home to bring those. And if all else fails, ask the flight attendant for some straws or plastic cups. Kids love those!
Bring the Food
Airlines are becoming more stingy with what they give you. Meals used to be commonplace. Now, you’re lucky if you get a bag of dried peanuts that have probably been sitting back there for a few years.
This is where you’re the hero for your children!
Pack the essentials but don’t be afraid to overpack the snacks. Some of the most important snacks for kids could be,
- Juice boxes
- Graham crackers
- Chips of all varieties
One thing you may want to do is make small sandwiches and cut them up. PB&J or ham and cheese (without the dressing) keep better in a warm bag than anything else. Older kids may appreciate the larger menu, too.
Keep Your Composure
Kids will cough, sneeze, cry, laugh, scream, and poop. There’s nothing you can do to help the other passengers get through these situations with you. Your job is to focus on your child and remember that as long as you’re working at it, people will generally be on your side.
Keeping your composure during an explosive outburst from your kid will set you apart. It’s a natural part of parenthood, but passengers don’t need two babies screaming. Simply breathe, go through all the items you brought to see if it calms the kid down, and cooly helps them calm down.
Bonus Tip: Bring plenty of sanitizer and wipes. You don’t want to be the parent who left a massive mess behind on the plane.
At the end of the day, kids are kids and it’s difficult to anticipate their drastic, emotional changes. Remember, you’ll never see the people on the flight ever again, so don’t feel too overwhelmed or stressed if your kids are a little crazy.To make sure you get everything you need for your little ones into one convenient bag, get yourself a Gomatic Bag. Perfect as a carry-on, you won’t ever have to worry about having enough space. For more tips see our blog.