Visiting new countries with your kids is an excellent way to broaden their horizons from a young age. It’s hard to disagree with that. But flying with kids also means making a nightmare come true for many parents. With our tips, gathered from parents and flight attendants, you’ll see that it’s not that hard after all – and hopefully, you’ll finally book that trip!
Travel tips for flying with kids
These ten tips for flying with kids will not make your kids behave perfectly – that would be a miracle. However, they will help you make your trip a little less chaotic and much more enjoyable. Let’s dive in, shall we?
1. Choose a kid-friendly airline
Especially if you’re planning a longer flight, it might be a good idea to choose your airline carefully. Some airlines just do it better than others when it comes to flying with kids – and it doesn’t necessarily come with a higher price. Here are some of the best kid-friendly airlines to consider:
- Emirates provides onboard amenities for babies, like milk formula and bottles, and for older children, it’s possible to get special meal options or in-flight entertainment.
- Qatar Airways offers the ability for children between the ages of five and eleven to travel in a separate cabin on the same flight – in case you’d like to catch a break from parental duties!
- ANA has excellent discounts for kids. For lap infants up to two years, you only have to pay 10% of an adult’s fair and 75% for an infant or kid up to eleven years if they take a separate seat.
2. Choose the right time for the flight
You might think traveling at night will make your kid fall asleep quickly and help you avoid trouble. But, according to an interview with Rebecca Love, a Cabin Service Supervisor, flying with kids during the day is a much better choice.
Even during a night flight, kids often find it hard to fall asleep and might feel bored and annoyed. In this scenario, it could be helpful to change the scenery for a little bit by taking a walk on the plane or to occupy your kid with their toys – and can you imagine doing this at night?
As Rebecca explains, during the day, you won’t have to worry about your kid making some noise, making your traveling experience much more enjoyable.
3. Choose the right seats
According to the same interview with Rebecca Love, bulkhead seats are perfect because they come with extra leg space, allowing your child to stretch and move around more comfortably.
Additionally, a window seat will provide a great natural distraction for your child. It also means being separated from other passengers, making it easier for your kid to relax and, hopefully, fall asleep.
Lastly, don’t forget to check if the toilet is near your seat – you might need it a few times while flying with kids!
4. Prepare all the necessary documents
Not everyone knows that kids also need documents like passports for travel. If your kid doesn’t have one, make sure to apply for it in time for your flight.
Taking a photo of your child for the passport application can sometimes be a struggle, especially if you lack the time. In such cases, a good tip is to take a baby passport photo at home.
This way, you’ll have more control over the process and get your kid’s passport or visa much faster.
5. Get your kid a real luggage
If your kid is old enough, you might consider getting them their own luggage. A kid-targeted bag might seem like an obvious choice – kids love these, after all.
However, Alesandra Dubin, who has traveled the world with two kids, believes only regular luggage makes sense because bags for kids don’t have enough space. She recommends a 20-inch rolling suitcase in a fun color.
6. Prepare various activities
Emily Krause (@amomexplores on TikTok) has shared some fantastic activities for flying with kids.
It’s best to get various activities that will complement each other. For example, you can get coloring books for the airport and tablets with headphones for the flight.
source: @amomespores on TikTok
Emily also mentioned that it’s best to buy these activities little by little, starting a few weeks before the trip. This way, you’ll get more diverse activities and won’t have to stress about occupying your kids during the flight.
7. Pack an emergency bag
Don’t confuse an emergency bag with essentials. Think of it as a superhero’s cape tucked away in your carry-on, ready to save the day when all else fails and your kid still… well, insists on becoming the villain of the airplane.
You should pack various entertainment, snacks, and other distractions.
Just remember to use one of these distractions at a time – and don’t use the emergency bag when your kid is already occupied!
8. Prepare a snack pack
A snack pack is a fantastic way to both feed and entertain your kid. It worked great for Dr. Kristyn Sommer (@drkristynsommer on TikTok), who took her toddler on a 22-hour flight. Did I mention that it was her kid’s first flight ever?
By filling this type of container with finger food in different sizes, shapes, and tastes, you’ll surely get your kid excited at least a few times during the trip.
source: @drkristynsommer on TikTok
9. Get your kid tired
Karley Pel (@karleypel on TikTok) has traveled with her kid often. She says that running around, playing games, or exploring the airport is the magic trick for getting your kid to be calm (or even fall asleep!) during the flight.
You can even do it while waiting for boarding. Be honest, do you really have anything better to do for two hours before the flight?
10. Board the plane last
Last, but not least, get on the plane as late as possible. It might be unnatural for many who believe that the early bird gets the worm – or in this case, the best seat.
But let’s be real, why would you want to sit on the airplane with your kid longer than necessary? It will only make it harder to keep them occupied during the flight.
This is it – the top 10 tips for flying with kids. Hopefully, this will help you get the most out of your trip.
Safe (and calm) travels!