As the holiday season approaches, it’s time to figure out if you’re traveling to visit family – and, if so, how exactly you plan to reach them. While flying is often the fastest way to get to relatives who live far away, the idea of taking to the skies with your little ones in tow can seem terrifying, especially when you consider how crazy traveling around Christmas can be on its own.
If you are planning to fly with your kids this holiday season, don’t show up to the airport unprepared. Do some research to find ways to keep your little ones happy and distracted during your flight, and you’ll be rewarded with a much more manageable experience. Not quite sure where to begin? Here are some tips around how to survive a holiday flight with kids:
Chose Your Flight Wisely.
You might prefer catching the first flight out to ensure you aren’t faced with delays, but if waking up at the crack of dawn is going to throw off your child’s day, you may want to reconsider. Booking a slightly later flight – one that allows your family to get adequate rest, wake up, and enjoy breakfast before heading to the airport – will make the experience exponentially more relaxing for everyone.
Don’t Let Them Get Hangry.
Keep your little ones well-fed, and you’ll be well on your way to keeping them happy. Nobody wants to deal with the stresses of air travel on an empty stomach. Read up on regulations around what you can and can’t bring onboard. Generally speaking, granola bars, trail mix, fruit snacks, and other kid-friendly treats are perfectly fine to pack in your carry-on. Don’t rely on free snacks provided in-flight – unless you’re willing to pay up, you’re probably not getting much more than a pack of pretzels with your complimentary beverage.
Load Up On Activities.
Don’t board the plane without a plan in place to keep your kiddos busy. Plan ahead and come prepared with ways to distract your little ones throughout the flight – especially during takeoff and landing, when the experience can seem the most stressful. Books, puzzles, and quiet handheld games are often good sources of entertainment. And if you’re in for a long flight, it might be wise to load a few kid-friendly videos onto your phone or tablet and bring a pair of headphones that’ll fit.
Prepare For The Worst.
Think ahead and anticipate things that could go wrong. It might seem a little negative, but it’s the best way to make sure you’re ready for anything. Pack a change of clothes, some wet wipes, and a small selection of tiny toiletries in case you need to freshen up due to spills, sickness, or some other unexpected incident. Consider any necessary medications, including ones for nausea and ones to combat pressure in case your little one is bothered.
Flying with kids isn’t something most people look forward to, but it doesn’t have to be a bad experience. With a bit of consideration and planning, you’ll be well equipped to handle anything that comes your way and can reach your destination with minimal stress.