Seven tips for surviving long flights with kids to make air travel more enjoyable for parents and kids alike!
Traveling with kids is hugely important to me and my husband. While it can have it stresses, we feel there is no greater gift we can give our children than the gift of travel.
One of the most common questions I get from my readers and followers is how I handle flying long distances with young children.
With our oldest just turning seven this year, we have done it all: air travel with nursing newborns, babies on laps, toddlers in diapers – you name it!
As a result, over the years I’ve acclimated quite a few tips and tricks for surviving long flights with kids and I’m excited to share my top seven with you today.
Book early morning flights:
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Any parent will agree: kids peak in the morning and get worse throughout the day as they get tired. While an early morning alarm might not sound magical, I can assure you it’s more magical than flying in the evening with a melting down toddler. Trust me. Additionally, early morning flights have fewer delays and you have all day to get to your destination (versus getting a stuck in an airport late in the night due to cancelation or missed connection.)
Arrive at the airport early:
Avoid stress by giving yourself plenty of time at the airport before you begin boarding. We typically wait to check in once we get to the airport to ensure all of our seats are together. You’ll also want to have plenty of time to get through security because let’s face it, kids walk and move slower (especially when you’re in a hurry!)
Pack nutritious snacks:
As a mom of two boys, I can say one thing with confidence: there is no such thing as too many snacks. That said, I’ve also learned the hard way that it’s just as important to eat nutritiously while traveling as it is at home. No one needs a sugar rush when you’re stuck on a tiny airplane.
My latest obsession are Bob’s Better Bars, a brand new Bob’s Red Mill available in five delicious flavors. Made with simple ingredients like whole grain oats, honey and peanut butter, these bars are also tree-nut free if your little one has a tree nut allergy.
Pro Tip: Stash a few in your bag if you’re traveling to another time zone.
These bars were a huge lifesaver when we were up early during a recent visit to Colorado before coffee shops and restaurants opened up!
Dress in layers:
My fourth tip for surviving long flights with little kids is to dress them in layers. Planes run hot and cold and there’s nothing that will kill your vibe faster than a squirmy little boy who is burning hot or freezing cold. Pro Tip: Pack a change of clothes in case of spills.
Bring refillable water bottles:
Another tip is to pack refillable water bottles and take advantage of the free refillable water stations located past security in most airports. Having plenty of cold water on hand will prevent the urge to drink sugary fruit juice and will also save you lots of money while traveling. Added bonus: no messy spills to deal with on your flight!
Pack portable battery chargers for tablets:
If you’re traveling long distances, be sure to pack a portable battery charger to avoid running low or having to find an outlet. As a reminder, not all flights offer wifi (and it can get costly!) so be sure to load your tablets up with kid-friendly games, songs, downloadable movies, and TV shows.
Set Realistic Expectations:
Last but not least, be realistic about the experience ahead of time and head into your trip with the right mindset. Traveling with little kids is not always a breeze but it DOES get easier. In fact, our most recent flight with our 5 and 7-year-old was a complete breeze. A far cry from our first few flights. As you head on your journey, remember that kids are kids and you’re giving them the gift of a lifetime: family memories. This too shall pass. You’ve got this.
What are YOUR best tips for surviving long flights with kids? I’d love to hear from you. Your passport is waiting.
Disclosure: I am honored to be in a long term partnership with Bob’s Red Mill. Thank you for supporting the brands that make The Lemon Bowl possible. All thoughts are my own.
Want more travel tips and ideas? Check out my Pinterest board!