Traveling with children can be extremely stressful, and traveling by air only adds more pressure to an already nerve-racking situation. With the stringent restrictions placed on todays’ air travel, it’s easy to overlook that the little ones need to be made as comfortable as possible to ensure a pleasant flight.
Always try to book a nonstop flight, and make sure to get to the airport with plenty of time to spare. Before leaving home, have each child pack a bag or backpack to carry on the plane with personal entertainment items such as games, coloring books and crayons and MP3 players, and make each child responsible for his or her bag. This not only gives them a sense of responsibility, but also the comfort of knowing that they have some of their own things with them. If you have infants, use a backpack as a diaper bag, as its one less thing to have hanging off your shoulder. In your own carry on, pack an extra shirt for each child.
A safety concern for parents to consider is what would happen if your child were to get separated from you in a busy airport. Make sure your children are wearing an ID bracelet with their name, your name and your cell phone number should they wander off. With this information written on the inside of a Velcro type ID bracelet, airport security will have a much easier time reuniting you with your child. For younger toddlers, the use of a security harness, often in the form of a fluffy animal and equipped with a tether for you hold can keep children from walking off. Models are available that double as a backpack as well.
Make sure your children are not wearing a belt, and wear slip on shoes, as they will have to be removed while going through security (unless you have TSA Precheck then they can keep them on), and this type of footwear can easily be slipped back on. Have one adult go through the security checkpoint first and meet the children on the other side while you wait until they are through to make sure no one gets lost. If you are the only adult, have the children go through and wait in a group for you. Make sure everything is in their bag and they have nothing in their pockets so all they have to do is put their bag on the x-ray conveyor belt.
Once through security, keeping fidgety children entertained while waiting to board a flight can be as simple as breaking out a deck of cards or some coloring books. If you have an Iphone make sure to check out best games for airplane mode there is something for everyone on that list! This will make the wait go much quicker for children. Make sure to pack some snacks in case the kids get hungry. Bring sippy cups which can be filled on the plane. To make travel even easier look for motion sickness bands you can put on your wrist, kids’ earplugs, travel harnesses, and portable folding potty seats, as well as the aforementioned backpack harness. Be prepared and you will have a safe and easy flight!