Flying with toddlers CAN be stress-free. It’s all about how you plan and prepare. A friend of mine will be traveling with her two toddlers this summer and asked me for some tips. I’ve traveled alone with my two little ones when they were younger (now 3 and 5 years old) a few times and I had no problems. I won’t say I’m an expert but these things have helped. Here are a few of my tips.
Tips for Flying with Toddlers
1. Arrive (be in Check-In line) 2 hours before the plane leaves
When you are traveling with toddlers you can’t check-in online. You have to wait until you arrive at the airport. So I suggest that you BE IN LINE 2 hours before the plane is scheduled to leave.
2. Check your luggage!
You don’t want to be towing around luggage and two little people throughout the airport.
3. Check car seats.
This is free with all airlines I believe.
4. Use a LARGE bag/diaper bag as your purse
Pack the purse that you want to carry around while on vacation in your luggage. Having a large bag/diaper bag you can have essentials needed such as an extra change of clothes for the kids, extra snacks (ALWAYS have extra snacks), etc.
5. Fully charge electronic devices and let your kids carry a small backpack with their LeapPad/Kindle/iPad with headphones, a couple light books, one or two snacks and their cup.
I would suggest that you pour out the liquids in their cups before going through TSA/security. If you don’t they stick a paper strip in the liquid to test it. I don’t like that. My kids love to carry their backpacks so this worked well for us. If your kids don’t like carrying a backpack add these items to your diaper bag or have your spouse (if traveling with you) carry a backpack with the kids’ stuff in it.
6. Dress everyone in pants/sweatpants/leggings, short sleeves and have a light jacket
It could be hot or cold on the plane and you’ll be prepared for both. Also, you don’t have to worry about taking off your belt when going through TSA.
7. Wear shoes that are easy to take off
This will be helpful when going through TSA/security because you have to take them off if you aren’t TSA Precheck.
8. Once you are at your gate and waiting to board the plane let your kids look out the window at airplanes, read books, walk around a little, etc.
DON’T let them use up the battery on their electronic devices. You want them to have that the ENTIRE plane ride and be a happy camper.
9. Take kids to the restroom before boarding
If you are potty training your little one, put a diaper on them for the flight. It’s fun & not fun taking your child to the restroom on the airplane. PLUS if you are traveling alone you have to take BOTH kids to the restroom. Airplane restrooms are small.
10. Hold out on giving kids electronic devices once you have boarded the plane
You get to board the plane first! This is the BEST part about traveling with kids. lol Once you are seated, look out the window and talk about what you see, look through safety manuals and magazines in the back of the seat, etc. Not sure how long your flight is but you DO NOT want the battery to die mid-flight.
You do have to think about ear pressure during takeoff and landing so I would suggest you give out snacks during that time. Electronic devices & snacks should get you through the flight smooth sailing.
Hopefully, these tips help you on your next flight. When planning to fly with your little ones just think “what little thing can I do to make this easier for me?” Little changes will help you with your preparation.
Please share your tips for flying with toddlers. I’m sure you do something that I haven’t thought of.