Tips for Air Travel With Kids

Traveling time is here, and as someone who has flown and driven from coast to coast with a growing brood, I have a few tips.  Traveling with little kids takes a little prep both mentally and physically.

1) Stay cheerful: if you treat the airport like a fun place your kids will be more easygoing too.

2) Pack snacks:  this is a big duh, but still worth mentioning because sometimes the act of corralling your kids in a line to buy a nasty sandwich will put you over the edge.

3) Keep a candy in your pocket: the cost benefit analysis on a lollipop vs the stress of pissing off your 200 fellow air travelers is a no-brainer.

4) Ask for help: airports are full of people with nothing to do. Put that morose looking teenager to work!

5) Don’t feel bad if your kids are loud: your job is to take care of your kids, not everyone else.  Don’t pile guilt on top of the huge task of trying to entertain your toddler or get your baby to sleep on the plane.

6) Wear your baby if you can.  A sling or mai tai can keep baby snug and help them fall asleep on the plane.  And obviously when you hands are filled with bags it is hard to have a free hand to hoist a baby. Warning-most flight attendants will make you untie your baby during take-off and landing.

7) Go easy on the toys.  I have found that the books and toys that I pack usually don’t get played with.  Your life will be easier if you have less to carry; I pack one slim book and one tiny toy.  A little blow up ball to roll around the terminal is fun for any age, and easy to tote.

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